Christmas tips for retailers

14 December 2018

If you’re running a retail business, it’s never too early to start thinking about the Christmas rush. After all, the season of gift-buying is probably responsible for a pretty big chunk of your total sales for the year.

But with the massive spike in sales, enquiries and store traffic, it’s easy to get caught off guard. We all know that Christmas is likely to be busy, but you may underestimate how busy it really is, especially if it’s your first Christmas in the retail game. So we’ve put together a few tips that can hopefully help you tame those huge crowds and maximise your returns this holiday season.

Plan ahead

The extra foot traffic and increased sales that come with Christmas can be great for business, but they also involve a few logistical headaches. You may need to arrange additional staff, extend your opening hours, order extra stock, or boost your marketing activities. The earlier you can plan for and accommodate these administrative tasks, the less stressful they’ll be. If you are anticipating a shop full of people this year – and why wouldn’t you be? Christmas is a time for optimism! – consider ensuring that your Public Liability Insurance is taken care of.

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Make sure people can find you

Your potential customers are busy at Christmas time. They’ve got to find presents for their kids, something special for their significant other, something that isn’t socks for Dad, and something small for the office Secret Santa (maybe those socks Dad doesn’t want?). If they can’t quickly find key information like location, phone number and opening hours for local retail businesses like yours, they’ll soon look elsewhere. Make sure your website and social media presence are up-to-date. If you don’t have a website – get one!

Hold an event

Depending on what kind of retail business you’re running, in-store events can be a great way to generate interest at Christmas time. A toy store might have a visit from Santa, while a bottle shop might do a wine tasting.

If you’re holding an event and you’re keen to get the word out, social media can be a great way to do that.

Embrace social media

If you haven’t gotten on board with social media, Christmas is the perfect time. People have money to spend and they’re on the lookout for just the right gifts, which means they’ll be paying extra attention to any shopping ideas that pop up in their social feeds.

Think about which social platform is the best fit for your business. Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Pinterest? All of the above? Whichever you choose, embracing social media will offer you an affordable way to showcase your business, promote events, highlight your products and more.

Try promotions

Sales and special offers are a tried and tested way of moving stock, but it’s important to choose your promotions wisely. Being discount-happy and throwing a big red sticker on everything is not the right strategy for every retailer, and can severely impact your profits, so think about the best ideas for your business. A gift with purchase can entice people to buy without you having to slash the price on the primary item, and if that gift is a gift card it can encourage people to return to your store to redeem it. Christmas also provides opportunity to theme your special offers. For example, you could hold an advent calendar inspired promotion, where each day leading up to Christmas features a new special offer.

Get into the spirit

You don’t have to create a full Christmas spectacular in your store, but a few tasteful decorations can lift the whole mood. Think about the music you’re playing as well – not everyone wants to hear wall-to-wall Bublé and Sinatra, but sprinkling a few Christmas classics into your in-store playlist can really set the scene.

Make sure you’re covered

With all of the planning that goes into a successful retail Christmas, it can be easy to forget about your insurance coverage. Whether you’ve just opened your doors and need a new policy, or you’re an established business reviewing your policy, make sure you have the right type and amount of cover for your business’ needs.

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Registered Office, Level 28, 266 George St, Brisbane QLD 4000. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.