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8 Last Minute Ideas To Increase Your Christmas Sales

Did you know that afull one-third of Brits leave their Christmas shopping to the final week? We’re a nation of tardy shoppers whose festive buying habits are only getting more last minute. This probably seems a frustrating fact of life when you unwrap a gift from your best friend to find a pair of kitchen tongs and an airline sleeping mask! For local businesses though, it offers an ideal opportunity to seal some sales in the final hours of Christmas trading. Here are eight last-minute tactics to get those extra customers in the nick of time.

1) Try online advertising

Advertising your special offers online right up to Christmas Eve can push more customers your way. Local news websites, online directories and relevant websites are all good places to promote your business. Insert a clear and bold call to action on the advert itself – Buy Now, for instance, or Visit Today. 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) Use Google Ads

If you’re not already using Google Ads, now might be the time to try it out. Google’s advertising service can direct big traffic towards your website by advertising to people searching for words associated with your business. Consider what types of things your business provides that people might be searching for at Christmas (for example, “emergency plumber” or “easy Christmas decorations”) and spend a bit of your money on targeting these phrases with Google Ads.

This article should help you get started using Google Ads.

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.

Competitions, limited-time offers and vouchers can all play well on social media, especially if you sell online. If you don’t, maybe give out a discount code that social media fans can quote when they visit the store.

You could even join local Facebook groups where you can speak directly to your community and promote yourself. Though take care with this – group administrators don’t take kindly to people joining, spamming their business message and leaving!

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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 or radio station. Call or email them with a great story and simple summary, along with pictures if you have them, to try and get your event mentioned or written about.Advertising on local media is known to drive big sales, so take advantage of it!

These are just a few ideas that might 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 2019.

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