Last-Minute Shoppers and How to Market to Them

Last-minute shoppers can bring a real boost to small business during the holiday season. Here's how to capitalize on the urgency.
Last-minute shoppers can bring a real boost to small business during the holiday season. Here’s how to capitalize on the urgency.

For some people, Christmas really does start in July. Amid the heat, they start fantasizing about chilly winter nights and the feeling they get knowing they bought the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Of course this requires quite a bit of planning. For some, Christmas becomes a reality just days before the 25th, and they scramble to get presents for everyone on their list. Many businesses have been able to capitalize on this urgency by catering marketing efforts to this audience of last-minute shoppers—with the help of this article, so can you.

Time is Money

Many last-minute shoppers get in this bind due to a lack of time outside of work, this is where some local businesses tend to lose potential customers due to open hours being during the daily 9-5. In an effort to combat this and encourage people to buy local some downtowns will ask stores to extend evening hours to better accommodate the schedule of shoppers that don’t have time during the day.

Convenience is the key to making customers out of last-minute shoppers, so make sure this is woven into your marketing strategy for the holiday season. You want to make the shopping experience as painless as possible, this can be communicated from a simple announcement of extended store hours on social media and your website to actually curating your inventory so people can find certain hot-selling items easier.

Last-Minute Shoppers Like a Personal Touch

Customer service is essential during the holidays to help last-minute shoppers find the perfect gift in a timely manner. This type of service is expected in the online marketplace as well as at the brick and mortar. Using a hard-hitting digital marketing strategy to get your target audience’s attention can bring them into your store, but don’t forget the power of traditional marketing methods.

Putting in the legwork pays off, even if it means you spending just that much more time in your store. But creating these positive associations with your business will encourage people to patronize your business outside of the holiday season. With stellar customer service practices, last-minute shoppers can become loyal customers.

Sales Sales Sales

Let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good bargain? Just because last-minute shoppers are more frantic than the planners out there doesn’t mean they are looking to spend an arm and a leg. If you don’t already have a plan in place to promote some deals you may have, make sure to find a way to get the word out there. Putting certain items on sale could be a good way to get some stuff off your shelves before the end of the year as well.

Whatever route you decide to take to get to last-minute shoppers, what’s important is to capitalize on urgency. In fact, a lot of online retailers started preparations months ago. As a local business, you can be in a position of power because you know the people in your community better than anyone. Holiday shoppers are more likely to be searching for particular items, are more likely to purchase at first sight, and don’t have as much brand affinity. Knowing these things, you can craft your strategy to snag some of these last minute shoppers.