Christmas is fast approaching and businesses are already competing with each other to get their share of the increased seasonal spend. Now’s the time to plan your festive promotions to give your sales a boost ahead of Christmas.
Here are our 4 top tips to make the most of the festive period…
1. Make sure you know what’s coming
As a local business, you know Christmas is a busy time. But there are some key shopping days that you should be planning around.
Black Friday – 24th November
Cyber Monday – 27th November
Manic Monday – 4th December
In making sure you’re prepared for these dates, it’s easy to forget about the basics. Make sure you’re ready for the influx of enquiries by having people ready to answer or respond to calls and emails. Consider your stock levels and whether you’ll need more than usual. You’re likely to be busier than usual so think about if you need to get any extra employees in to help cover. Don’t just think about Christmas as a one-off campaign. Use the opportunity to gather contact details from customers so you can communicate with them at other times in the year too.
2. Advertise locally online
With most people preferring to buy from local businesses, you’re in a great position to take advantage of the increased spending. It’s important as a local business though to not just take this for granted. People can only buy from you if they know about you or your offers in the first place.
Here are some statistics that show the importance of being online:
42% of all online purchases were made using mobiles in 2016 (Retail Research, 2016)
2016 saw an 81% increase in online searches in the four days leading up to Black Friday compared to 2015 (Net Imperative, 2016)
£1.1bn was spent on Cyber Monday in 2016 (Mirror, 2016)
Online advertising doesn’t have to be scary – here are a few ways you can get started and drive people to your website:
Advertising on websites such as your local news site
Appearing in relevant local searches with Google AdWords
Use social media to increase awareness and talk directly to local people
You also need to complement your online marketing with offline marketing too. Promoting your business in the local newspaper reaches beyond your shop window and into the community.
3. Target people with email
Email is still one of the most effective and cheapest ways to market your business to existing subscribers, so it should be a fundamental part of your campaign over the Christmas period. Keep ahead of the game by scheduling your emails early on to land on peak spending days and times.
Although well-timed promotional emails and offers are a good idea, don’t forget about Christmas Day too. A gentle email to wish all your subscribers a Merry Christmas will make your business stand out as a likeable company and encourage customers to return to you in the New Year.
4. Be mobile-ready
Catering for mobile visitors is even more vital at Christmas with research from IMRG (Jan, 2017) showing that smartphones accounted for 54% of mobile device sales in December 2016. You should ensure that your communications are optimised for mobile. With 72% of people now checking their emails on a smartphone (Econsultancy, 2016) you should check that emails and adverts display properly on smartphones, and think about integrating SMS messaging into your festive marketing if you have captured your customers’ mobile numbers.
With so many local businesses competing for the UK spend this Christmas, it’s important that you stand out above the rest and do all you can to get noticed. Include these tips as part of your planning to ensure your business is all set for a glittering festive season.