How Small Businesses Can Compete With Big-Box Stores

Small Business Corner : Holiday Marketing Strategies

Posted In: Culture, ,   By: EmilyKate Lorenz

25th November, 2022     0

The holiday season is just right around the corner. For small business owners, it can be a challenge to compete with major retailers and big box stores. But, with the right holiday marketing strategies and tools, small businesses can be poised to outshine the competition.

If you are among those small business owners, here are some tips to help you compete for shoppers’ attention during the holiday season:


Optimize Your Website

The first thing you can do is polish and optimize your e-commerce website. Big or small, your business website should look professional, easy to navigate, and secure. Invest your time in adding images that are more in line with the holiday season, such as festive backgrounds or seasonal product images. This way, your e-commerce website will look more inviting to potential customers. It will also enable your website to be more relevant and up-to-date with the latest holiday trends.


Focus on Promotions

Promotions are another great way for small businesses to compete with major retailers and big box stores during the holiday season. Whether you are offering free shipping or discounts on certain items, these promotions can help draw attention to your products and services.

Make it a norm to have special offers during holidays. This is a common offering that we always see from big brands. It can be anything from a “percent off” to a “buy one get one free” offer. Make sure to emphasize these offerings on your website so your customers and visitors alike know what to expect from you this holiday season.


Start Your Promotions Early

Aside from coming up with different promotions you can offer for your customers during the holidays, one strategy that can make all the difference is to start your promotions earlier than the competition. 

Shoppers think in advance and are already set in their search for the best deals. This means they are already on watch for discounts and promotions from their favorite stores. This also gives your customers plenty of time to think about their holiday shopping wish list and budget what they can spend.

If you start your holiday promos earlier than the other retailers, it can mean a wave of new customers that may not have considered buying from you before.


Encourage Email Subscriptions

Another thing you can do in conjunction with your promotions is to encourage customers to sign up for your email list. You can do this by offering specials and exclusive discounts to shoppers in exchange for their contact details. This allows you to build a list of customers who are ready and willing to buy your products during the holidays, without having to spend too much money on advertising or marketing campaigns.

From there, you can start sending personalized emails to your list of subscribers and discounts that are tailored to their interests. This will give them an added incentive to shop from you during the holiday season, instead of relying on big box stores.

The more customers feel involved and appreciated, the more likely they are to buy from you.


Keep It Personal

As a small business, one of your advantages is the ability to offer personalized customer care. Go above and beyond with customer service during the holidays by offering personal touches such as handwritten thank-you cards or special gifts for loyal customers. This will help build brand loyalty and show that your business truly cares about its customers.



Networking can play a large role in helping you compete with large retailers and big box stores this holiday season. Reach out to small business owners like yourself who share similar interests and goals. Doing so will allow you to get your message out there and potentially drive more customers to your business.

You can also participate in local events, such as holiday bazaars and craft fairs. This way, you’ll be able to showcase your products and services to customers in person which will bring great value to your business not only on holidays, but in the long run.


Utilize the Power of Social Media

Different social media platforms have millions of active users, making them an ideal place to promote your business. You can use various strategies such as creating campaigns, running contests and giveaways, or simply sharing relevant content to draw attention to your business this holiday season.

To level up your social media game, you can hire a designer to create attractive visuals that will help you stand out from the crowd. Visuals such as videos, images, and banners are all useful tools to capture the attention of potential customers and draw them toward your business.



Aside from exclusivity and discounts, generate FOMO (fear of missing out) among customers by creating a sense of urgency. You can do this by offering limited-time deals and letting your customers know they have to act quickly if they want to take advantage of the promotion.

From an article posted by OptinMonster, it is said that 60% of millennial consumers make their purchase after experiencing FOMO.

You can integrate a countdown on your emails, website, or social media posts to keep your customers up-to-date with the time remaining on the offer. This will add a sense of urgency and encourage them to act now instead of waiting for big box stores to run promotions.

You can also emphasize limited quantities of particular items to make customers more eager to purchase them. The best example of this is to use the phrase “while supplies last” and give customers a push to buy quickly. Always have the call-to-action button visible so customers can easily find it. For social media posts, you can simply include the link to your website.


Final Thoughts

The holiday season can be a difficult time for small businesses, but with the right holiday marketing strategies, you are sure to find yourself competing with or even surpassing the big retailers and box stores. 

Invest your time in optimizing your website, offering promotions, providing personalized customer care, and networking with other small businesses this holiday season to make sure your small business is well-positioned for success. Another great way to leverage this success is to bring in an expert marketing company like Hierographx. With these holiday marketing strategies, you can be sure that your business will outshine the competition this year!


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