Tips for Retailers During the 2020 Holiday Season

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There is no doubt that 2020 continues to present numerous challenges for small retail businesses. After reading through numerous articles it seems there are the same main tips for how best to survive that we’ve tried to make as succinct as possible for those retailers navigating this holiday season. A CNBC article was the source of the main tips below with other information incorporated into the tips and sourced at the end of the article with additional resources.

Visitors to Swansboro shop the eclectic offerings at The Poor Man's Hole antique store in the historic Onslow County town.

Visitors to Swansboro shop the eclectic offerings at The Poor Man’s Hole antique store in the historic Onslow County town.

  • Act Digital. Whether people are purchasing items in person or online everyone is browsing online these days. Show them that if they go out, you’ve got products worth stopping in for. Salesforce reports sales online have grown 30% this year with Shopify reporting between May and August online shoppers spent 23% more when choosing local pickup or delivery.
    • Talk about safety as part of your digital plan. Make sure your customers know if they come to your store, you have safety procedures in place to protect them.
  • Prepare for a pivot again. If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us it is, never become too comfortable because change is just around the corner. Be flexible. Have a small group of people you trust, like a personal advisory board, that is at the ready to brainstorm with if a pivot becomes necessary again.
  • Celebrate your workers. Appreciation typically goes hand in hand with the holidays. Make sure you find a way to show your gratitude to your workers and their support through this wild 2020.
  • Don’t forget self-care. This year has been overwhelming and at times can feel unbearable. Remember you can’t be anything to anybody if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Take time to reset and get away from the hustle and bustle even if just for an hour or two. Take a walk, cook a meal, curl up with a book, exercise, find whatever helps you release, and truly unplug so you can be ready for whatever comes your way.
  • Lean into your role as a small business. 60% of Americans have said they plan on shopping small this year, make sure you remind potential shoppers why shopping small is important and why their support is important to you.

Another important component of the holidays this year is the opportunity to take risks that other years are perhaps not possible. If there is something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t, this may be the year to try it. Dr. Stacy Wood with the Poole College of Management points out “risks are easier to take on during a pandemic when everyone’s routine is changed,” and this holiday season that couldn’t be any more true (SOURCE).

Other Resources:

Google Retail Business Resources

Chamber of Commerce Resources for Retail Businesses

SBA Small Business Prepare for the Holidays Amidst Covid

Resiliency in Retail Webinar Series

Written By

Ann Savage, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionAnn SavageTourism Extension Assoc Call Ann E-mail Ann Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Dec 11, 2020
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