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6 Ideas For After Christmas Sales For Businesses

6 Ideas For After Christmas Sales For Businesses

The ornaments are tucked away, the lights re-wound — and with it, the holiday shopping season has ended. While the end of the season often brings a big boost to businesses with holiday shoppers, the first part of the New Year is often much slower — there are no gifts to be bought and many consumers are paying off any holiday credit card bills. But, just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean the sales should be over too — these six after Christmas sale ideas could help keep a bit of that momentum going in a normally slow season.

Donate.

Charitable giving often peaks during the holiday season — which often leaves charities struggling in January too. By donating to a non-profit for every sale, businesses can draw in customers (and maybe even earn a few tax breaks). The donation can be a percentage of every sale, or a product donated for every purchase made. To really open up the opportunities, find a charity willing to spread the word about the sale to their donors.

Create daily bargains.

Offering a big discount — but only for one day — is a marketing technique that can work well after Christmas. Promoting one-day sales throughout January can help boost marketing efforts by giving customers a reason to keep checking your website or social media page for the sale of the day.

Create an event.

The holidays are often busy — so while hosting a holiday event is great, many customers will have more time once the holidays have passed. Put on an event to help relieve cabin fever, a fitness event to help with those New Year’s resolutions or a special event tied specifically to the type of product or service your business offers.

Open up opportunities with buy now, pay later options.

One of the reasons spending slows after the holidays is that many are still recovering from all the gift-related spending. Offering a way for consumers to make their purchases now and pay later — either through a business credit card, a layaway program or a service payment plan — can help ease that spending freeze.

Offer coupons.

High value coupons can be pretty enticing for many consumers, especially if they allow them to create their own sale. Help your customers pick up what they didn’t get under the tree with a coupon good off any item or service.

Build a rewards program.

The start of the year is a great time to introduce new perks to the most loyal customers. Creating an incentive program rewards customers for repeat business. A cafe can offer every tenth coffee free, a photography studio every tenth print order a 25 percent discount. The possibilities are broad — just make sure to make the program enticing enough (and easy enough) for customers to want to sign up.

Shopping patterns are often slow after the holidays, except for the small rush of consumers spending those gift cards. By offering an after Christmas sale, businesses can help keep some of that holiday momentum going.

6 Wedding Expo Display Ideas For Photographers

6 Wedding Expo Display Ideas For Photographers

Wedding expos connect brides and photographers — but they also introduce those same brides to dozens of other photographers. So how do photographers stand out? Factors like the quality of your portfolio and approachability are important, but that won’t do you much good unless your booth actually catches their eye in the first place. Creating a unique display is key to bringing brides to your booth — here are six ideas for grabbing their attention.

Use color.

Most vendors use white or black tablecloths, but color could be a good way to stand out. Colorful photos, of course, help, but using tablecloths and backdrops besides the usual white and black help too. Just make sure you choose a color that reflects your work or your brand — try matching the tablecloths to the color scheme in your largest display photo, for example.

Think height.

Picture the expo space filled with tables all roughly the same height. A good way to stand out from across the room is to build a display that’s tall. Just how you build that display varies — perhaps making your backdrop stands do double duty or hanging large canvases — but it’s the height that often stands out from across the room.

Embrace brand identity.

Color and height is great — but your booth design should also match your brand identity. Don’t opt for a red tablecloth if your images are largely soft pastels. Look to your logo and even more importantly, your work, to find inspiration for your booth. Don’t decorate with sleek modern designs if your work is inspired by vintage film.

Think large prints.

Bigger prints don’t just show off the resolution and quality of your work, they’re also easily visible from across a crowded aisle. Large photos are eye-catching, make sure at least one of your prints exceeds the usual 11×17.

Use multiple albums.

Once you’ve caught their attention, photo albums are great ways to display large volumes of work. Flipping through an album can keep a bride at your booth longer while you are finishing up a conversation with another — so having multiple albums is a good idea to keep more brides a bit more patient. Along with having a printed album or two, a digital display flipping through even larger galleries can also help waiting brides stay a little longer.

Give brides something to keep.

One of the most important displays is one that brides can take with them — giving them easy reference for your name and phone number. Business cards, flyers and postcards are common — even booklets detailing what to expect with sample images and a contract. Don’t be afraid to get creative — giving brides something useful with your name and contact information on it gives them a reason not to pitch it at the end of the show. For example, a helpful wedding checklist magnet may earn your business name a spot on their fridge.

Wedding expos can be powerful marketing tools for photographers. And while there are many aspects to running a successful bridal show booth, catching a newly engaged couple’s attention often starts with a great display.

Do photographers still need a physical portfolio - or just an online one?

Do photographers still need a physical portfolio – or just an online one?

Today, everything is online — including photography portfolios. But is an online portfolio enough, or do photographers still need to create a physical one? Online portfolios make photographers easy to find, yet the quality of a physical photo can often be more revealing than a digital image. While some photographers may do well with only an online portfolio, photographers meeting their potential clients in person should consider a print portfolio. Here’s why — and one reason why not.

Print portfolios often allow for larger images.

Images on the web are usually resized — large photos cause slow load times and if a potential client has to wait too long for your website to load, they’ll just hit that back button. Print portfolios, on the other hand, are only limited by the size of your book. Images on paper often have a different feel than their digital counterparts, and it’s often easier to get a good feel for an image’s quality when you can actually feel that image.

Physical portfolios leave a lasting impression.

Maybe it’s the portfolio, or maybe it’s meeting the photographer in person to deliver that portfolio, but an album on paper has a much different impression than one online. Most photographers have online portfolios, but fewer still maintain that print version. If your potential client is meeting multiple photographers in person, which will stand out more — clicking through that same online album with a laptop or viewing a sleek physical book?

Print portfolios leave more room to get creative.

Sure, there are plenty of different ways to design your website, but in the end, it’s still a website. Physical portfolios leave more room for creative flair, from sizing, binding and covers to even leaving that traditional album format behind. Instead of photography albums, single prints can double as oversized business cards. Printing a portfolio in the same format you offer albums to clients in also help clients visualize exactly what they are paying for.

Physical portfolios don’t need a watermark.

Online portfolios present a problem that’s much less common in physical ones — image theft. Most photographers fight theft by adding a watermark to an image. While those watermarked images can prompt a client to call, an unobstructed photo in a printed format could be the one that seals the deal. Print portfolios help photographers show off their work in the way that they’re meant to be seen.

Print portfolios can get expensive.

So why not have both an online portfolio and a physical one? Since printed portfolios have material costs, they are often more expensive than online portfolios. With online being a necessity for most, print becomes just a luxury, and one that not every photography business can afford. While simple albums and DIY options can keep print portfolios from becoming prohibitively high, cost — and the cost of updating down the road — is also a consideration in the print versus online debate.

Online portfolios often catch the client’s attention initially, but a physical portfolio can often make that customer confident in their choice. Print portfolios may have a higher price point, but they allow for larger images, leave a lasting impression, allow for more creativity and don’t require a watermark.

4 Ways To Keep Customers Connected To Your Brick-And-Mortar Store

4 Ways To Keep Customers Connected To Your Brick-And-Mortar Store

The internet is rapidly changing the way retailers conduct business — and yet more and more consumers are looking for connectivity to enhance their experience while inside physical stores. A recent study conducted by Google showed that two out of every three customers cannot find the information they need in stores, with almost half leaving frustrated. By merging the online experience with the digital one, retailers can help drive traffic with more social media followers and email subscribers — and prevent customers leaving in frustration. But how? Here are four ideas to help retailers keep in-store customers connected.

Host a photo contest.

Nothing quite helps drive traffic like the possibility of a prize. Photo contests not only encouraging interaction, but also get customers sharing your brand with the social media followers. Requiring an in-store photo takes that brick-and-mortar and online connection even further. Use something iconic about your store — even something as simple as a kiddie ride that’s at all of your locations or a favorite product — or create a photo booth area specifically for the contest. Create a hashtag so that you can monitor the entries. Require a “like” or follow on your social media in order to enter, and you can continue reaching in-store customers online.

Create a rewards system.

Rewarding customers every time they shop in store — and not with a giant prize like with a photo contest — is another way to both encourage repeat visits and help track of customer data. Stores often use rewards programs requiring the customer’s email, allowing the store to research and track how the customer shops, and what they shop for. In return, the customer receives discounts for participating in the program. This merges the ease of online customer data tracking with in-store shoppers.

Merge online and in-store with an app.

As the Google study showed, 2/3 of customers cannot find the information they are looking for in stores. One way to combat that is to develop an app not for online shopping, but for in store. Store apps can show that location’s sales, what aisle the item is in and even make the online reviews for a product easy to access in the store. Target, for example, merges both the rewards system and app with Cartwheel, a coupon app that also tells customers what aisle to find that discounted item in at their local store.

Make the online information easily accessible in-store.

Some businesses are taking a simpler approach and just putting more effort into providing information in stores, in an easy-to-find way. Electronics retailer Best Buy, for example, puts the product’s online review ranking on the in-store tags, making it easy to compare similar products. To merge the in-store and app-available information, allowing customers to scan the barcode to access full text reviews and details is another option.

Today’s customers are more connected then ever — and yet most still have a difficult time finding the information they want. By finding new and innovative ways to provide the plethora of internet-available information in an in-store experience, retailers can enhance the customer experience. Connecting the retail and online system is also a way for retailers to gain insight into their in-store customers, but with the simplicity of online tracking.