It's only the second week of December, and you might not have quite got into the Christmas spirit just yet. But that won’t stop your competitors from pulling out all the (jingle) bells and whistles. Very soon, every shopfront around will be decked out in tinsel (if they aren't already), and you’ll have to work extra hard to stand out.
If you want to have a profitable Christmas, it’s crucial you present your customers with things they’ll actually want. Make sure you offer them the right combination of price, ease, quality and service to relieve the stress from that mad holiday rush.
We’ve compiled a few tips to help your business stand out from the crowd this Christmas:
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling - sprucing up your four walls will help spread some Christmas cheer to your customers.
Start with some snazzy signs or posters about Christmas offers, making sure the customer’s experience is both as easy and as cheerful as possible. Additionally, a festive window display featuring clear prices and gift suggestions will catch people’s eyes like nothing else.
Christmas is not just buying and selling galore. It’s a time to forge meaningful connections between your business and the local community.
Do your bit by buying decorations from the local florist, and mince pies from the bakery down the street. Promote these local businesses by putting their flyers in your shop window and ask that they do the same for you. This way, you’re encouraging customers to keep their money flowing around the community, and providing valuable mutual support for other local businesses.
When people are trying to find out more information about a business, that business’s website will usually be their first port of call.
Don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for potential customers to get the measure of you; put your Christmas opening hours and delivery options upfront and centre on the homepage. Set up a separate Christmas landing page for products, services and information and clearly communicate your business’s Christmas offer.
Check out the JPIMedia Christmas landing page for inspiration.
Don’t forget to add a few festive touches to the layout of your website. Something as simple as seasonal colours and imagery can really help conjure up that Christmas feeling.
There’s always something going on at Christmas, from local markets to craft fairs and festivals.
Don’t assume you know best and stay close to home. There are plenty of places further afield where you could buy or sell some great seasonal stock, or trade valuable insights with other businesses about how to make the most of Christmas.
If you’ve got the budget, why not make yourself look like a real local champion by sponsoring one of these events.
Why not go a step further and be someone’s unexpected December discovery yourself? You could host an in-store event to bring people together. Alternatively, if your business is selling a service, you should consider hosting a workshop to raise your profile.
Check out our piece on local event marketing for some inspiration.
Your business message won’t land effectively if it’s chucked about indiscriminately. Clever advertising today is targeted according to who customers are and the kind of local businesses they’d like to frequent.
Christmas is the perfect time to be found by your customers, with everyone searching for that perfect gift or service. Paying for ads on Google will allow you to target customers within a radius of your choosing, searching for words and phrases relevant to what you sell. If you already have a Google Ads campaign running, try adding a bit of a festive twist. For example, if you sold, say, shaving razors, you could promote them by targeting the keyphrase ‘Christmas presents for dads’.
Remember - Christmas is a competitive time to advertise, so the more precisely you can target, the better the return you’re likely to see.
Christmas can too often feel like a purely commercial event rather than a celebration of family and unity. Injecting a bit of your own festive spirit into your efforts could help you push ahead of competitors.
Personalisation is the name of the game in all your business’s communications here.. Always personalise the subject line and body of your emails and maybe even send handwritten Christmas cards to important customers.
Though a lot of festive marketing can take pretty similar forms, standing out from the competition at Christmas is far from impossible for local businesses. Your own unique selling points are the bedrock of your success here, so make the most of them. Whether you pride yourself on your excellent service, brilliant product knowledge or convenient locale, find out what makes you special and shout it from the rooftops.
For other advice for your Christmas and New Year marketing, try these articles: