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4 Ways Smaller Stores Can Compete for Holiday Shopping Dollars

When every penny of revenue counts, it can hurt to have to swallow shipping costs, but these days, it might mean the difference between making a sale and encouraging a shopper to click "Buy" elsewhere. One possible bright spot: the last-minute buyers who will pay for expedited shipping to get their gifts delivered before Christmas.

4. Self-gifting
If holiday shopping has become a competitive sport, then buying something for yourself is its consolation prize. After years of penny-pinching and sticking to strict budgets, shoppers are more willing to spend on themselves, and the rampant discounting that has become common before the holidays makes it easier to justify. After all, what serious shopper can resist the lure of a great deal?

According to the NRF's annual holiday consumer spending survey, nearly 60% of shoppers planned to buy something for themselves. And those shoppers weren't talking about affordable add-ons such as candy or a Santa-themed mug: They estimated they would spend about 20% of their total holiday outlay on themselves. The biggest spenders? Young adults between the ages of 25 and 34.

Small retailers that display items geared toward that young-adult demographic might score an extra sale as shoppers pick up a little something for themselves. Who says you have to wait until an actual holiday to celebrate the season?