Posted on: 25 November 2015
The Christmas shopping period is one of the most lucrative times of the year for shop owners, so standing out against the competition is essential. With so many businesses competing for custom, what can you do to stand out?
Get in touch with your loyal customers
60% of UK merchants say that existing customers spend twice as much as new shoppers  so send an early Christmas card or Ecard to your most loyal customers. Be personal and consider offering a discount to leave a lasting impression and to thank them for their business.
Offer a unique deal
Give your customers a reason to buy when they come into your store by offering them a deal they can’t refuse. Now may even be a good time to put a special Christmas offer on social media, your website and on displays in your shop window.
Draw people in from outside
Competition on the high street is fierce around the festive season. Think about your premises and how you can capture the Christmas spirit to entice shoppers. Take your shop into the high street – consider having carol singers or chocolate-tasting outside your shop.
Don’t be shy
Festive shopping season is no time to be shy. As a small business owner, you should take advantage of any opportunities to interact with your customers on a one-to-one basis. Alongside creating conversation with them, it’s the perfect time to change customer perception by offering them a cup of tea and a mince pie whilst they browse.
Make your shop look festive
Your shop and the way it is presented will help you to sell products during the busy shopping season. You will be in tough competition so be sure to think outside of the box and be unique with your displays and decorations.
Consider product grouping in store and changing your displays around regularly to keep your shop looking fresh and exciting. If possible, let your customers see your products working, it’s a great opportunity to connect directly with your customers.
Offer a gift wrapping service or if space allows, set up a ‘Christmas wrapping’ station so customers can wrap their gifts when they purchase them.
Give out freebies
Offer small gifts and freebies to your customers during the Christmas shopping season. This is particularly useful if you sell edible products – taste leaves a great impression.
You could also consider giving away branded items such as pens and mugs to leave a constant reminder of your business throughout the year.
Make an impression online
Salmon global digital commerce consultancy predict that Black Friday 2015 (27th November) will lead to the UK’s first £1bn online shopping day , so it’s important to make sure that all aspects of your online business stand out to consumers.
Make sure that Christmas is a running theme throughout your online platforms including social media. Consider adding any Christmas offers to your website home page, change banners and header images on social media, integrate your products into your posts and make suggestions for family gifts to make Christmas shopping easier for customers.
Keep it up
Visual and online merchandising is not just for Christmas. You should have a good plan for the future and how you will promote yourself throughout the year.
Throughout the year, use social media, email newsletters and ongoing dialogue with your customers to keep up the momentum that your small business deserves.
Take a look at our 2016 retail marketing calendar which can help you to prepare for some of the most important events of the year.
 Repeat Customers are Profitable Customers: A chase paymentech paper
 Salmon global digital commerce consultancy, The Black Friday and peak trading ecommerce operations playbook 2015
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