Christmastime is here. (Cue Charlie Brown music.)
Or at least, it will be here - it comes once a year, after all.
While Christmas is a time of happiness and cheer, it’s also a time of pressure for businesses.
Many businesses rely heavily on the holidays to bring in a large chunk of their annual revenue. For example, holidays can account for 40% annual revenue for retailers.
But what if your Black Friday ends up being a bust?
Or even if it was fairly successful, you may still have overstocked inventory - and legitimate concerns that in the current economic climate, people won’t spend much this Christmas season.
With all that in mind, Christmas becomes your last shot to increase sales and keep your business profits as high as possible as you move into the next year.
After all, you need to drive sales and clear out inventory.
So here are 23 ideas on how to increase sales during the Christmas season.
Christmas is a wonderful excuse to run promotions.
It’s by far the longest holiday season of the year - basically consuming the entire month of December.
This makes it ripe for running sporadic, time-sensitive promotions that communicate scarcity and inspire purchases.
For example, you can communicate to your customers that you’ll be running periodic 1-day sales throughout the month of December.
Then blast out an SMS and email whenever those sales go live.
People expect to see promotions and sales during the Christmas season, so this won’t seem unusual to your audience. And many of them will be in a shopping mood as they think about what to purchase for their family and friends.
While obviously not a good long-term marketing strategy, this can help you get a few extra sales as you wrap up the year (...no pun intended!).
SMS is a much neglected medium for marketing.
With reported read rates as high as 98%, texting is an underutilized tool to reach people where they’re actually looking: their phones.
Why not use this powerful communication tool to connect with your customers in regards to your Christmas promotions?
Blast out a text and you’ll be amazed at how many people engage with the offer or CTA within your message.
For the most user-friendly experience with sending out SMS, use an SMS platform like Mobile Text Alerts.
Don’t forget about good ol’ email!
Although not as effective as SMS, email is still a trusty and important tool.
You already have an email list. So make sure to think of ways you can take full advantage of that email list to get more people to purchase from you.
Can you send discounts? Can you offer some content that will be useful to your audience?
You have around 4 weeks of Christmas season to send emails to your list. Make sure you’re using that time to the fullest extent.
Maybe you already have a robust social media strategy.
Or maybe not.
But even if you don’t do much with social media currently, it doesn’t hurt to just take a few minutes out of your day to post something.
And once you post it in one platform, you may as well post it in all of them.
So go ahead and post on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram - even SnapChat and TikTok if it makes sense for your audience.
(You can even use posting services that will do this for you. If you're worried about managing multiple platforms, one interesting tool you could use is a TikTok or Instagram downloader to repurpose your content effortlessly.)
Posting organically may not do much to move the needle… But maybe it will!
You’ll never know which social media platforms will be effective until you try.
Shoppers are more willing to spend money at Christmastime.
So you have an opportunity to not only close a sale, but also to ask for another sale.
Is your customer purchasing a new smartphone from you? Ask them if they want the paid warranty.
Are they purchasing a new pair of leggings? Ask them if they want the matching top.
It typically doesn’t hurt to just ask.
Many will say, “No, thank you.”
But some will appreciate the suggestion - and will say, “Yes!”
People love video.
By some reports, a whopping 94.3%-97.8% of internet users aged 12-34 are “digital video viewers” in the US.
And even among other demographics, the numbers are still high:
So go ahead and throw a few Christmas videos together.
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy - in fact, a simple live video will likely get more views on platforms like Facebook.
Just put out something that your audience will enjoy and be interested in.
The use of an online video editor tool can make the process easier and more accessible for anyone, regardless of their video editing expertise. With a tool like that, you can edit and enhance your videos with various effects, transitions, captions, and more.
Consider creating engaging and visually appealing Christmas videos that capture the holiday spirit, whether it's showcasing festive decorations, sharing heartwarming moments, or promoting special offers and discounts. By taking advantage of the popularity of online video content and using an online video maker tool, you can effectively reach a wide range of viewers and make a memorable impact.
Related to the previous point - Write or film Christmas-themed content that your audience will find valuable and interesting.
Make sure your content is audience-centric. Talk about what will help them, not all about you and your business.
Research and write or record something you’re knowledgeable about - something that’s actually helpful.
If you’re a clothing retailer, maybe you could write a blog post about seasonal fashion trends.
If you’re a jewelry retailer, maybe you could film a video about what accessories go with Christmas colors.
If you’re a company that sells an online marketing tool, maybe you could write a blog post about marketing tips on how to increase sales during Christmas. (Sounds familiar…)
Writing this type of content can be good for a number of reasons:
Per that last point, once you create this kind of content, you have something valuable to share with your email list, on social media, or anywhere else.
Christmas is an excellent time to sweeten the deal of your offer by throwing in some added perks.
The type of perk you offer will vary depending on what type of business you have and what you’re willing to give away.
Maybe it’s free shipping.
Maybe it’s a free 1-on-1 consultation with a specialist from your team.
Maybe it’s a free $5 item.
Since Christmas is obviously seasonal, your customers won’t come to expect this added bonus all the time. But it could help give them an extra incentive to follow through on a purchase before the deal expires.
And if that gets just a few more purchases, it’s worth it.
Emotions and Christmas go hand in hand.
Sentimentality, nostalgia, joy…
And we know that many people’s shopping decisions are largely influenced by emotion.
So you can harness that influence and speak to those emotions in your Christmas marketing.
Appeal to those warm and fuzzies! People like to connect emotionally. (Especially at Christmas!)
And when they do connect emotionally, they’ll be more likely to follow through and purchase from you.
How does this actually look, practically?
It could mean connecting with memories of your customer’s childhood. Or bringing up Christmas songs, traditions, and film references. (Whatever your audience can relate to.)
You’ll get the best results when you tailor your messaging according to specific segments within your broader list.
That’s because people respond better to messages that are more relevant and targeted.
Whenever possible, segment your customer list and create messaging that speaks as specifically to your audience as possible.
Did they abandon their cart? Acknowledge their abandoned cart and ask how you could help.
Are they 18-24 year old females who have purchased makeup in the past 12 months? Show them the new makeup line for young adults.
Are they 40-something mothers wanting a carseat for their new baby? Mention your holiday carseat sale.
Take advantage of anything you know about your audience and speak to their situation.
You need to know everything you can about your customer.
You need to know what drives them. What motivates them. What bothers them. What they need. What they want.
Once you know all of their in’s and out’s, you can create messaging that really resonates with them this Christmas season.
You don’t want to just make assumptions about what your customer is thinking and feeling - and the good news is you don’t have to make assumptions.
You can discover who your customers are, what they think and feel, through surveys and interviews and sales demos and support interactions.
You can even use tactics like review mining: going through reviews of your product or related products to see what people say about themselves and their state of mind.
Discover all that you can, and in many cases you can use your customers’ or prospective customers’ exact language to speak to them.
As much as we hate to admit it, your customers don’t really care about your business.
They are interested in how your business can benefit them.
So with that in mind, give them the info they’re wanting.
In other words… when going about your Christmas marketing, don’t blab on about yourself and your business and your product.
Make it all about them.
One simple trick to this is to start sentences with “you” whenever possible.
So instead of, “We offer [product 1], [product 2], and [product 3] for the low price of [dollar amount],” you can change it to, “You can get [product 1], [product 2], and [product 3] for the low price of [dollar amount].”
Generally speaking, don’t talk about yourself except in light of how you’ll be a benefit to them, keeping the focus always on them.
The more specific your messaging can be, the better it will connect with people (typically).
For example, instead of saying, “Getting started with this product is easy”...
…you could instead say something like, “Getting started with this product takes 10 quick minutes and 3 easy steps.”
While it’s true that in some cases, more specific messaging may alienate some people within your audience, the sacrifice is worth it.
Because your specific messaging will resonate better overall than generic messaging that doesn’t really say anything.
So use messaging that speaks specifically to one primary audience you’re trying to reach.
Because then you’ll be much more likely to convert that smaller audience… And you’ll probably find that you won’t miss out on the rest of your audience either!
Your customers aren’t all in the same place in your conversion funnel.
Some have barely heard of you - perhaps they stumbled upon your business as they were looking around from place to place while going about their Christmas shopping.
Some are casual browsers - perhaps they don’t have any particular intent; they’re just looking around for fun.
Some are comparing between you and competitors - perhaps they have a specific product in mind and are trying to find the best place to purchase that product.
Some are highly intent on purchasing - they know what they want, and they know that they want it from you.
How you present yourself to each of these different types of prospective buyers will be different.
Those who have barely heard of you will be the hardest to convince. They’ll need education and persuasion.
Those with high intent usually don’t need much convincing. They just need clear next steps with as little friction as possible, and they need assurances that ease any lingering doubts they hold onto.
Whenever you can, know your audience’s stage of awareness and keep it in mind when creating your content. That way, you’ll have the most effective messaging possible.
Just like people love videos, they also are drawn to graphics and GIFs.
Christmas gives you an opportunity to glean from a treasure trove of holiday-related visuals.
Some specific examples…
People will relate to these kinds of visuals, so they’ll be drawn to your brand and drawn to your product.
So use visuals like these as you try to increase sales during the Christmas season. That way, you can connect with as many people as possible.
Your call-to-action (CTA) and button copy is vital.
As much as possible, your CTAs/buttons should speak to what your audience really wants. In general, it should let them know what they’re getting rather than what they’re doing.
Above anything, your CTA and button copy should not imply work and should (try to) avoid implying losing money.
That means a CTA like “Buy Now” is too much friction, unless your user is in a very high intent stage of awareness (i.e. they’re ready to purchase right now). Even in a “high intent” situation, it may be better to say something along the lines of, “Get [Product Name] Now.”
You can also use “trigger copy” directly below your CTA buttons to help clarify what’s going to happen, or to alleviate anxieties.
The trigger copy could let the user know that there’s a 30-day money back guarantee, for example. Or that their credit card won’t be processed yet.
If your business doesn’t currently offer seasonal Christmas products, consider adding some.
Seasonal products are a marketing strategy in and of themselves and can really pay off in the long run. They can become items customers look forward to, and these items have a built-in scarcity that gets people to purchase them.
For example, you know the PSL craze?
PSL stands for “pumpkin spice latte.” And it’s an incredibly popular fall time seasonal item. So popular that Starbucks has sold more than 600 million of these tasty coffee drinks.
Consumers love these PSLs and look forward to them every fall. So when they’re re-released each year, it’s an event everyone actually anticipates.
Though it would be difficult to create a product as popular as the PSL, retailers can add similar seasonal Christmas products to their inventory to see if customers connect with them.
And hopefully, customers will keep coming back for more of the same in the future.
Business can ramp up a lot during holidays.
Ramped-up business means more to do!
But how can you focus on your sales efforts when there are a million things going on and everyone on your team is being pulled in a million different directions?
One way to get more done, even when things get busier in the Christmas hustle, is to automate as many processes as you can.
You can automate processes in support, accounting, sales, marketing, and any other facet of your business.
And freeing up your time through automation means you can focus your efforts on actually increasing sales.
We mentioned this briefly in a previous point, but it bears repeating.
Thanks to Amazon Prime, consumers are no longer used to paying shipping fees.
While that may work for Amazon, perhaps your business can’t afford free shipping all year round.
Christmas is a good time to consider offering temporary free shipping. You can even use it as an upsell tactic by qualifying it with a minimum dollar amount (i.e. “free shipping on orders of $35 or more!”).
This tactic can even lend itself to an effective CTA during checkout: “You’re only $12.31 away from FREE shipping. Check out items worth $15 or less here: [link].”
So if you don’t already offer free shipping, give it a go this Christmas and see if it brings about good results.
If you don’t already have an easy way for users to create a shareable wishlist on your site, you should get one set up as soon as possible.
Wishlists make it easy for your site visitors to keep track of items they’re interested in, either for themselves or as gifts for others.
This is especially valuable at Christmastime, when everyone is wondering what everyone else wants.
You want to make it as simple as possible for users to create a wishlist and add items to that wishlist. You also want to make that wishlist easily shareable, so that users can let their family and friends know the items that they want for Christmas.
That way, users and their loved ones can easily refer back to that wishlist and make a purchase.
Another way you could use a wishlist to help increase sales is to give some kind of discount off the wishlist items.
For example, if your prospective customer takes no action from the wishlist within, say, 7 days, they could get 10% off every item in their wishlist (as long as they purchase by Christmas).
Thus, a product wishlist can easily become a marketing tactic.
Are you a business that sells seasonal summertime products?
One way to clear out overstocked inventory during the Christmas season is to hyper-discount those summertime items.
If your market is somewhere that’s cold in the winter, you’ll have a hard time selling things like sandals or swimming gear at Christmastime.
These seasonal summertime items can therefore sit in inventory for months, collecting dust.
So if you just need to get these items out of stock to make room for more sellable inventory, discount these items to ridiculously low prices (perhaps at cost or even lower), and that may help you make a few extra sales.
Christmas provides a perfect opportunity to host special events that you can use to move people further down your marketing funnel, so that they purchase.
If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, this could be a “Customer Appreciation Holiday Party” where you provide some kind of free gift or free snacks, as well as discounts on products.
Running an event like this gets people into your store. And everyone loves free food or gifts!
Furthermore, considering the increasing trend of online food ordering during the festive season, offering a convenient alternative to your customers for an afternoon or evening out could be a game-changer. Collaborating with local food apps to cater to your event can intrigue customers to order food online, with diverse options as low as $1.49. A collaboration like this is a win all around - your partners get more exposure, you have an incentive to get more people to your event, and your customers benefit from a free or discounted meal. (Plus, it can also set a positive tone for their overall shopping experience.)
If you’re an online business, you could host a webinar or virtual event. Your webinar could provide a lot of helpful info that appeals to your customers.
Whatever type of special Christmas event you host, just make sure these events are customer-focused and provide real value so that people actually come.
Allowing a loose return policy will help give your customers assurance that they can purchase from you without any risk.
This is especially important at Christmastime, when people are purchasing gifts and they may not be sure if the recipient will actually like the gift they’re buying.
In other words, Christmas is not the time to crack down on strict return policies. Consider a seasonal return policy that allows people to return items for almost any reason (as long as the item looks, for the most part, unused).
The added comfort of knowing they can return an item for any reason just might help you pick up a few extra sales.
And there you have it!
We’ve breezed through 23 ideas to help you increase your sales this Christmas.
Below is a summary of all 23 of those points.
Now get out there and have a merry (and sales-filled) Christmas!
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