Written by Matt Warren
24th November 2014 • 6 min read
Rather than whizzing you through all the latest ways to cash in on a Christmas, we’re reviving some classics. And just like those Christmas hits that will soon be playing in stores across the country, these classics return year after year. They’re solid, tried and tested ways to increase sales over Christmas. So embrace these classics now and you may find you’re rolling them out next year too.
Create a sense of urgency
The old ‘delivered by Christmas’ strategy is still a good one. It can be particularly meaningful if your service has a lag time of a couple of weeks or more, as it will reassure potential customers they’ll have their order when they most want it.
To really capitalise on this you need a two pronged approach: reassure customers you can deliver by Christmas while giving them an order by deadline. For example, if you run an upholstery service you could say, ‘Your sofa ready for Christmas. Hurry, you must order before 10th Dec’. This urgency may just clinch it for any customers still weighing up their options.
You can also add a sense of urgency by drawing your customers’ attention to the days left until Christmas day. This doesn’t have to be as obvious as a countdown clock, but could just be chatting about the last day of work on social media, or offering special promotions for the last Saturday before Christmas. As it gets really close to Christmas day, you can add urgency to your shipping options. For example, on the 23rd December you could add a banner to your site declaring that it’s the last day for delivery by Christmas.
Discount your delivery
From November, introduce a special delivery rate to entice those early shoppers. If you don’t currently offer free shipping, then replace your cheapest shipping option with free shipping. You could then move all of your other shipping options down a grade , for example turn your £2.99 shipping to free shipping and your £4.99 shipping to £2.99. This will create an even greater sense of value and may close a sale if fast, rather than free, delivery is the customer’s priority.
If you already offer free shipping, then extend this to one of your other services. So instead of just shouting about free 2-5 working days shipping, promote a free next day delivery service, for example.
Again, it’s all about adding a sense of value. Even if you’re only saving the customer a couple of pounds, free next day delivery can be a real enticement.
Make sure to strategically signpost your free shipping promotion. As well as displaying it prominently on the homepage, include it on product pages and seed it throughout the checkout process. If you have a loyal customer base then make sure your free shipping deal is mentioned in your direct marketing and social media, or else existing customers might not realise improved delivery rates have been introduced.
Ramp up your packaging
A gift wrap service may sound cheesy, but done right, it can really work. The key is to add a sense of occasion and exclusivity. Think less wrapping paper and more gold boxes with soft scented tissue paper.
You need to be offering something your customer can’t easily do themselves. While some gifts are ideal for packaging, such as jewellery, scarves and underwear, a luxurious box can easily be used for larger items like coats and shoes. For oversized or awkward items, extend your packaging design to include quality paper bags and tie all of your packaging up with ribbon. Not only will you save your customer time, but they’re likely to be persuaded by the decadent finish you’ll be adding to their gift.
If this sounds like too much expense and hassle for a Christmas promotion, calculate your profit margins. If the customer feels that you’re adding value to the gift they’ve purchased, they may buy more. Or they might remember your quality service and come back to buy again after Christmas. This may make the cost of a bulk order of boxes, ribbon and tissue paper well worth it.
Upsell with samples
Following on from special Christmas packaging comes Christmas samples. This doesn’t mean they’re Christmas-themed as such, just planned and ordered, ready to be given to your increased Christmas customer base. If you’re a beauty brand, for example, it could be as simple as throwing some sample products in with the gift box. Or it could be a ‘get product A with every purchase of product B’, type promotion.
The main aim is to introduce new customers to your brand and offering, and existing customers to items they might not otherwise have tried. As it’s Christmas, the bigger you can afford to go with your samples, the better – your customers will appreciate the seasonal treat when they’re spending so much on presents. This could mean instead of a sample size, you give away an actual item. Or you could create beautiful sample sets that are a gift in themselves.
Spoil your customers with extra packaging, samples and discounted delivery over Christmas and you may well see them again come January.
Written by Matt Warren
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