Post Christmas Blues -Make sure you have a Marketing Strategy

This year has been very difficult for us and I have been amazed and inspired by how many businesses have battled on through lockdowns, Tiers and all the new PPE regulations. I have been amazed at the wonderful effort in my home town of Leek with the beautiful window displays and of course our local town crier; alias Santa Claus bringing us cheer.

Many businesses were quick to offer items online and I know many have survived because of their resilience and flexibility. Even with my own tour operator business I have had to adapt to offering local walks when prior to lockdown I couldn’t lead you up the garden path. I am sure many of us are proud of the new skills we have learnt in 2020 for our business survival and diversity.

So now we have to keep fighting and I don’t want to bring bad tidings of bad news but we need to be prepared for what could happen after Christmas with the Covid crisis. Sadly we have been reduced to one day of relaxation now which means many of us will spend Christmas alone as we can no longer continue with our plans. I won’t get to see my Son in Wales which breaks my heart and I am sure many of you will shed a few tears.

But no matter how sad or busy we are with Christmas looming it is essential we all as business owners, take a seat with a pen and paper and over a cuppa consider the way forward. I will offer a marketing plan template if anyone wants one for the whole of 2021 (email me please) but I am going to offer a few tips for the day after Christmas to help you prepare-

  1. Boxing Day will not now be the day we hoped for as another big family celebration, so you may find yourself busy with lots more customers and people may be bored, want to wander or may be concerned about a future lockdown. So be ready for those visitors and do your best to ensure there are lots of exciting items to entice them to spend.
  2. Have you considered when your sale will start? I am not a retail expert and don’t want to get involved in margins but be ready for those shoppers both in reality and online. Again people may be out there thinking we may be in lockdown by New Year and want to get their bargains whilst they can. I do know stock on shelves is not money in the bank
  3. Social Media is key to getting all your messages out about your special offers and deals. As in my previous blog I stated that any emails, Face Book posts or shop window displays using words like Special offer, discounts, etc always get a much higher response and are read. Shout out what you offer and you know like me, people will be scrolling online as soon as Christmas dinner is over with.
  4. Returns policy. Again I mentioned this previously and I am sure you have one in place again both online or in store. Be prepared that if people aren’t happy they will return quickly with fears of lockdown. Offer a little training to your staff to discretely encourage them to buy something else that they like. Customers may require a little more tender loving care at this time as they may be feeling low after all the excitement of Christmas or in some cases disappointment.
  5. Did you know 70% of shoppers have bought vouchers for gifts due to concern re postage delays and of course not able to see their families and friends in reality. So these spenders will be visiting your store to spend them. They may fear lockdown or they may not get chance to spend them due to other reasons so ensure there are plenty items for them to buy and again ensure staff are trained to discretely up sell. People really need retail therapy at present and are treating themselves too.
  6. Online Shopping. I have worked for many businesses in Customer Services and the big issues people have is the break- down of the ordering process with payments not made or voucher codes not being accepted. I do highly suggest you update your website and get a few non regular visitors or family members to check it out. Don’t lose out!
  7. New Year. It is thought many people will be out shopping prior to New Year with the fear of a lockdown so consider what they will be buying? They may want to spend money they have received as gifts for Christmas but what are the trends for what they usually spend on this time of year? I highly suggest you do some research online for current trends as it will have changed from last year for sure. I know many would go shopping for items for early spring holidays or bargains for Christmas the next year..but this year that could be totally different?

Keep motivated and keep that window looking fresh, informative and up to date. It’s amazing to see the Totally Locally campaign and as a fairly new resident to Leek having moved here two years ago I have truly never seen such a great idea but also one that works!

I hope you have a truly fruitful Christmas and here’s hope for a wonderful New Year

 

Take care

Diane Carter

Marathon Marketing

diane@marathon-media.co.uk

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