Preparing for the festive period for many of us began some time ago, no doubt. But implementing a strategy that will help drive sales and also footfall is not only key, but a must.

Differentiation is key if we are to stay at the top of our game.

How can we stay ahead of the multiples and go that one step beyond to make the consumers’ lives easier and hassle-free as we head towards Christmas?

1) Display your offers early

If you are able to purchase your alcohol off-season, start displaying your store offers early to help drive footfall and really instill in your customers minds prior to Christmas what offers you have. Remember the cash conscious consumer will also want to save money by buying early.

2) Put alcohol and soft drinks together

Make a display of your alcohol offer along with Coke or other carbonates.

3) Use your tillpoint

Place wrapping paper by the till along with gift tags. It may be worth using this as a talking point with your customers to say that you also sell Christmas cards.

4) Offer a parcel service

Sign up to a parcel drop-off service like Pass My Parcel or My Hermes if you’re not already. It’s amazing to see what difference this makes to footfall in your store. Another alternative is perhaps to ask your most regular customers if they would like to use your shop as a parcel drop-off point if they are making online purchases.

5) Take orders early

If you use local suppliers for meat, for example, take orders with small deposits. This will certainly help save time and money for your customer. Implementing small steps to make your customers lives easier goes a long way.

6) Talk to your customers!

Finally, you will find along with your customers that the big day can be stressful with lots to do. If you open for Christmas Day or any other extended hours tell your customers about it early. Use it as a talking point at the till.

I wish you all a prosperous season.