The holiday season is one of the best times of the year for retailers and business owners to drive sales and business profits. The pandemic dampened the holiday shopping spirits last year to a large extent. And while the Omicron threat is looming large, this year, however, retailers and business owners are better prepared to navigate around the situation.
Social commerce grew as did opportunities for expanding online sales channels to customers even during the pandemic. However, this has only highlighted the fact that it has become even more important for retailers and business owners to get strategic about how they manage business sales and profits.
So if you are a retailer or local business owner and you are looking at boosting your Christmas sales in 2021, then consider the following marketing and sales strategies for your business.
Sales and profits go hand-in-hand
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the primary reason for boosting business sales is to ensure business profits go up as well. However, at times in a bid to boost sales, retailers and business owners tend to expand their holiday marketing budgets by focusing excessively only on driving sales.
This is a big mistake for the simple reason that any expansion on your marketing budget, even if it drives up sales, will have a spillover effect on your business profits. And if you are not careful, this could eat up a substantial chunk of your business profits.
To avoid this situation, make sure you carefully account for the budget expansion and craft your sales strategies in a way that they do not massively impact your profits. Remember, sales and profits go hand-in-hand so ensure your marketing and sales promotions align with your profit goals.
Plan your inventory in advance
If you want to boost your Christmas sales, then inventory planning should be an important strategy for your business. With all the promotions and marketing focus, you can expect sales to go up. However, you need to make sure you plan your business inventory – take stock of what you have on hand and how much you will need to carry to meet holiday season sales.
The last thing you want is to see demand go through the roof for an item only to discover you are running low on inventory or worse that you are completely out of stock.
If your inventory forecasting is off the mark, it could lead to an inventory crunch. Also even if you were to place an order for a particular item, you could face delivery issues due to late or last-minute order fulfillment processes.
Alternatively, you could end up overstocking an item that has poor or no demand – not only would you have wasted resources, but you could end up with an item that you might not be able to sell at all.
To prevent such a disaster from happening, forecast your business inventory carefully and well in advance. Make use of an advanced inventory management solution to access comprehensive inventory data for your business and plan accordingly.
Special offers and discounts
A great way to boost Christmas sales is by announcing special offers and discounts on items with high demand. You can also combine multiple items and offer it as a combo-set to customers at special prices. These work on similar lines as the always popular “buy one get one free” option. Combo-sets are usually a hit since they include items that add value to the primary item and offer value for money.
Not only do these options boost your sales, but they can have a positive impact on your business profit margin.
You could also consider planning a “big sales day or a clearing sale.” You can include items that have been a part of your inventory for a while and might not have much resale value any other time of the year.
All of the above options are a great way of boosting sales and boosting business profits. However, keep in mind that these are short-term strategies and work best only when they are carefully planned and implemented.
Is your website optimized to handle holiday seasons sales?
If you run an e-commerce store, then one of the most important considerations for your business is to ensure your website is optimized to handle holiday season sales.
Aspects such as page load speed, accuracy in your products pages and product descriptions, your overall website content, site navigation, your website SEO, and mobile optimization are all critical areas of focus. Can you imagine what would happen if a customer wanted to buy from you but your website suffers from poor load speed or if your product pages are outdated or if your site suffers from broken links? They are going to move to your competitor’s website in a heartbeat!
So make sure you look into all these areas and test them well in advance instead of waiting around till the holiday season is staring you in the face.
You might also want to consider a few other aspects of optimizing your website for Christmas sales. These include the following;
- Ensure your website theme reflects the holiday season by adding Christmas and New Year-themed banners.
- Include products that align with the holiday, in this case, Christmas, and make sure customers can easily find the products they are looking for on your website.
- Make sure your product descriptions are fresh and updated.
- Wherever possible, include gifts to your products line-up.
- Use a timer with special products to heighten buying decisions.
These are just some of the things that you can easily do in preparation for Christmas sales. Every business is different so see what else you can do to make your business offerings unique and attractive to customers.
Spruce up your email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies for businesses that want to boost business sales during the holiday season.
So make sure you plan your email marketing and work on special offers and discounts, themes, and Christmas deals that you can include in customer emails. The goal here is to get them to not only open your emails but also to make a buying decision.
A few things you can do to drive your email marketing campaign for the holiday season in 2021 include the following;
- Offer discounts and special offers to customers who have items in the cart and haven’t made a purchasing decision for a while – this will encourage them to complete their purchases.
- Make sure you send reminders to customers to complete purchases on items they had shown an interest in previously but for some reason, they stopped halfway and did not complete the purchase.
- If you run a loyalty program – then this would be a great time to entice your repeat customers to purchase more by offering special discounts and gift cards or vouchers on their favorite products.
- Get in touch with old or previous customers and offer them a peek into all the new products you have to offer – here again you might want to encourage a buying decision by offering them special discounts and offers.
- Use special themes, customer names, and a casual tone in your emails to personalize your interactions.
Optimize your social media campaign
As mentioned earlier, social commerce saw some big-time games because of the pandemic. Customers using social media sites for shopping saw an uptake – and this is one social trend that is set to grow beyond the holiday season in 2021.
In addition, businesses that used social platforms to connect with customers and to boost their customer service saw substantially improved levels of customer engagement.
The bottom line is that social is great for business – and this is even better news if you want to drive your Christmas sales in 2021. So make sure you have your social marketing strategy planned and in place.
Few social marketing strategies to focus on include the following;
- Make sure social media is integral to your overall marketing and business promotion strategies.
- Identify the social sites most frequented by your customers and place your best social marketing strategies and promotions on these sites.
- Social is all about authentic and creative marketing campaigns – so look at ways in which you can attract customer attention and use them to spruce up your social campaigns. These could include contests, games, use of interesting hashtags, and use of viral content to name a few.
- You can reward participants with discounts and special offers or even with membership plans.
Remember, social marketing is primarily about customer interactions and engagement and less about sales. So whatever you do, make sure you go easy on the marketing and advertising language and approach.
Boosting your Christmas sales will require strategic planning and implementation. Not all marketing strategies will work for every business – so make sure you pick and choose the strategies that align with your business sales and profit goals.
Last but not the least, don’t shy away from getting creative with your marketing. At the end of the day, you know your customers the best and so you know what will work best to attract their attention and get them to make a buying decision.