Christmas is coming. In less than 70 days the big man in the red suit will be here. This year, for all of us, it’s going to be a very different type of Christmas. Our usually magical and festive highstreets may feel quietly eerie, our work Christmas parties may be taking place online and our family and friends get togethers will be restricted in size.
Research suggests however that consumers still want to celebrate in style and are excited to have something positive to look forward too. So, as a SME business trying to maximise sales in this critical period, now facing reduced consumer spending and more fierce competition than ever, how can you stand out and make a success of it?
Florence & James have created a top ten list of tactics that will help you maximise sales opportunities over the Christmas season with emphasis placed on the shift to online shopping as this will surge in use this year. It’s important to get planning and started on these actions now. The countdown is on.
Marketing tips to get you noticed and increase Christmas sales:
- Package your products as gift ranges
Make the gift of giving easy for your customers. Some people find gift shopping stressful and difficult so create obvious gift ranges at different price points to make it super simple. Develop beautiful Christmas packaging so these products are ready to go.
- Utilise all your customer touch points
Brainstorm every customer touch point on their journey with you and then think of creative ways to optimise each channel to engage your audience and encourage purchase. This could be from an A board outside your shop, to a customer email programme, to a refer a friend message in a delivery box. Use every touch point in the most effective way to drive more sales and reach new customers.
- Get your website ready
Give your website a health check and ensure it is firing on all cylinders. Is the load time quick enough, does it have a good user experience journey and is it easy to navigate? Does every link work? Are the prices all correct and products are looking their seasonal best? Update and get your website ready now and ensure you include a gift guide section on your website to help inspire and encourage people to purchase your products as Christmas gifts.
- Ensure your SEO is up to scratch
For shoppers who are searching for specific products it is imperative that your website and products can be found. Making some simple SEO updates now can help you ensure your products are purchased over your competitors. Updating your copy to include seasonal key words is important as a bare minimum.
- Be full of festive cheer
Use warm, inviting and fun Christmas visuals, themes and messaging across your marketing particularly your social media. Never underestimate how much we all love this. Focus on the positives and do not have overtly strong sales messages. Highlight the benefits your products offer.
- Show that you care
This year is going to be hard for many. So how can you help your customers? Research shows that customers remember and have stronger feelings towards the businesses who helped during this crisis than those that did not. Show that you care and find ways to make their lives easier. Can you offer lower ticket items, can you bundle products as cheaper gift items, can you offer free gift wrapping or delivery for them (which is so important for online customers).
- Use paid advertising
The Christmas sales period is short and fast so during this key time maximise your marketing activity to drive sales using pay per click. If you have never tried it before this is a great time to give it a go. Use Ad Words that use key seasonal words but ensure you do your research and have a solid plan in place. Social Media advertising is another great way to increase reach and awareness for this key period and can be done relatively cheaply if focused tightly on your audience. We recommend you start early to build momentum to achieve the best results.
- Run seasonal social media cross promotions
Run seasonal promotions and competitions with other well known, like minded brands that have a larger social media following than yourself (but with your customer type). This will help you reach a whole new audience and make them aware of your business. Social media is a great way to raise brand awareness and gain new customers. Simply reach out to these companies and see if they are interested. Run your promotional tactics across all your marketing platforms to heighten success.
- Maximise Black Friday deals
These big promotional days are not just for large companies – jump on the bandwagon too. This year Black Friday falls on Friday 27th November. Cyber Monday falls on Monday 30th November. Although companies may start as much as 2 weeks earlier so be ready by mid Nov. Think carefully about what exciting ‘deals’ and ‘offers’ you can give to your customers. Be aware this is when Christmas shopping will start to explode and is predominantly online. So be ready!
- Make your shop front stand out
If you are a traditional retail business utilise your shop front to attract new customers and entice people in. Showcase the best of what you offer and ensure you use lower ticket items in your window display to tempt people. Keep the bigger price ticket items for when they are in store. Understanding your audience and what will capture their attention is vital here.
If you want any further advice or support on your Christmas seasonal marketing please get in touch for a free consultation and chat.