top of page

8 ways to entice customers to shop small this holiday season

8 ways to entice customers to shop small this holiday season

The 2021 holiday season is rapidly approaching, and if you're a retailer or service provider, you are likely thinking about ways to help maximize your business this season. Here are a few ideas to help kick off the holiday season while enticing new customers to select your business over the big retailers.

Method #1 Start early

Many businesses are already dealing with massive delays receiving inventory, or shipping goods to customers while dealing with other pandemic-related issues. With everything we learned from 2020, it makes sense to get your holiday campaigns up and running before you’d normally consider doing so. Communicate with your customers that they should shop early to avoid delays and have clear shipping cut-off dates.

Method #2 Target current customers

Reaching out to people who have previously shopped with you is a great way to keep your business in mind for customers as they begin to think about the holidays. If you use Shopify, Squarespace, or another similar program, you can easily target past customers via email. Another effective way of retargeting past customers is to be active in your social media channels and remind them to come back and shop with you.

Method #3 Run a “Shop Small” promo

The holiday season is typically jam-packed with promotions and offers. When creating a promotion, emphasize you're supporting a small business. Many of us are keen on helping out the mom and pop shops over the giants. For example, use language that spotlights the small business angle with promo codes and hashtags like “shopsmall2021” and #shoplocal.

Method # 4 Collaborate with other businesses

Reach out to other small business owners to create gift packages, sidewalk sales, or host a holiday shopping event. This is a collaborative way to get a rush of new customers who are already excited to shop small and a great way to make new friends in your community.

Method # 5 Host an event

If you have a location that can support an event, then this can be a unique way to get customers in the door. And while we’re still dealing with the pandemic, there are creative ways to safely have customers visit and shop with things like a sidewalk sale. You don't need a traditional brick-and-mortar business to host an event. If you have an online store, hosting a virtual event on Facebook or Instagram Live can also have a similar effect.

Method #6 Tap into your social network

As mentioned before, use your social channels to reach out to your customers, not just for shopping but for building your community. You can encourage your social followers to repost your content and encourage them to tag you in their posts. And don’t underestimate the power of popular hashtags like #shopsmall #buylocal #shopsmall2021 as well as branded hashtags.

Method # 7 Run an ad

If you are a local business you can easily create Facebook and Instagram ads to target where those ads get served based on specific geo-locations. If you are an online shop, you can target a wider audience but with interests that are more in line with your offerings.

Method #8 Gift cards!

Everyone loves a gift card because they can get exactly what they want. U.S. retailers sold 114% more digital gift cards in the third quarter of 2020 compared with Q3 2019. We expect this trend to continue. Make your gift cards available online to make it easy for your customers to get their gifts to friends and family on time.


This holiday season may be one for the record books so make sure your business is prepared. Even using one or two of the above ideas can help generate a lot of excitement and bring customers to your shop.


bottom of page