16 November 2021 | 6 Minute(s) to read
I don’t know about you, but to us, it feels like only yesterday that we were taking down the remains of the Christmas tree and eating the last of that giant Xmas ham! Yet here we are, another lap around the sun… ready (or perhaps, not ready) to welcome the festive season with open arms.
2021 has seen another nationwide lockdown, along with another year full of uncertainty for all sized businesses. With certain alert levels affecting the ability to open doors for many retailers, the conditions have been unusual and tough to maintain healthy sales growth.
The world has seen many retailers rely on their e-commerce platform (or introduce this avenue to their business) to make up for the drop in foot traffic during this time.
With Christmas fast approaching, it's more crucial than ever to ensure you have a strong marketing and promotional plan to draw in customers and maximise sales over the festive season.
It’s clear 99.9% of retailers would have already purchased stock well in advance for Christmas, with much of it arriving in-store or online already.
The question now to you is; what plans do you have in place to dress up your store (bricks-and-mortar, AND online), draw customers in and make them aware of your promotions?
Your Christmas Marketing Plan.
Whether you’re solely a bricks-and-mortar store, e-commerce OR both - having a Christmas marketing plan which details all promotions and communications is key.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy marketing budget, ensure that your money is being spent on the right channels to effectively reach your audience during the moments that matter most.
Christmas marketing on a budget.
In this blog, we’re going to share some helpful hints on how you can get smart with your marketing over the Christmas season, on a small budget.
Having multiple customer touchpoints is an easy and effective way of drawing in more (and new) customers to your store. However, doing so means you must be committed to doing it right and with some love - no-one (and I repeat, no-one) loves a lonely, forgotten about Facebook page.
Here are our top tips for getting your store noticed this Christmas:
Dress up, just like it’s Christmas day!
No no… before you get too excited - I don’t mean, you physically dress up. I mean, dressing up your store through Visual Merchandising.
Visual Merchandising is a key element to retail. Whether you’re merchandising the displays of product in-store, or you’re merchandising the order of your products online - it’s important to take some time in giving this part some love.
Allow your store to be inviting and put your best foot forward by maximising key hot-spots to promote your best offerings or promotional Christmas specials. Give the product room to breathe and accompany it with some printed point-of-sale to clearly shout out the promotion. Hot-spots are areas in your store that get heavy foot traffic and are usually areas like your street facing display windows, the shop exit and entrance, end of aisles, demonstration areas, and self standing display tables.
Online your hot-spots could be your homepage banners, your recommended products section or specifically created landing pages. Don’t forget your Social media banners too!
Marketing point-of-sale such as ‘GIFT IDEA FOR HIM’ or ‘STAFF PICKS’ or “SHE’LL LOVE YOU FOR THIS’ are easy to implement campaigns which get customers thinking of their loved ones they’re shopping for.
Whether you’re a fan of the festive season or not - creating a seasonal atmosphere in-store (and online) helps to provide that Christmas spirit to get people thinking of the occasion. Get creative, it doesn’t need to be green and red decorations everywhere, nor the need for a Christmas tree in-store - it can be subtle and it can most definitely have style!
People can’t flock to promotions if they don’t know about them!
Whether it’s via your website, email, text, events or social media - make a song and dance of your new stock, promotional offers and Christmas collections.
Do some research into what channels are best to reach your audience and also look into what days and time of day they’re commonly using them.
Here are a few of our favourite digital marketing channels:
Over the festive season there seems to be more noise than ever on social media from retailers, so keep this in mind when creating your content. You want your customers to stop the scroll and read your Facebook or Instagram post - so give them a reason to do so.
Utilising Facebook or Instagram stories during this time can be a great way of getting in front of your followers regularly. Get your staff involved and showcase your merchandise on display - these stories are meant to be effortless, so try not to spend too much time on them!
If you have a website, utilise your homepage sliders or tiles to help tell your Christmas story.
If you have the capabilities to do so, consider creating collections as separate landing pages. As you can’t rely on salespeople online, by providing collections, you’re able to help guide your customers as they shop, with popular gift ideas.
Providing easy-to-find and up-to-date information on shipping and return policies during this time will assist with any friction as your customers move down the customer funnel.
If you have the capabilities, utilising live chat or at least being very prompt in your responses from website enquiries will be key to customer care, assisting with both conversion and repeat purchases/customer loyalty.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS.
TOP TIP: Google My Business can sometimes be a forgotten opportunity.
Utilise your listing to post updates on new arrivals or not-to-miss promotions, and update your listing with your Christmas opening hours to avoid disappointing any customers!
How to maximise sales.
If you’re fortunate enough to have some budget, merchandise tactics such as ‘gift with purchase’ or ‘2 for $x deals’ are great and effective ways of driving traffic to increase sales.
Setting staff incentives during this time is another popular sales tactic to boost staff energy and drive for sales. These could be individual or team targets, depending on what works best for your business and staff.
Marketing plans can never be a cookie-cutter approach - they require time, effort and personalisation to make it right for your business but we hope these friendly tips can get you thinking about yours!
If you’d like to rely on the expertise of our in-house team of marketing specialists - get in touch. We’re pretty fast on our feet when it comes to turning plans into action and are here, *with bells on* to help.