Andrew Dark is Co-owner and Director of Custom Planet, a custom printwear and promotional product provider. Here, he shares his top tips for ensuring you still make enough sales this Christmas, even when in-person fairs and events are out of the question.
Almost every business will have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic this year. And, if you tend to rely a lot on Christmas sales, you’ll have been hoping that things would have settled down by now. However, with the crisis still ongoing, many in-person shopping events have either been cancelled, moved online, or scaled back. So, it’s understandable if you’re worried about how you’re going to make plenty of Christmas sales this year.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your business stand out online, so not being able to sell to your customers in person won’t have too much of an impact on your bottom line. Here are my top tips for ensuring you still make plenty of sales online this Christmas.
Host or attend virtual events
Because we haven’t been able to see our friends and family or attend any events in person since March, most people have grown used to doing all of this online. And people will be looking for opportunities to join festive shopping events and fairs in the same way this year. So, hosting your own events or securing a virtual pitch at those that have already been planned is a great idea.
If you do decide to promote your products or services at an online event, make sure you treat it just like a physical fair. Let people know you’re going to be there, be ready to answer anyone’s questions, and make sure you have your very best products on hand to get people excited. Not being able to speak to your customers in person might be disappointing, but this is the next best thing, and you need to make the most of it!
Offer discounts and competitions
Even though you’ll be looking to make plenty of sales this Christmas, it’s also the season of giving back. So, it’s a great time to entice new customers and gain the loyalty of those who’ve shopped with you before by offering discounts and holding competitions where they can win prizes.
Offering exclusive discounts to your social media followers or those who subscribe to your mailing list is a great way to attract people to your website, where they will hopefully decide to make a purchase. Plus, this is an incredibly competitive time of year when most businesses will be doing everything they can to catch people’s attention. This means, if you’re able to offer your customers a really great deal, you’ll be far more likely to stand out from the crowd.
Send some freebies with your orders
It’s likely you appreciate your customers more than ever this year, so make sure they know it by going above and beyond to make their orders special! Everyone loves free gifts, so including a little something to say thank you will go far. Plus, if your customers truly feel valued and like you’ve put your all into making their shopping experience special, they’ll be far more likely to shout about it. This could lead to more social media shares and word of mouth recommendations, which will hopefully help to boost your sales even further in time for Christmas.
Think very carefully about what kinds of freebies you want to include with your orders and consider personalising them to increase awareness of your brand. You’ll want to send something that your customers are actually going to love and use. You could even conduct a poll on social media, so your followers can help you to choose just the thing.
Offer a gift-wrapping service
It’s a good idea to offer a gift-wrapping service every Christmas, but it’s even more important this year. With some coronavirus restrictions still in place, many people won’t be able to see every friend and family member this festive season, which means some might choose to send their presents straight to them. So, instead of sending everything out in plain cardboard boxes with no added flourishes, it’s a good idea to ask your customers whether they would like everything gift-wrapped for them.
Most people will be happy to pay a little bit more for the convenience of having their presents wrapped for them, so this can also be a great way to raise your profit margins slightly. In a year when you might have worried about making ends meet, every little helps, and this is a move that will help to keep both you and your customers happy.
Create a sense of urgency
One of the most effective ways to encourage people to make a purchase right now is to create a sense of urgency. And there are a number of ways in which you can do this.
If you’re planning some Christmas discounts, only running these for a day at a time should encourage more people to make a purchase right there and then. People will be worried about missing out on the deal you’re offering, so they’ll be less likely to shop around and will head straight to the checkout. If you have limited numbers of certain items, it’s also a good idea to let people know about this. People might have been doing some window shopping, and may have their eye on something. So, letting them know that they might only have a limited time to pull the trigger could well be enough to convince them to hit “buy”.
This has been a tough year for a lot of businesses, so I’m sure you’ll want to end this year on a high. With many festive shopping events being cancelled or moved online, you might be worried about how you’re going to make as many sales as you’re used to. But, with these tips, you’ll still be able to stand out from the crowd and ensure Christmas 2020 is one to remember.