6 Tips for a Successful Holiday Market

When the holiday shopping season is around the corner, many small business owners turn to pop-up holiday markets to reach new customers and boost sales. Whether it’s a local neighborhood event or large-scale traveling fair, read on to discover a few ways to make the most of your time and effort. 

1. Strategically plan pricing and inventory

Take stock of the products you’re planning to sell: do you have a range of products at different price points? Do you have products that work as stocking stuffers in addition to long-term keepsakes? Can you sell gift cards for any shoppers looking for a simple gift solution? Not every business can offer every product combination, but the more variety of products on display, the more customers could stop by to browse.

At the same time, holiday shopping can be a great way to move any lingering inventory so you can start the new year fresh. If you have products that you’d like to clear out, use those “extra” products to create custom “Buy One, Get One Half Off” bundles. You could even create an entire “Pay What You Want” group of products to attract shoppers with tighter budgets. 

2. Start promoting in advance

There are a dozen different ways to promote a holiday market. Social media is often the go-to choice, as channels like Instagram and TikTok can easily amplify event awareness (especially if you’ve already been building your social media presence). Re-share content from the event organizers, connect in advance with other vendors and event sponsors, tease products that will be available on site, and more! Even better, trusted brands like American Express offer free small business resources that can make promoting your small business online even easier. 

3. Celebrate your brand story

Every small business has a story to tell, and how you decorate and set up your stall can be the perfect representation of it. Whether it’s through eye-catching decorations, free stickers, cheery music, or even a bowl of water for customers passing by with their dogs, even the smallest booth can leave a lasting impression. Not only will customers naturally gravitate towards your space, they’ll also point other shoppers in your direction during the event and remember you long after the event is done. 

4. Team up with other vendors

Why support one local business when you can support multiple? Find other vendors at the event who offer complementary products, and work out a deal to exchange offers or discounts to incentivize customers to check out multiple stalls. At a minimum, browse through other stalls during set up and introduce yourself to other business owners. Ask about their products, learn about their story, and share yours in return. These interactions won’t only leave a positive impression, they’ll also naturally weave into great conversation starters with customers as they browse. 

5. Build relationships with your customers

One of the benefits of running a small business is the chance to build genuine relationships with your customers. As you’re talking to shoppers during the event, use the opportunity to get feedback: what products do they like? What else are they shopping for? Who are they shopping for? Use their feedback to inspire new products or offerings, and offer them a sneak peek or first look as a thank you for the inspiration! Word of mouth is one of the most compelling growth channels for small businesses, so take advantage of any opportunity to build a one-on-one relationship with a customer. Even better, direct them to sign up for your email newsletter or follow your business on social media to build long lasting relationships.

6. Prepare to be flexible

No matter how much you plan, there’s always a chance that things don’t go according to plan. That’s why a flexible mindset is key to making the most—and enjoying—your holiday market experience. Last minute change of location? Come prepared with extra signage, props, and a portable phone charger in case you don’t have access to a wall charger. WiFi doesn’t work? Make sure your card reader works on cellular data too. Slow foot traffic? Use the time to capture social media content instead. The holiday season can be stressful for shoppers and vendors alike, which is why a can-do attitude can make a world of difference.

Accepting credit card payments at your holiday market can feel overwhelming and complicated, but affordable, easy-to-use processing can actually be quite easy to set up. Get started with SumUp today.

SumUp Team