The festive season is synonymous with an increase in shopping behaviour and the best way to leverage on all the activity is to be prepared. Even with specials and promotions from other businesses creating tough competition, you can give your business an edge with early preparation. Below we share tips to help you get the most out of the festive season peak.
- Strategise early
- Planning your product offering
- Marketing and promotion
- Securing enough capital
- Leveraging omnichannel customer experiences
The festive season is filled up with many public holidays. From as early as Black Friday, the opportunity for high sales volumes begins. To add to this many retailers start their Christmas promotions from late October into early November.
It’s vital that you factor these, and other seasonal occurrences, into your plan so that you aren’t caught out. The earlier you do this the more time you have to develop specific actions and align your resources to ensure you take full advantage of the opportunities that will inevitably arise.
Planning your product offering
Just because it is a busy shopping time of the year it doesn’t mean that all your products or services will be a hit. Thorough research of your audiences’ requirements, challenges, and price points is required to understand the products you should prioritise at this particular time of year. Don’t forget to use the learnings from previous years to help plan your product range.
Marketing and promotion
Once you’ve established your plan of action and agreed on the products or services you’ll be focusing on, you can start your marketing and promotional activities. Create enticing offers (not necessarily always discounts) for your customers as often as possible. During the festive season, consumer attention is contested for by many businesses so you want to ensure that you stay top of mind.
Choose a mix of marketing channels that best suits your audience and reach out to them in the best way possible. Consider which of the following work best and get creative:
- Social media,
- Search Engine Marketing tactics, as well as
- Traditional offline advertising eg: radio/television, newspapers, and direct mail.
Securing enough capital
During the festive season, you may need to have more funds readily available to increase inventory, hire more staff or set up promotions and holiday displays. If you don’t have sufficient cash on hand to give the season your best shot, talk to a trusted lender about securing a line of credit or short-term business loan. Lulalend, for instance, offers access to working capital with quick turnaround times, flexible repayment terms, and no collateral.
Leveraging Omnichannel customer experiences
If you can’t beat them, join them! That’s truly the long and short of digital retail trends. Omnichannel retailing only increases during the festive season. This is driven by people wanting to avoid long queues, needing to receive items at short notice, or even having to adapt when load-shedding strikes.
With these factors in mind, having an integrated approach that offers a seamless shopping experience for consumers regardless of whether they are shopping from a desktop, mobile device or physical store is a great advantage. For example, customers might buy online and want to collect in-store later that same day rather than wait 2-3 days for home delivery. You ideally want to have a solution that can cater for all of these moving parts.
The festive season can be a stressful time for a small business, especially with pandemic-related issues still lurking, and load-shedding slowing productivity down. But with enough planning and preparation, you can make it a truly profitable period for your business.