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Getting your business ready for the Christmas Season during Covid19

Red Poster in business window saying "Come in we're open"

The impact of Covid19 has been huge on all business this year. We know it's going to have an effect on Christmas. There's bound to be last minute changes from the government. So how can you as a business owner, prepare your marketing and events for the best return?

Whilst we are currently in the midst of a lockdown, there are things you can be putting in place for opening on the 2nd December.

Sales

For businesses that can afford to do so, this Black Friday (27th November) you can choose to offer discounts on products. Or even better offer them on subscription products.

You should be gearing everything towards building customer loyalty. Choose items that will increase their lifetime spend with you, rather than a one off purchase.

If you do choose to offer discounts on “one off buys” now is a great time to really get into targeted marketing. Follow the purchase up with an email saying thank you. Make sure the email includes related products you think they may be interested in, or a further discount on linked products.

Supporting Small Business

For smaller businesses this year, you can join in with Small Business Saturday, something we personally LOVE.
This is held the weekend after Black Friday, on the 5th December. Supported by American Express and in its eighth year in the UK.

Last year an estimated £800m was spent in small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday. With a record turnout of 17.6 million people choosing to shop small on the day.

People are encouraged to spend local, supporting small businesses in their area. Some businesses offer discounts, but you don’t have to – this is about support for businesses in the local community.

Preparing Physical Shops

The usual rush of Boxing Day Sales is going to need a rethink! This year the focus will be on making customers feel safe.

Ensure you have clear signage to create one way systems and posters to remind customer to wear face masks and social distance. Think about how you will limit numbers in your shop.

But wait, if you limit numbers, how will everyone get their shopping done?

Many clients we work with will be extending their hours during December to make it easier for their customers. Large window stickers are perfect for advertising new opening hours, they’re also easily removable.

If you will require a queuing system then floor stickers or tape is the best way to encourage social distancing. Long lasting, but easy to take up when you are finished with them. (Pop us an email if you need help with this)


What will be important to your customers this year

Well, lets be honest, it’s going to depend on what is, and isn’t allowed.

For some people the focus is going to be on spending time with family they may not have seen for months, due to lockdown or shielding. For others they’ll be continuing to shield. Working on your digital presence and helping them enjoy time virtually with family is going to be important.

Gifts are likely to be more thoughtful and many people are focused on small businesses. There has been a backlash against bigger businesses who were not responsive to the pandemic.  

With many people losing jobs and living on reduced incomes they may appreciates sales pre Christmas. However if you sell Business to Business beware. Many companies are still struggling with bringing staff back from furlough. Without the confidence of knowing what January will bring, they may be reluctant to make big purchases. Hitting them with big sales tactics may be less important than taking time to talk to them. Discuss how you could be helping and collaborating to ensure you both have a better year next year.

Ensure your Digital presence is perfect

Ecommerce websites hit their highest ever traffic over the summer. Ensure your website can cope, your products are ready to send and your packaging is good to go (see more on packaging here).

Think about what you can offer online.

We’ve worked on a project with a local bar, putting together wine tasting packages to be sent out, with the group tasting held virtually. As well as an event for a cook-a-long dinner – with all ingredients supplied.

Keeping your clients up to date via social media is so important. Whether you have new products, different opening hours or sales – social media is where they’re likely to find out about it first. It’s also where they’re likely to complain or congratulate you. So make sure any staff looking after the accounts are well briefed on how to interact with customers.

Supporting Local.

One ‘benefit’ of Covid19 has been the huge increase in community spirit. Local and small businesses have worked hard to diversify, open extra hours and help those in need. YouGov statistics show that as a result of coronavirus, 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products. With women being even more likely to shop within their community (70%). 

Use window graphics, posters, flags, and leaflet campaigns to let your community know you are open for business. We’ve see an increase in the ROI for leaflet drops during lockdown. We believe this is due to people being at home more, being more likely to read physical mail due to screen fatigue and being more open to shopping locally. (You can read more about it here)

We mentioned targeted marketing earlier. Tying into this is a return to loyalty cards or points systems – used well by many coffee shop chains. They boost brand loyalty – great for you, and they reduce costs for customers – great for them!

One of our best marketing campaigns is always our Personalised Christmas Cards. These are sent out to all clients to say thank you, they often contain a discount for the new year too.

We know this Christmas Season is going to be different, but being prepared now will get your business in the best place to manage it. Keep your customers and staff safe, your online presence updated and if you have a physical shop – make sure it shouts “OPEN”

 

Images of the City Team