7 Ways Your Small Business Can Capitalize this Holiday Season

Francesca Hellebrandt, eBay News Team

How to generate additional revenue and boost your business’s bottom line over the holidays.

Editor’s Note: Together with SCORE, eBay for Charity reached its goal of $50K to be donated to the organization through its Holiday Jargon Jar campaign. 

For retailers, the most wonderful time of the year is also one of the busiest. To ensure your business is making the most of this holiday season, there are a few steps you can take to  prepare ahead of time. 

Here are some eBay tips to help you optimize your business this holiday season. 

1. Engage on Social Media

In search of inspiration, consumers often start their purchasing journey on social media before visiting specific online stores to make a purchase. To meet them where they are, share your holiday listings on Facebook, Whatsapp and Messenger — all from the eBay mobile app. Don’t forget to explain which audience your inventory might attract, any unique qualities of the item and any promotions you are offering. 

Document and post your preparations in order to get customers excited for the holidays. Customize your own hashtag and use it to brand all posts leading up to the holidays to attract more customers, e.g. #holidayinspirationwithjulie.

2. Reward Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers want to know they’re appreciated, so consider personalizing your marketing campaigns. By sharing customized messages, offers and discounts to frequent customers, you’ll set yourself up for success all season long. Special promotions and email deals will keep your customers coming back for more. 

If you sell on eBay, consider buying a pack of branded eBay Thank You Cards. Thank you notes help to personalize a gift and let your customers know you appreciate them. A little thought goes a long way!

3. Show Why Shopping Small is Beneficial

Highlight the unique benefits of shopping small, like strengthening communities, creating jobs and supporting local talent. Make your appeal personal by telling your unique small business story on social media and in your listings. Buyers care — especially today’s generation — and they want to know where their money is going. By driving personal connections with your customers you have personal champions who believe in you and your success.

Play into the fact you’re local by hosting a holiday event that brings the right partners, customers and neighbors together to celebrate. By creating a memorable experience for them, people will feel excited about your brand and want to be a part of it. 

4. Offer Expedited Shipping

Last-minute shoppers will look for ways to get their hands on gifts as quickly as possible. Offering free and fast shipping can be your competitive edge over sellers who don’t offer this benefit to buyers. 

More than 100 million listings are part of eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery service, which guarantees a package arrives in three days or less. eBay will also have millions of last-minute products available that include free shipping late into the holiday season.

As an added bonus, eBay sellers are provided tools like our shipping calculator to cost shipping into the price of their item.

5. Give Back

Now more than ever, consumers are gravitating toward businesses making a positive difference in the lives of others. Offer to donate a portion of holiday proceeds to a local charity — and tell your buyers about it! Not only are they helping support a small business, but they are also supporting an important cause with their purchase.

If you haven’t yet, learn more about eBay for Charity and how it enables you to buy and sell on eBay in support of your favorite nonprofit organizations.  For every percentage you donate to charity when you sell, eBay will reduce the same percentage from your fee. It’s a win-win! 

6. Leverage Small Business Saturday Resources 

As one of the busiest days of the year for small businesses, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to be front and center amidst the competition. While mass retailers may promote their low prices and convenience, small businesses offer a compelling story behind what they are selling, making the purchase that much more meaningful and tempting.

At eBay, every day is “Small Business Saturday,” because helping local, independent retailers grow is what we do all year-round. But to join in the celebration, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite gift items from our small business sellers around the country.  Be sure to stop by on Nov. 30 to explore unique inventory and snag some great deals.

And if you’re an eBay seller, purchase a Small Business Saturday sticker to add to your packages and encourage others to shop small. 

7. Plan Ahead

After the business of the holidays dies down, consumers will continue to search the web in their downtime. Buyers still want great deals well into the new year. That’s why it’s important to reflect on your performance, brand strategy and overall business goals following the holiday season and into the new year.

This season and every season, marketplaces like eBay can help small business owners like you compete and access a global community of buyers.