Christmas is certainly going to be different this year. The effects of the Coronavirus have hit the retail industry hard, with the prospect of trying to make back a little bit of custom during the festive period at the forefront of any business owner's mind.
We may be shopping in a more restricted way for Christmas 2020, but that does not mean you should miss out on the all important festive sales that many rely on. With December bringing a reopening of small independent businesses, we have put together some easy to follow tips that can perhaps help you to make the most of the lead up to Christmas.
We all need something to look forward to at the moment and there are some who have decided to extend their Christmas celebrations all the way back to the start of November and even into January. Don’t feel awkward about putting up your shop's decorations on the 1st December, or advertising your gifts range on social media pages the moment you receive your delivery. Many people have time on their hands and will be looking to do their Christmas shopping early, so as soon as it is possible for you to do so, sell, sell, sell!
Everyone loves a bargain at the best of times, so utilise this by holding a one day only sale which will encourage people to act fast. Decide on a good offer that will not hurt you financially, but will seem more than worth it to your customers.
With current restrictions this may be harder than normal, but if you come up with some kind of booking system where you can monitor the amount of people you have in your store, this could be something that you can run all the way up to Christmas Eve. Look into ideas such as Christmas crafts or cooking - try to tailor it to your business somehow, using samples of what you sell with the intention to sell more to those who attend.
As always you should try to make the most of social media and newsletters for your current and potential customers. Perhaps tailor them in some kind of countdown towards Christmas, with a deal of the day throughout December, or ideas that they can use to make their lives easier, using your products of course!
These can be extremely effective at the best of times, but hold a special significance at a time when we are having to queue outside due to restricted numbers of shoppers at any one time. This window display will give your customers something to look at whilst they are waiting, ensuring they don’t get bored and wander off, as well as showing them what you have on offer inside. Try to make it the ultimate window shopping experience, giving your customers ideas and must-haves that they will want to pick up once inside.
You may not be able to welcome as many people into your store at the same time as you normally would at this time of year, but this doesn't mean you should hold back on the Christmas cheer. Offer customers a mince pie, perhaps a little mulled wine and persuade your staff to dress up in festive costumes or have a Dickensian theme to make it feel authentic and memorable. You will hopefully entice people off the street and into your store, as well as helping to lift the spirits of those who have been stuck at home or been away from their loved ones for many months.
With everyone staying at home as much as possible, you should try to tailor your product range as much as you can to that thought. Games that will entertain the family while they are all forced to be together, crafts that will keep kids occupied and new skills that they can learn from the comfort of their own home or garden would be perfect.
Even if the retail sector is fully open for the duration of December, many will not want to venture out onto the busy streets and into the enclosed spaces of stores. Offering an alternative way of receiving their goods will certainly entice them to shop with you from the comfort of their own home, so if you have never used these methods before, now is certainly the time to do so.