Have you spotted your first Christmas items in the supermarkets yet? Maybe some decorations or an artificial tree peeping out next to the Halloween treats? Like it or not, they’re going to be increasingly unavoidable over the next few weeks as the country’s biggest shopping spree looms ever nearer on the horizon.
But before we all complain that ‘Christmas is getting earlier and earlier’, there’s a very good reason why large retailers start preparing for the ‘C’ word so early. With the holiday period counting for as much as 40%-50% of annual sales, it’s the ideal opportunity for shops to maximise revenue and boost profits.
How will the uncertainty of the pandemic affect seasonal planning? No-one really knows. Social distancing measures could hinder high street retailers, but boost online sales. There is also no telling how confident consumers are going to feel this year. Will people feel comfortable hunting down the best deals on the high street? Or will they prefer the convenience of online shopping?
The only certainty we have is that Christmas Day will come on December 25th. So how can online retailers best prepare for a Christmas of joy and plenty? Take a look at our top tips below.
Start your preparations early
Some of your customers have probably already started shopping for Christmas, and online demand usually starts skyrocketing in October. Do you have enough staff to cope with the rising demand? Processing orders and returns can place a big burden on your workforce and it can leave customers unhappy if this isn’t done in a timely manner. Now is a great time to start recruiting temporary seasonal staff to help you cope with the Christmas rush.
Get a clear marketing strategy
At this stage, you probably already know what products you’re going to sell over the festive period. What you need next is a clear strategy to let people know what you are selling.
There are all kinds of different marketing tools at your disposal for the festive period, from social media and email marketing, to good old-fashioned direct mail. Whatever you choose, just make sure you have a good offer to make people visit your site – and the products to make sure they don’t leave empty handed.
Nail key demand days
The Christmas shopping period is not the same from start to finish. Did you know, for example, that most shoppers generally buy gifts for others first and then tend to buy gifts for themselves closer to Christmas Day? There are also some key shopping dates in the lead up to Christmas.
Black Friday (27 November 2020) has become a key shopping event in recent years, and you can also profit from the traditional last-minute shopping rush – just make sure you can get gifts delivered on time.
Another date for your diary is so-called ‘Cyber Monday’ – the first Monday after Back Friday – which is when a lot of the big online retailers roll-out special offers and discounts for deal-hungry shoppers.
Help customers spread the cost of Christmas
With so much uncertainty around Christmas 2020, anything you can do to make things a little easier for your customers is going to be appreciated.
Adding DivideBuy’s interest-free credit facility to your website will allow customers to spread the cost of Christmas over a period of between 2 to 12 months. It’s quick and easy to integrate into your website – you could be up and running in just a few days – and it give your customers a new way to pay for their purchases.
There’s no interest or other costs to pay and they can choose a payment schedule to suit their budget, helping to manage their finances at what is often an expensive time of year.
Not only can this help increase revenue and average basket values, but it is also a great way to set your shop apart from other online retailers.
For more information about how interest-free credit options could work with your website, contact our specialist team today. We’re specialists in point-of-sale finance that helps your customers spread the cost of their purchases – and gives them another reason to come back to your website.