How to improve your chances during the Christmas trade period
Christmas time is widely considered the most lucrative time of year. And for good reason, as the figures show. Take Austria, for example: According to the Austrian Economic Research Institute (WIFO) and Trade Association, it was predicted that Christmas trade in the Austrian retail sector would produce additional turnover to the tune of 1.25 billion Euros in December 2018. This figure stood in stark contrast to the sales volume forecast of 6,27 billion Euros for December 2018. That means that every fifth Euro earned could be attributed to additional turnover produced during the Christmas period.
Your piece of Christmas cake
The Christmas period provides lots of opportunities for businesses to increase their sales significantly. But it doesn't just happen like magic because the most lucrative time of year has come around again. With the right sales tactics, a business can create the right conditions in which to cut themselves a large slice of Christmas cake. What are these tactics? Here are our tips which should help you to reach the end of the Christmas period with a hefty sales increase.
The right ambience ensures that shoppers can get in the right mood to shop. If the city is full of Christmas markets, there's a punch stand on every corner and the air is infused with the smell of almonds and, by extension, the smell of Christmas, then that's the way it's got to be in your shop. Appropriate decorations, such as tinsel, a Christmas tree, a crib or festive pictures will put your customers in the mood for shopping. Naturally, you should consider how people celebrate Christmas in your region. Are the traditional decorations in your country somewhat different or are you based in the Southern hemisphere where it's summer and you need to adapt the ambience of your shop accordingly?
Do bear in mind that customers visit you during the Christmas period to buy presents for others. As the expert in your own product range, you should take this into account and have a think about which products in your range are best suited as gifts. Then, have a think about how to present these products. Gift boxes, pre-filled gift hampers or pre-wrapped presents and well-thought-out product combinations help your customers to make quick decisions.
It's often the case that customers have a bit of an idea what sort of gift their loved ones would like but don't know precisely which present they would like to buy. Give your customers a helping hand. The better you can explain why a present is perfect for the person in question, the more likely the customer is to buy it. And, if the customer is happy with the gift they've found, then it's also more likely that they'll choose to recommend you to a friend or loved one.
Of course, there's always going to be customers who have no idea what they should be buying for a friend or relative. If none of your products hit the spot, then offer to let the friend or loved-one decide for themselves and to surprise them with a gift voucher. This kind of gift proves as popular as ever so make sure that you offer gift vouchers and think about how to produce them with some sort of festive design. That way, you have the perfect solution for those indecisive last-minute shoppers.
The more aware customers are of your product range, the better they will respond to it. That means that your Christmas offers have to be advertised in true festive style. A newsletter in an appropriate design works just as well as a flyer or poster holder or poster displayed at the till. Come up with a conceptual design, including shop window decorations, advertising materials, seasonal social media posts, festive product descriptions and, perhaps, festive price labelling. That way, you use all the tools available to you to tell your customers that, by doing their Christmas shopping with you, they're doing it right.
Christmas may be a time of giving when many wish to be generous. However, people do still keep an eye out for opportunities to save money. That's why it's worth creating targeted offers which give customers a chance to save some cash. That could be discounts on individual products or bulk discounts like "Pay for two, get three". You could also consider giving a discount when a certain purchase sum is reached as that often encourages customers to purchase additional products so that they can get the discounted price.
It might be pleasant when the business is running well and sales are high but it is also very annoying to find that a particularly popular product is no longer in stock. Obviously, you can promise your customers that the product will be back in stock soon, but this often leads to customers simply buying it somewhere else. Make sure that you keep an eye on your stock levels and order products ahead of time or have enough of specific products in stock to avoid supply bottlenecks.
- Service, Service, Service
Never underestimate the meaning of good service where your business reputation is concerned. That applies to both consultation during purchase and also to customer care. It also applies to questions that the customer might have regarding the possibility of a refund or exchange, if the present isn't quite right or someone has ordered two of the same product by mistake. By approaching the customer and introducing yourself as a partner, you can ensure that you'll be the port of call for future purchases. Providing helpful service is very important for long-term customer retention - at Christmas time, all the more so.
Just because the Christmas period comes to an end, doesn't mean that people stop shopping. People often just give their friends or loved-ones money for Christmas and this is then spent in the sales after Christmas. So have a strategy for your sale and make sure that you've got well-placed offers with which you can enjoy the proceeds from after Christmas purchases too.