How can your business benefit from Christmas?
Christmas is the time of the year when people are happy, cheerful, and meeting their near and dear ones. More importantly, they are shopping around to find the best possible gift they can give. And, today’s customers are not afraid to try so many different things before they find what they want.
This search often takes several days of planning and hunting. As a business owner, therefore, it becomes imperative that you also take time to plan ahead, assess the market trend and evaluate what customers want this festive season. If you can manage and execute your plans well, this holiday season can provide your small business a much needed breather, a boost to your sales and profits!
If your business is one of those that faces customers directly (retail, consumer electronics, services, etc.), your planning can be a gateway to new customers and more business.
There are several ways you can engage with your prospective clients during holidays. And don’t forget your existing ones!
- A greeting card or email wishing clients well for the holidays should be your first step. Make sure to personalize it by writing their names where appropriate, so they feel you remember them.
- You can also design an attractive and concise shopping guide and give this as a complimentary gift to your customers. It can talk about what’s hot this season, what they can expect and (very subtly) what you have to offer.
- Prepare an “offer of the day” and inform your clients of it through a once-a-day email/SMS. It is important to let them know of the difference in “Christmas” and “normal” pricing. Research reveals that impulsive buying shoots up during holidays, so make the most of it while it lasts!
- Think back on what your customers wanted from you last Christmas but you could not provide. Do not think they will not come back this year for the same thing, and this is especially true for your regular customers because they will likely think of you first.
- To increase sales, you need to increase and improve what you sell. So, it is a good idea to take a walk around the markets to see what is new in the market. Then when you have decided on what you are going to sell, put up an advertisement telling your customers about it.
- It is always a good idea to converse with clients while you are packing their purchase and making their bill. As a small business owner, you do this anyway, but during holidays, it becomes even more important to talk to them and catch what is on their mind. Then see if you can do something about it!
- For those of you who have staff working with you, make sure you say at least a “hello” to your customers personally when they are in your shop. Again, they need to realize you are always there for them, and that is what will make them come to you again and again!
- Do not forget the internet as your marketing medium. Your customers will be free from other obligations during holidays just as you will be. They will have more time to surf the internet and check their Facebook accounts more often. During this period, make sure you are present “in the right places” so people will see you. Even if they did not purchase from you on Christmas, they will possibly in the New Year.
- You need to be ready for the New Year’s offerings just as Christmas gets over. So ideally, on the morning of 26th, your adverts should be talking of the change in prices from Christmas. Similarly, for any inventory that remains unsold from December, you can remarket it in your display with a fresh January appeal!
- It is critical to ensure your mobile website works at its best. You don’t want to lose out on sales just because your website was not working for those few important minutes.
- Prepare a contingency plan for out-of-stock scenarios. It is advisable to promise a realistic, but encouraging tentative delivery. Give a discount to make the customers feel you share their pain, or throw in a complimentary goodie. Above all, do not promise on something you cannot deliver!
- If you provide a service that may be critical to customers (electrical, plumbing, vehicle repair, etc.) and plan to take some time off, do make sure to inform your clients in advance. It would be better to offer them (discounted) precautionary equipment health check. That way, your client and you will be saved from unnecessary troubles when you both want to enjoy the break.
- Find out business like yours around you. Amongst yourselves, you can reach an agreement to cover for each other during holidays, but make sure you talk about not poaching each other’s clients upfront.
- Finally, make a note of what worked for you and what did not. You can use this in the next year’s season!