If this summer’s retail sales indicate what online and brick-and-mortar businesses can hope for in the 2022 holiday season, you can expect an increase over last year’s sales. But with an inundated market vying for customers, the challenge is winning over the casual shoppers and keeping your loyal customers happy.
Even before holiday shoppers start hitting the streets and browsing online sites, you need to grab their attention — and fast. Here are nine tips from the FedEx Office on how to prepare to nurture your relationship with loyal customers and attract the attention of shoppers new to your site or store.
1. Launch a new product in time for the holidays. If you have a product you’re waiting to release, consider launching it this month when early holiday shoppers start perusing sites for new and interesting gifts. Don’t rush a release if it’s not ready, though — you want to protect your business’s reputation. Use the new product as a teaser in direct mail communications to loyal and new customers. Or emphasize a single product or product line in a brochure or two-sided sell sheet you can design to match your brand. Create a professional-looking product manual on cardstock paper with a spiral spine for long-term use.
2. Send holiday greetings to your best customers. Personalized holiday cards — especially if they’re handwritten — show your customers they’re important to your business.
You can create cards using your brand colors and style, but play it safe using a secular and culturally neutral design and message, such as “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” Folded cards give you more room to write a brief note of thanks. Or send photo cards with a snapshot or collage of your team. If you know your customers well, you can address the envelope with the first and last names above the company’s name and address. If your relationship is new or more formal, use titles such as “Mr.,” “Ms.” or “Dr.” Start early by mailing your cards between Thanksgiving and the first week of December — you want to avoid missing your customers during the holiday break.
3. Host a special shopping day for loyal customers. Everyone likes getting a personal invitation to an exclusive event. From small neighborhood stores and boutiques to larger establishments, opening doors early one day to honor devoted customers can help deepen relationships. While you can double up your greeting cards to include a special shopping-day invite, sending a separate invitation adds a more personal touch. Include in your notes if you’ll be offering exclusive discounts or sales, whether you’ll be serving beverages and appetizers, and if any entertainment will help set the holiday mood.
4. Start a direct mail marketing campaign. The holidays are a great time to bring new customers through your doors. Whether you’re new to the location or want to remind people of what your business has to offer, showcase a sale, or present a new product line, using Every Door Direct Mail® can be a cost-effective way to attract new business. In fact, according to the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail has more than an 80 percent open rate.1
5. Update your stores with fresh displays. While you’re decorating for the holidays, remember to update your signage.
Communicating with customers via bold, colorful signs is especially important if you have a small store with few employees. Get the attention of passers-by with sturdy outdoor banners and window graphics, and brighten up your walls with professional-looking photo posters and canvas prints. Promote your products with colorful mounted posters — strategically placing them so shoppers can easily maneuver through the aisles — and choose designs and materials for temporary or long-term use.
6. Show customers your appreciation. Saying thanks is standard etiquette, but with the increased number of shoppers, you’ll see it’s time to pour on the charm between now and the new year. A personalized thank-you message is an extraordinary effort shoppers will remember for a long time. For in-store purchases and online orders, slip a note card you’ve created through the FedEx Office® Design & Print Center into the package with a simple thank-you message prewritten by hand. Loyal customers will appreciate their personal attention when you send them a postcard in the mail — make sure to include their name in your message. You can save money by ordering postcard print sets — design them with your logo and print them online.
7. Showcase your logo. How a product is packaged can be just as influential to consumers as the product itself. Research has shown that unique and attractive packaging can go a long way regarding brand recognition and retention.² To remind customers of who you are and what you offer, use custom branded boxes from FedEx Office when shipping merchandise to customers. You can easily personalize your own boxes online through FedEx Office. Choose from 100 different sizes and styles to fit your image, design your logo and message and receive your packaging in only 10 business days. There’s no minimum order quantity, making custom branded boxes a great marketing tool for new businesses wanting to get recognized. Hint: Choose your brand colors wisely — they can convey a message to consumers about your business values.²
8. Respect their shipping budget. Let customers know you have their best interests in mind by giving them money-saving shipping options.
Not only will they appreciate your effort, but they might also spend more at your store or website. If they’re shipping their purchase to themselves or someone on their holiday gift list, help estimates their FedEx shipment price using this cost calculator. Tell them that while FedEx is well-known for its overnight shipping, FedEx Ground is fast and affordable, with delivery in 1–5 business days. Plus, help protect them from stolen packages by suggesting the Hold at Location option to your customers. Their FedEx Express® and FedEx Ground® packages will be securely held for the recipient to pick up for up to five business days. Customers can select from many locations, including FedEx Office, Walgreens, and select grocery and specialty stores nationwide.
9. Save time with our tools. While there’s still breathing room, plan ways to make your life easier and your customer's shopping experience more enjoyable.
Here are a couple of time-saving and convenient tips to help fulfill both efforts:
- Keep a variety of shipping supplies easily accessible at your location, or bring your shipments to FedEx Office for professional packing and shipping services — our services are backed by the FedEx Office® Packing Pledge.
- Shoppers whose busy schedule keeps them away from home will appreciate learning the benefits of personalized shipping with FedEx Delivery Manager®. When they’re out and about, they’ll be glad to know they can control when and where their packages are delivered.
Bring your business to the forefront this holiday season by honoring your loyal customers and attracting the attention of new ones. Start planning now by reviewing the 2022 holiday schedule — including the last days to ship for packages to arrive by Dec. 24. And give yourself a boost this season with no additional holiday residential surcharges on packages.³
1“11 Reasons Why Direct Mail is Critical in the Digital Age,” DMA Advance, July 5, 2018. DMA, a Division of the ANA.
2Kiera Newton, “Brand Recognition: The benefits of using custom packaging for your products,” Talk Business, March 13, 2017.
3Other surcharges/fees may apply. Visit our peak surcharges and fees page for further information.