For many, Christmas is definitely the most joyous holiday of the western world.
The annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ is a widely observed [and commercialized] holiday, celebrated on December 25th by billions of people around the world. Leading up to the holiday, consumers will undoubtedly be in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones and small businesses across the nation will experience increased traffic – on and offline.
Between November 1, 2011 and December 26, 2011, Consumers spent $35.3 billion online, according to market research organization ComScore. Last year, consumer retail spending rose 4.7% during December 1st and December 24th in comparison to the prior year, according to ShopperTrak research. Not to mention that Consumer Confidence rose to 64.5 in December 2011, which is 10 points higher than November’s consumer confidence level according to the Conference Board.
Small businesses can meet consumer needs and demand while reaping the benefits of increased sales this holiday season. Many will also look to usher in the holiday spirit and spread “good tidings and cheer.”
If your small business plans to do both this holiday shopping season, here are four simple ways to get started:
1. Create Christmas Promotional Material
Invest in Christmas promotional material for your small business. This can include, Gift cards, Christmas calendars, Christmas newsletters, etc. Anything your company generally uses as promotional material can now be promoted with a Christmas-centric approach.
Many consumers expect businesses to promote festive communications during the holiday season. It’s also a great way to give back, raise brand awareness, and inject a healthy dose of Christmas spirit into your business.
2. Test and Measure Christmas Advertising
Generally, advertising can be an effective tool for every small business — especially before and during the holiday shopping season.
Therefore, consider how to properly leverage seasonal advertising opportunities. Depending on your current marketing strategy you may invest in local TV or radio ads if you’re looking to drive retail foot traffic to your store. But don’t discount the effectiveness of online advertising, and social media efforts that if done properly can create a viral effect.
Aside from these mediums, local newspaper advertising may be an option if it aligns with your demographic audience’s media consumption. Test and measure advertising efforts this holiday season to determine which efforts produce the best ROI.
3. Launch Christmas Sales and Discounts
If your small business is looking to increase sales during the holiday season look to market some attractive discounts and sales.
Depending on your sales strategies, it may be advantageous to give loyal customers discount coupons, organize customer surveys and reward respondents with freebies. Many small businesses will look to spread Christmas cheer this season by wearing Santa Claus hats, decking their halls with Christmas decorations and providing small gifts for patrons.
These types of activities can draw the foot traffic of admiring consumers into your store — indirectly impacting sales.
4. Give Employee’s Christmas Gifts
Don’t forget to celebrate your employees this holiday season. Acknowledge your team’s efforts in various ways – which can include gifts, monetary rewards, recognition, holiday parties, etc.
Tim Brown has been working in the customer relationship management industry for several years. Tim is also a regular blogger at Customgear.com.au and an active contributor in entrepreneur forums. Tim holds a BA in Marketing.