Getting ready for Christmas can be a little scary for small business owners, so we are here to help guide you through. Here are our top tips, which we will also have on our instagram in video format from the 1st December, so you can meet some of the team because who doesn’t want to spread the festive cheer this holiday season? No bah humbugs here.
Twelve tips for success
Tip 1: Prepare your warehouse
Get your peak-season inventory ordered or organised. Making sure your Christmas stock is front and centre of your warehouse can help your team navigate through the festive season. Take a look at our CEO’s tip for barcoding your products and organising your warehouse here. For an average retailer, 3-4% of orders are mispicks due to normal human error. Barcoding your products eliminates this factor, leading to happier customers.
Tip 2: Spruce up your product photography
Consider using wintery props and festive backgrounds. 90% of online buyers say that photo quality is the most important factor in an online sale – Make sure you capitalise on this! Your product pack shots should tell the story of your brand and be a reflection of your brand image.
Tip 3: Increase your website capacity
Christmas is an incredibly busy season, therefore making sure your website can manage the increased influx of customers is vital. This could mean potentially expanding your bandwidth over the Christmas period. Helping customers meet their expectations around this time stands you in good stead for the future of their purchases! Become a destination store for your customers.
Tip 4: Spend time on packaging
Christmas packaging! The festive season is all about presents — and how those presents are presented can be a deciding factor on if they are purchased. Spend time creating a ‘gifting’ option for customers. Decide how you want to package online orders or wrap in-store sales. For example, you could consider including a Christmas-themed single sticker with every order or wrapping your box with customised tape.
Tip 5: Get your reviews in order
Are yours up to scratch? If not, consider targeting previous buyers and ask for reviews to be made before the Christmas rush. We all want to purchase from a seller with good ratings as recommendations and reviews are high on priority when searching for products. Customer service is mentioned in 42% of all positive reviews, and it’s no surprise that it’s an important part of the process for consumers.
Tip 6: Create gift guides
You could provide categories to help customers choose the right products. For example, you could create categories for “Gifts for Teens,” “Gifts Under $100,” and so on. Giving inspiration is a great way to gain those buyers that are not sure where to start with shopping for family and friends. Giving a helping hand also puts you in good stead for future purchases.
Tip 7: Remember delivery time matters
Make sure your delivery options are shown & arrival dates are provided. Nobody wants their presents to be late! This could in turn mean your support team having more problems than you can deal with, so ensure maximum transparency for delivery. Perhaps even have your final shipping dates on the front of your website or sent out via email so everyone is made aware. Here are a couple of the major shipping carriers deadline dates for you:
UK Final Christmas Posting Dates:
Tip 8: Promote exclusive deals
For example,giving early shopping access or an extra discount for email subscribers and social media followers. This provides customers a feel of being appreciated and the excitement of getting first access or extra discount will help with customer retention. Also to note social media sharing is key for spreading your brand – many share their gifts on social media, keep an eye out for your products!
Tip 9: Upselling!
Now is the time to gain those extra sales. Do you have products that are part of a matching set or from the same range? Present them together and get your bundles ready to be sold this Christmas. With added traffic over Christmas, now could be the ideal time to give it a try.
Tip 10: Offer free shipping
Have you thought about offering free shipping? Our studies show that customers much prefer free shipping than discounts. 47% of online shoppers don’t want to pay for shipping – Make sure you don’t miss out on those seasonal sales.
Tip 11: Drive sales through emails
Who doesn’t love to see promotions in their inbox? Especially before Christmas. One-third of shoppers report holiday weekend purchases were driven by promotions. To grab the attention of readers, make sure you capture your call to action (CTA). Tease what is to come in the emails, the first sentence needs to draw focus to the promotion. Your design concept needs to match the content – Encapsulate the focus to the discount by adding a christmas border / tinsel type designs on the page. Point the readers in the right direction, literally! Add arrows to draw the eye to a button to your website and then let your products do the talking.
Tip 12: Plan for post-Christmas now
Don’t underestimate the potential of sales after the 25th – be prepared for sales after Christmas day with more people buying for themselves once the big day is over. Continue marketing to your audience and making sure they continue to shop with you through the New Year. Emails sent on December 27 achieved the highest average conversion rate, closely followed by emails sent on January 1. Take advantage of our previously made content for Black Friday to help you forecast for Christmas found on our blog post here.
One final note, on the days running up to the Christmas rush, do what you can to encourage customers to leave their contact details or email along with opting in, so you can reach out to them again in the future. You could even show your customers that you value their loyalty by sending out Christmas cards via email!
All I want for Christmas is… a system to fulfil my orders, help ship my products and organise my inventory – We got you. Looks like this year Christmas has come early, find more about how Veeqo can help you here.