Do you have a fantastic product? Or a wonderful service? Maybe you offer something that is very specialised, or maybe you do something really popular for a better price than anyone else. However it seems like your the only person who knows this, and business is slow. With a bit of clever marketing you can use Christmas to your advantage to drum up some awareness for your business.

The Christmas shopping period is one of the most lucrative seasons in the year, especially for shop owners but it’s also one of the most difficult times of year to really make sure you stand out. Luckily Christmas is the one time of year where people are almost obligated to purchase so local businesses have a great opportunity to grab people’s attention by being clever with their marketing in the run up to the big day. There are numerous things you can do to make sure your customers have you at the top of their mind when it comes to buying their presents.

Firstly use your social channels, facebook, snapchat, instagram or wherever you are online to get festive. Make sure that Christmas is a running theme by changing your banners, header images on social media + any adverts you run to reflect that you are open and ready for business this Christmas. Think simple when it comes to promoting your products, maybe you can categorise products into areas like ‘perfect gifts for Dad this year’. If you provide a service then tie it in with a festive theme “get your living room in tip top shape by painting it ready for Santa’s arrival”. Make it easy for your customers to have a reason to buy from you and play on the need to have it done by Christmas. 

Give any e-mails you send out a little festive magic. Use a free e-mail designer such as Mailchimp to add some sparkle and promote your products and services. You could use themes such as a card opening, greetings on baubles, your products hanging on a Christmas tree or even photos of your helper elves/staff. This is the perfect time of year to e-mail your customers a note of thanks and well wishes for Christmas day while gently reminding them that you have the perfect gifts for their families and friends. You could even suggest they forward the e-mail on to anyone else who may find it useful – this is even more likely to happen if the message contains a special offer or coupon. Use the timeline that we already have to schedule out e-mails reminding people of how long they have left before your business will be closing for Christmas – ‘we close on the 16th so make sure you book your job in for before then’, or ‘only 7 shopping days left until Christmas, don’t leave it until the last minute, browse our gifts today’. 

To really up your online game in the run up to Christmas consider giving your website an overhaul and opening an ecommerce store. This basically means selling your products online. If you don’t want to worry about shipping you can always instal a click and collect function to make it really easy for local people to shop with you. It is now easier than ever before to link till systems to online stores to make the whole system much easier for you, the small business owner. Give your online store a festive feel too and make your search function easy so that people can find exactly what it is they want. Don’t forget to suggest complimentary or similar products at checkout to maximise your chances of a bigger spend and always follow up with an email thanking your customers for shopping with you this Christmas and wishing them the very best for the new year. 

We’ve a few spots for work available in December so if you want help implementing any of these strategies email ian@zeal.ie or clare@zeal.ie, or message on Facebook.