How to Market Your Store This Holiday Season

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Big picture: Due to supply chain issues, prioritizing holiday marketing is essential this year more than ever. If you haven’t started one yet, draft up a marketing plan. Pinpoint what platforms and campaigns you’ll focus on for the whole season, outline your goals and desired outcomes, and establish exactly how you will achieve them.

Need something to help you brainstorm? Last week’s Marketing Meetup focused on the creative ways booksellers are marketing their store and different titles to customers. Watch a recording of the session here.

Try out these ideas:

  • First and foremost, get books in front of customers as early as possible, since supply chain issues are predicted to disrupt buying this season. Distribute regional catalogs. Highlight the customers can place special orders for any titles they want. Curate displays and post them to social media to broaden your reach. Create guides to stopping in your store organized by genre, price range, or topic.
  • Promote your line of special merchandise for the holidays, such as mugs, tote bags, beanies, and more.
  • If you’re open to in-store shopping, host unique events: Invite local authors and celebrities for gift wrapping days; host private, after-hours shopping parties for some of your best customers; and
  • Does your community have a holiday parade? Join in! Consider handing out books with coupons to further promote your store. Hold pop-ups in different locations to reach different customers.
  • Test your handselling skills — take some time to roleplay tough handselling experiences so you have book recommendations at the ready. 
  • Post holiday-themed storytimes online to get children excited about shopping at your store. 
  • Partner with businesses, artists, and libraries in your community. Create special gift bundles for the holidays that pair non-book items with exciting titles.

Bookseller panelists who contributed information for this session included: Alsace Walentine of Tombolo Books; Jamilah Horton of House of Pages Bookstore; Kate Schlademan of The Learned Owl Bookshop; LToya Wilson of Eclectuals Bookstore; and Stacy Hardin of Book Rack Used Books.