The markets and shopping centres are flooded with people hunting for the best things and deals. The sellers are persuading and pleading and holding out for bigger sales. Perhaps there’s that harmattan haze too, a necessary backdrop to the season; or, if the sun wins the atmospheric battle, it’ll be a sweaty mass of humanity streaming to and fro, and staying at selling posts, haggling and agreeing and exchanging money and goods. As you may have already guessed, these signs belong with Christmas, that time of the year, when people are most prone to going on a spending spree.
Yet, many businesses complain that they are unable to get ‘anything tangible’ out of the mass-buying season that is Christmas. They agree that there are a lot more people at the markets and malls in December, but they insist that all they get are inquirers, who sniff at their offerings and back out at the mention of the products’ prices. This poor fortune with sales is regularly blamed on a “bad economy” (even when the country isn’t in a recession).
However, some businesses do really well at Christmas. And there are good reasons for their success. It’s a well-known fact that businesses, which plan for their Christmas sales at least three months before the season comes to its climax, are more likely to record higher sales than those that only take action when the season comes upon them. So, here’s the first advice from us to you: if you want to make your holiday sales an absolute hit, you’ll have to plan the whole thing early on.
There are a few things you can do right now to boost your revenues this Christmas, even if your planning hasn’t been up to scratch. This isn’t letting you off the hook if you haven’t set targets and put your business in pole position for good gains (it’s always better to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and what step you’ll take to make it happen). But you can do well with these tips, if you implement them immediately.
The tradition in these parts is that prices shoot through the roof when Christmas comes along. How about bucking this trend by giving people a bargain that they can’t resist?
You might introduce some sort of volume pricing- take percentages off per unit prices of products, depending on the number of the products an individual buys. The more of your product he or she buys, the less they’ll have to pay per unit.
To make this work, you should highlight the fact that this promotion will only last for a short period of time. Create a sense of urgency with promotional messaging that includes phrases like “get discounts of up to 50%…limited stocks available” or “this amazing offer is only available until the 30th of December…,” or “take advantage of this offer now…hurry while stocks last.”
Note: Before you decide on using discounts, determine the costs you’ll incur with it, and the benefits it could bring you. You may go ahead with it, if there’s a good chance of you, increasing sales with it. Covering the cost of price cuts is important. Going beyond this to actually make significant profits is what a proper discount should achieve.
Customers feel appreciated, when they get recognized as unique individuals by the businesses they buy their stuff from. Personalizing the products you sell to them can only make more of them eager to buy from you.
The way you go about this depends on the sort of goods or service you sell. For example, if you sell Tee-shirts, you may announce a special holiday sale which allows customers to buy shirts with their names (or any design of their choice) printed on. The same can be done for other clothing items and accessories, stationery, mugs, and packaging material.
People want their individuality recognized and celebrated. Satisfying this desire is a great way to attract more customers to your business.
- Gifts and thank you messages
If customers know they’ll be getting something extra for shopping with you or using your products this Christmas, they might want to get a share of the freebies you’re doling out. This is a proven way of increasing sales, especially during the holidays. The gifts may be presented as a sign of your appreciation for their patronage through the year (or regardless of the frequency of their patronage). Gifts add to the merry feeling of Christmas, and induce many to be generous with their spending as well.
Besides gifts, you may send thank you notes to your clients via physical cards or email. Again, customers feel valued when they receive personalized Christmas compliments sent by the businesses they purchase their things (and services) from. It might bring such businesses back to their thoughts, and could even lead them to buy more from those businesses.
Give your website and social media pages the Christmas look
There should be a ‘Christmasy’ look at your website and social media pages to coincide with the coming of the holidays. The red-and-white colours with which the season is associated, the images of Christmas trees and decorations, and maybe even Santa Claus and his bag of gifts, might make an appearance on your online media channels. Just let the visitors to your website and your social media followers know that you’re ready for Christmas. This might give them an impression that you could have something in store for them, some sort of sales deal or giveaway that they need to find out about. Or at least it invites them to do business with a store or company that is in tune with the times, and by extension, with their mood and desires.
Attractive signposts or window/entrance displays
Extend the Christmas themed aesthetic to your signboards and office entrance displays. Work with a really good creative designer to come up with eye-catching designs that could draw the attention of passers-by. The idea here is to make people interested in your business and what it’s about. The clincher would be a well crafted (perhaps witty) description of your business, which comes together with the Christmas themed design. It could be the first step to selling your product to the person on the street- even before they show up at your doorstep.
Some of the tips given here are widely used. Others aren’t nearly as popular. But you can achieve big results with them. The good thing is that they’re not that hard to do. So, get going!