Although October seems too early to contemplate Christmas, now is the time to brainstorm seasonal marketing campaigns. This once-a-year opportunity to put your business in front of new customers deserves forward planning.

You might want to focus on maximising immediate sales, but the Christmas rush can be a powerful time to gain loyal customers. Invest a little more time now and be rewarded with repeat purchases well into the future.

Depending on your business, you could take marketing in many directions. We’ve shortlisted some suggestions to get the ideas pot bubbling.

 

Reward Existing Customers

In small business, loyal customers are precious and powerful. The future of your business relies on them. So reward them with an exclusive discount or access to a limited edition product. This will confirm why they love your business in the first place and solidify their loyalty.

Create Hampers

Remove the difficulty of decision from Christmas shopping. Hampers continue to be a popular choice because they cover all bases – the recipient is guaranteed to love at least half of the items in the basket! See if you can work your products into a hamper to take the stress of choice away from your customers. If you have a large range, then you could create themed hampers to suit various personalities, activities, or lifestyles.

Suggest Last Minute Gift Ideas

How many people actually finish their Christmas shopping before the 20th December? Not many! Work this into your marketing plan. Offer last-minute gift ideas for quick and easy purchases – and position these at the front of your store, so shoppers can see the display from outside. If you have an online store, list these items on the home page (above the fold) and offer fast shipping – with the pressure on, people will pay for presents to arrive in time.

Run a Competition

It’s an ideal time to engage customers with something fun. Keep it simple and achievable, and offer a prize. You might run a photo contest on social media (create a unique hashtag for customers to use when participating) or the best suggestions to name a new product/service. Get creative and make sure you engage with participants as the competition runs its course to build positive customer relationships.

Decorate Your Store

Customers like feeling good when they walk into a store. Create seasonal ambiance with fairy lights, baubles, or tinsel so customers feel they’re in the right place for their Christmas shopping. Do this for both physical and online stores. A word of caution if you bring music into the mix – carols can fuel stress if the same tunes are playing in every store. Perhaps try an instrumental album or something that inspires calm - then they won't want to leave!

 

Now that you’re armed with initial ideas, we wish you the best with your own brainstorming. May you have a successful end-of-year sales season!