Despite enjoying some glorious sunshine over the past week, it seems another Autumn is on the horizon as we enter October. For retailers, this can only mean one thing – Christmas is well and truly on its way. One Harvester was reported to have put its decorations up as early as July!
You might not want to be purchasing gifts for your dearest work colleagues just yet, but with Christmas being the busiest and most important time of the year for retailers – it’s never too early for retailers to start planning for the forthcoming festive season. Being prepared and identifying a strategy for the forthcoming period is critical, and can make or break a successful year for retailers.
Here are some tips to keep you ahead of your competitors:
Not offering the right choice of payment methods
If your business accepts debit and credit cards, you are giving your client base more choice, and by offering an online payment facility, the opportunity to pay by text or via a contactless card terminal this all contributes to providing a better service to your customers. It is imperative you give customers what they want, and a recent report showed 84% now opt to pay by card where possible! With cheques gradually being phased out, customers generally carry less cash than ever before, so accepting card payments is becoming a necessity not a luxury.
Not keeping an eye on competitor’s prices
It wouldn’t be Christmas without aggressive price battle between companies looking to grab your cutom. Last year it was almost impossible to miss the attention Black Friday drew with customers coming to fisticuffs in an attempt to grab a bargain.
The introduction of Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw huge retailers such as Amazon and Apple offering the best deals to its customers. If you opt to go down a route of price reductions to entice customers in to your store, don’t be tempted to go too low as you will be losing unnecessary profit, too high and you will lose customers, it’s a fine margin. There are also many price checking apps available, so look at the possibility of registering with them to get your company as much visibility as you can.
Cutting back on publicity during Christmas
Make your presence seen in the run up to Christmas so customers are aware of your business and products. Social media has become an essential part of how consumers choose what products to buy and where. Reviews on social media pages such as twitter and Facebook can influence up to 79% of consumers, so make sure you are there to interact with potential buyers. Twitter can become an invaluable tool for your customer service. Use Facebook as a platform for publicising discounts and offers and sites such as Pinterest for showing off your products and inspiring prospective shoppers.
Keep It Simple
Marketing Christmas can be done tastefully, or it can be done tactlessly. The entire point of “Christmas Marketing” is to broadcast the Christmas Spirit while explaining what your business has to offer. It is also imperative to make sure you Dress Your Shop for the Occasion. The extra labour and cost will be quickly offset by the increased traffic and sales. Keep it classy and professional. Provide customers with a reason to come and “experience” the holidays with your business.
If you need to accept card payments within your business and currently don’t, please contact a WTS representative on 0845 459 9984. WTS offer an all in package, and have a solution tailor made for customers looking for a temporary solution for Christmas 2015′