Christmas is obviously a busy time for businesses and retailers across the UK. Seize the opportunity to make sales this festive season.
Smaller businesses have strong competition. Retailers on the high street are competing with bigger brands and companies, while also facing stiff online competition from the likes of Amazon and eBay, amongst others.
Stand out in the crowd this Christmas. Promote your business and let people know that you offer something unique, coupled with great service.
Give your business a personality that differentiates it from larger, faceless corporations. Make it a part of your local community. Here’s how to make a difference as we approach the final two weeks before Christmas:
- Stay open longer. Busy times require greater effort to maximise sales opportunities. Ensure your opening hours meet customer demand, and make sure they know you are open by promoting any extended hours on your website and social media channels.
- Get out amongst the public. Book your slot at the local Christmas market. Offer samples of goods outside your store as festive shoppers hit the streets. Send out leaflets with promotional Christmas offers to local homes. There’s plenty of opportunity to get out and engage with members of the public, drawing them into making a purchase with you.
- Redecorate. It’s obvious that a physical store needs to get into the festive spirit, but don’t neglect your websites or social media headers! Adding a festive theme to your online presence – perhaps with a nod to local landmarks or people – can give your business a homely feel that captures the mood of the season, enticing more visitors to your online channels.
- Set up strong social media campaigns. Think of ways to promote the difference your business makes and tie them to a Christmas theme. Ideas include:
- Offer Christmas goody bags to your customers
- Set up a ’12 days of Christmas’ campaign, with different offers each day
- Invite your customers to engage with you and share your campaigns with their friends to spread the word and generate interest in what you do
- Join local Facebook Community and Buy and Sell groups, and promote your goods and services directly to customers
- Offer ‘guaranteed Christmas delivery.’ Have an online shop, or take orders for delivery? Fit into the busy lifestyles of your customers. Ensure they know the cut-off time for Christmas deliveries so you can capture their business – and make sure you deliver on time to maintain the trust of customers.
- Ensure you have enough staff. Christmas temporary staff can be a real boon for businesses of all sizes. Making sure there’s someone to answer the phone, stock your shelves, take orders, or tend to emails from customers, can keep things rolling throughout the festive period. There are plenty of people looking for part-time work during Christmas, and they can help you to deliver the service your customers are looking for, maximising sales opportunities and enhancing your business’ reputation.
- Provide gifts for loyal customers. Providing small additional gifts with purchases for direct customers can raise a smile and give your business a good reputation. In the business-to-business sector, while some sectors will have strict rules upon accepting gifts, offering small gestures of appreciation - a personalised box of chocolates or a bottle of wine - will not normally be viewed as an incentive to influence business decisions. Stick to the rules here, but it's worth considering treating your best customers and showing your appreciation for them.
- Post-Christmas sales. It’s not over when Christmas ends – there’s still opportunities to maximise business after the big day, too. There’s likely to be stock left behind as the shoppers retreat after exchanging gifts, but the annual post-Christmas sales are an excellent opportunity to pick up business from customers looking for a bargain! Give customers an incentive to buy from you, and they’ll flock to pick up the best deals they can between Christmas and New Year.
If you haven’t got enough stock by now, then it might be a bit late to be prepared! However, it’s not too late to get some help with everything above and start making a difference to your revenue in the run-up to Christmas, and the post-Christmas sales period.
Make sure you’re insured
Quality insurance is the bedrock upon which good businesses are built. Make sure you’re properly insured for additional stock, public events and more by speaking to Bollington on 01625 348030.