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Friday, November 13, 2009

Making this holiday season a happy one for your customers

With the recession still in full swing, customers may not be in the best of moods this holiday season. Budgets are tighter but gifts still need to be purchased. As an agricultural product retailer, how can you drive customers to your business?

Coupons are king this holiday season. In the Benchmark Survey on Consumer Coupon Behavior, 30% of consumers said the would choose a retailer that offered coupons and 20% said they would leave one store and go to another if they offered coupons. To inform customers about your coupons, get blogging! Write about your deals in your own blog and then send info to coupon sites, people who tweet about deals on Twitter, and other deal bloggers. Don't forget about search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click ads (PPC) when you are adding content to your website. Include info about the holidays in your blog entries and articles and use holiday keywords.

One type of coupon/discount is to offer free shipping. Shipping may be costly, but a recent study by Shop.org reported, "Of those intending to run free shipping offers almost 80 percent will make them conditional, which usually means a customer must purchase a specific item or spend a set dollar amount to qualify.” By offering free shipping (even if it is conditional), customers may perceive this as a discount.

People want to give back to those in need this holiday season, but might find it hard to do so with limited income. You can help customers provide for the needy when they are purchasing your goods. For example, with every $50 or more purchase from Oregon Growers and Shippers (www.oregongrowers.com), they will donate a jar of their marionberry jam to the Oregon Food Bank. Also to drive customers to their site, Oregon Growers and Shippers is sending recipes that use Oregon products to bloggers.

Holiday article
http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-to-avoid-the-bah-humbug-spirit-from-consumers-this-holiday-season-janet-thaeler

As an ag entrepreneur, what are you doing to drive customers to your business this holiday season? Have you already or do you plan to employ any of the tactics I mentioned above?

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