As the song says, ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’! But what does the magic of Christmas mean for your business? For many, the pressure to profit is high – but don’t forget to reward customer loyalty to encourage those repeat sales in January and beyond.
Create excitement and anticipation
It’s not just five-year-olds who start thinking about Christmas in August – lots of businesses and savvy shoppers do, too. If your industry is particularly seasonal, then it’s worth building anticipation with a long tickler campaign. Email newsletters are great for this, and not just for e-commerce stores. Hampshire is full of festive activities, so bricks-and-mortar businesses can tie in with a local event or celebration, too. Advent calendars, revealing a new offer or quirky gift each day, are another great teaser.
Give existing customers a gift
‘Tis the season, after all. But around Christmas, many businesses are focussed on attracting new customers to boost sales. Loyal customers can see all these offers for new subscribers as a negative if they’re unable to take advantage of the same deals. Mailing out exclusive deals to newsletter subscribers or giving them early access to a sale, new product line or other offer on your e-commerce site will help reward and encourage loyalty.
There’s an odd twist to human psychology: we’re more likely to finish something if we think we’ve already started. In marketing circles, this is known as ‘endowed progress’ and the most common example is coffee shop gift cards: ones that say ‘buy 9 get one free’ are less likely to be filled and redeemed than ones that say ‘buy 12 get one free’ but have the first 3 slots filled in as a ‘gift’ or ‘head start’. Use this strategy to encourage loyalty by offering new and existing customers something you’ve ‘started’ for them already, such as bonus reward points or an Advent calendar with the first days open.
Show your generosity
Christmas is known as the season of giving, so it’s a great time to emphasize what your company puts back into the community. While customers may see through a sudden and artificial emphasis on philanthropy, if you’ve been supporting a charity all year, then December is a good time to mention it, and perhaps increase your support with special products or offers that benefit the charity, too.
Get in to the Christmas spirit and invite customers to join in
Even an e-commerce site can put up some virtual tinsel, add a bit of holly to their logo or write a letter to Santa on their blog. Bricks-and-mortar businesses have an additional advantage as they can give out treats like mince pies. That said, there’s no reason you can’t host an open day – if you’re an e-commerce store based in Hampshire, for example, why not have a ‘meet the team’ Christmas party and let local customers pick up their parcels in person, say hello and have a mince pie on you?
If you are based in Portsmouth, Hampshire or surrounding areas and would like to discuss how to manage your e-commerce or digital marketing for your small-to-medium business, view our portfolio or make contact with our web design and digital marketing team. We really like to talk.