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16th December 2019

8 Last Minute Ideas To Increase Your Christmas Sales

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minute read
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Ok, so you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the final week and now your to-do list has tripled in size. Don’t worry, you’re not alone - 10% of Brits have said they don’t expect to finish all their shopping before 23 December!

Tardy shopping habits probably feel frustrating when you unwrap a gift from your best friend to find a pair of kitchen tongs and an airline sleeping mask! But for local businesses, the last-minute rush to the shops offers an ideal opportunity to seal some sales in the final hours of Christmas trading.

Here are 8 last-minute tactics to get those extra customers in the nick of time.

1. Try online advertising

Advertising on local news websites and online directories right up to Christmas Eve will help your message cut through and push more customers your way. Insert a clear and bold call to action on the advert itself – ‘Buy Now’, for instance, or ‘Visit Today’ (or, for a time-limited campaign, ‘X Days Left’).

Most of your competitors will also be advertising at this time of year, so keep your online presence as pertinent and engaging as possible, and use the right channels for your target audience.

2. Make your branding festive

You hopefully have a sense of your business not just as a supplier of products, but as a brand with its own characteristics, set of values and distinctive identity. This identity will be expressed through visual elements in your marketing like your colour scheme, typeface and use of imagery. 

If so, there’s no harm in adding a bit of Christmas sparkle to your brand palette. You could experiment with judicious use of festive hues, or by incorporating a few seasonal hallmarks into marketing materials (snowflakes, reindeer, elves, or maybe something a bit more left-field). 

Remember though, everyone else will be up to the same thing, so be a bit creative and try and think of ways to make sure your seasonal twist stands out!

3. Use Google Ads

If you’re not already using Google’s Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising service, now might be the time to get to grips with it. Google Ads is designed to direct big traffic towards your website by showing your ads to people searching for words associated with your business. 

Christmas can throw up the need for a lot of unexpected last-minute purchases - food, clothes, presents, even urgent plumbing fixes - and you want to be the business that sweeps them up. 

Consider what types of things you provide that people might be searching for at Christmas (for example, “emergency plumber” or “easy Christmas decorations”) and put some money into targeting these phrases with Google Ads.

This article should help you get started using Google Ads. If you want an experienced partner to set you up with a winning PPC campaign, get in touch with our Google Ads team.

4. Run promotions on social media

Businesses of all sizes really go to town on social media at Christmas time, publishing festive status updates, twee memes, banterous tweets and promoting special deals exclusively for social followers. These kinds of deals can ramp up your follower numbers, and their success is easy to track.

Here’s a special tip from us - try out an Advent Calendar-style promotion. Each day in the run up to Christmas, offer a different prize or giveaway through your social media. This needn’t be anything too major - a small ticket product, a voucher, maybe even just a piece of premium content. 

This kind of light-hearted, creative promotion is particularly useful if you sell online directly. If you don’t, maybe give out a discount code (LAPLAND5 or ELF19 perhaps) that social media fans can quote when they visit the store.

5. Make the most of local media

If you have any last-minute Christmas events planned (like extended opening hours or a special themed evening) get in touch with the news editor at your local paper for a bit of valuable clout. Call or email them with a simple summary of what you’ve got planned, along with pictures if you have them, to try and get your event mentioned or written about. Local media is a small business’s best friend, so take advantage of it!

If you want to quickly get your hands on a powerful piece of publicity in these last days before Christmas, we offer a wealth of pre-written sponsored content articles for a wide range of sectors. Written by our journalists and featuring your branding, your article will inform, entertain and build your reputation among your target audience.

These are just a handful of ideas to help you wring out a few extra sales towards the tail-end of the festive period. The right words in the right places (and in the right ears) could be the difference between an adequate Christmas season and one that’ll prime your business for a terrific 2020.

6. Text your customers

If you already regularly email your subscriber list about Christmas offers and new products, you could consider sending them text messages in the run-up to Christmas as an extra little nudge. Many people browse on their phones before buying, so a well-placed text with a link to your website or latest offer could do the trick in teasing out those vital little last-minute sales

If you don’t currently capture customers’ phone numbers, you can start requesting them at the purchase stage, or when they subscribe to your newsletter. Just add an extra field on the sign-up form asking for their phone number with a checkbox to tick if they would be happy to receive text messages from your business.

Remember though, you must provide customers with a simple way to opt out of text message marketing, and you absolutely mustn’t spam them.

7. Try print advertising

Although online marketing is a good last-minute fix for ailing festive sales, more traditional, print-based efforts like leaflets and local newspaper ads can also do the job. Advertise in your local paper’s Christmas supplement, or next to a particularly Christmassy piece of news!

On a busy Saturday or Sunday, you could also get a team member to spend an hour or so handing out flyers to shoppers. Make sure your contact details, web address, opening times and Christmas offers are all clearly described on the flyer, and use a strong call to action to encourage people to visit your shop or website.

Make the most of local media

If you have any last-minute Christmas events planned (like extended opening hours or a special themed evening) get in touch with the news editor at your local paper for a bit of valuable clout. Call or email them with a simple summary of what you’ve got planned, along with pictures if you have them, to try and get your event mentioned or written about. Local media is a small business’s best friend, so take advantage of it!

If you want to quickly get your hands on a powerful piece of publicity in these last days before Christmas, we offer a wealth of pre-written sponsored content articles for a wide range of sectors. Written by our journalists and featuring your branding, your article will inform, entertain and build your reputation among your target audience.

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