Each year, my POS software company, Tower Systems, publishes Christmas marketing tips for independent retailers. Here are 10 from this year’s list:
1. Make it easy
People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this could be with free wrapping, better shop floor help, buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
2. Let your customers help each other
Set up a whiteboard and keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, or Men 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
3. Make price comparison difficult
If you sell items people are likely to compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper aimed at a boy aged 8 to 12 for example. Or offer the item with pre-packaged services if appropriate for an item.
Throughout the Christmas season your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
5. Be socially engaged
On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
6. Award a prize at a local school
Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
7. Leverage Christmas traffic
Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store.
8. Send cards
Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
9. Stocking fillers
At your counter always have one or two stocking fillers for impulse purchase.
10. Be local
Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
After you have implemented all these tips, I’d like to leave you all with a final snippet off advice: for the last few days before Christmas, the only work in your store that matters is what is done on the shop floor. Empty the back room of anyone who is usually there. Get yourself and all of your team on the shop floor selling.