By Julia Olson

How to Prepare for Trick or Treaters as a Small Business

Brick-and-mortar small businesses have a competitive advantage over larger outlets. They can position themselves as part of the community, offering customer service and local knowledge big competitors cannot. Halloween 2020 is one of those rare holidays when engaging with the community is encouraged. While adjustments will need to be made for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the spirit of all hallows eve lives on.  However, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual 2020 Halloween spending survey, more than three-quarters of consumers said the virus is impacting their plans with more focus on home decor and safe small celebrations in lieu of large gatherings.

As a business owner, there are ways for you to safely mark the occasion. Halloween is a unique opportunity for you to raise the profile of your small business within your neighborhood. Take a proactive approach with promotions, decorations, sales, as well as partnerships with other stores. You can develop ongoing goodwill by offering a service to community groups and gain new customers who have never experienced your store before. Here are a few ways your small business can prepare for Halloween this year.

Get Creative With Your Shopping Experience

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your store layout. Being flexible in your shopping experience shows your customers that you care about their well being and not just the bottom dollar. Halloween comes with many activities that surround trick-or-treating and everything about costumes, pumpkins, and fall that can be incorporated into your overall aesthetic.

Eye-catching decorations are one way to attract new walk-in traffic to your business. Even service businesses can benefit from Halloween’s fun nature. Whether you’re a travel agency, insurance office, or hair salon, seasonal decorations increase visibility and give a welcoming impression. Anyone who might be intimidating from entering your location might be put at ease by a whimsical bat, spider web, or fake skeleton. Encourage employees to dress up on Halloween day, and don’t forget to add a cute “Boo!” to your website or social media pages.

Distribute Halloween Supplies

Your store can give out freebies many families want, like bags for trick-or-treating. Printing your store logo or name on the bag is subtle advertising for your business and keeps you front-of-mind to potential customers. You can also make custom treats by bundling candy in branded packaging. If you sell healthy food, you can run a promotion where you give out healthy treat samples as an alternative to candy. Just put a sign outside inviting parents and kids to come in and give them a try.

Your fellow businesses are some of your best allies in driving customer engagement. Run a “shop local” promotion leading up to Halloween, or get together with other stores to have a block-wide socially distant Halloween celebration. Every store could commit to giving away one treat each to kids before 5 p.m., for example, or sell Halloween-themed inventory at a discount as part of a sidewalk sale.

Don’t Go Dark, Go Digital

Shoppers continue to prefer online shopping as a safe and convenient option during the pandemic. This year, 30 percent plan to make their Halloween purchases online, compared to 25 percent in 2019. This may seem like a small difference but if your business doesn’t have an online shopping cart option on your company website, you’re missing out on a potential 50% increase in revenue generation. An eCommerce store expands your reach to exceed basic foot traffic.  With the pairing of social media reach, you can reach customers outside the city, state, or even in other countries interested in your wares.

80% of online shoppers and 63% of mobile shoppers think that new technologies and innovations improve their shopping experience. Adding an online shopping cart is easier than you might think and the cost is minimal compared to the reward. With Fattmerchant’s Omnicart you can easily create an eCommerce shopping cart to sell your products online with just one click. No configuration or technical skills needed. Simply add items to the catalog, select those items, and automatically create an online shopping cart where customers can go to purchase products instantly.

Up your window shopping game by adding QR codes to your storefront for featured items. As customers pass by they can scan the QR code and add your product to their online shopping cart for purchase and delivery to their door.

Bring in Halloween Flavor

Celebrate the season with flavors of the holiday, especially if you run a food business. Pumpkin, spice, apples, cinnamon, and other fall tastes are particularly popular and will draw in new customers looking for a treat.

However, you decide to celebrate Halloween, tell your community. Post your promotions to your Facebook and Instagram pages. Place signage outside your main entrance and in your store windows. The most essential part of community engagement is interacting with new and old customers, so chat up your Halloween celebrations when people come in during early October and as the season approaches.

Don’t Fear, Contactless Payments for Small Business is Here

Each small business has unique needs. By adding the Omni Virtual Terminal with contactless payment tools you can future proof your business with affordable solutions that allow your business to easily adapt to a contact-free environment. Learn more about contactless payments and find out how you can quickly start saving with Fattmerchant. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you leverage the best contactless payment solutions for your business needs.

Contact Fattmerchant today for a free consultation and to learn more about how contactless payment solutions can help your business transition to a digital business overnight.

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