This post on ideas to increase sales was originally published on 8 November 2018 and updated on 29 October 2019 and 13 December 2021.
Christmas is a time to cherish our loved ones. It's a time to help people less fortunate and reflect on the year that has been. It's also a time to go shopping! Which means now is the time for retailers to ramp up seasonal marketing. But don’t worry, because here are nine great ideas to increase sales this Christmas.
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9 fantastic ideas to increase sales
Most retailers plan on a big boost in sales as customers are in the mood to buy. Unlike the rest of the year, there is a natural urgency around the holidays. Here are nine ways to make the most of these seasonal advantages.
- Host a special seasonal event
- Offer free shipping or delivery
- Provide gift-wrapping
- Look for ways to upsell
- Create bundles and gift packs
- Accept charitable donations
- Reward loyalty
- Give away gift cards
- Make customer service an art
Some of these tactics are best for those with actual physical stores, while others are better suited for online retailers. All are guaranteed to increase buzz this year.
1. Host a special seasonal event
Getting shoppers together for a special event puts everyone in the buying mood. But with a new variant of COVID-19 making the rounds, it's more important than ever to be smart about how you do this.
An outdoor event is ideal, as it minimises the risk of transmission and keeps everyone feeling comfortable. A few suggestions:
- Wine walk
- Music event
- Art walk
- Tasting menu event
- Chocolate crawl
Online businesses can host a flash sale with discounts and gifts. Or hold a virtual retail event via a live video on Facebook or Instagram. Allowing attendess to comment during the event is a great way to sell products.
An understanding of your customers is essential so you can craft an event that will make them feel like a VIP with insider knowledge. Getting a bargain, exclusive product or bundle at Christmas is a rush that most shoppers can't resist!
2. Offer free shipping or delivery
With the rise in online shopping, free shipping is a big drawcard. Especially at Christmas when many shoppers spend online to avoid crowded malls at the last minute.
Offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount will make it cost-effective and encourage spending. The realisation they can get free shipping if they buy just one more thing is a powerful motivator to buy more.
3. Provide gift-wrapping
Gift-wrapping is the perfect incentive to boost sales at Christmas as many shoppers are pressed for time. The real benefit of offering gift-wrapping is that it's a relatively low-cost service for you, but it offers a lot of value to customers (assuming your wrappers can do a better job of it than shoppers can!).
It's a particularly useful idea to increase sales on online purchases that are being sent overseas as shoppers can avoid both shipping costs and wrapping drama.
4. Look for ways to upsell
An upsell is when a shopper buys a more expensive or premium version of a product … or possibly adds more value to their original purchase. It's a great way to increase sales, as getting more value for their money is something all shoppers love.
This works especially well in physical stores where a well-trained sales assistant can help customers find (and buy) complimentary products. Like the necklace and bracelet that match a new dress, the laptop case for the new MacBook or an extended warranty.
Arm your sales teams with ideas for upsells and position popular products close to checkouts to give customers ideas as they wait to pay.
5. Create bundles and gift packs
Another idea to increase sales without reducing your prices is with product bundles and gift packs.
Bundles are attractive to shoppers who don't have a specific gift in mind.
Bundling complimentary products together not only helps you sell more stock, but also gives you the chance to put a range of new products in front of customers.
6. Accept charitable donations
This idea to increase sales gives everyone the feels at Christmas. To make this incentive work, generosity has to be part of your brand values and important to your customer base too.
After the holidays, let customers know how much they helped raise.
Choose a cause that's important to both your business and your customers and make your donation less about boosting sales and more about boosting karma. Donations could be made by rounding up to the nearest dollar at checkout or by allowing shoppers to name their own donation level.
7. Reward loyalty
Getting customers into your loyalty or membership program is a great way to increase sales well after the Christmas shopping period. As an incentive to buy, offer extra reward points or lower the barriers to your membership program for a limited time.
Customers will buy more to get the rewards. Then you can keep the conversation going with them with email offers and incentives.
8. Give away gift cards
Once the madness of the Christmas season has finished, you want shoppers to come back to your shop. A fantastic idea to boost loyalty and to increase sales is to give away gift cards for purchases over a certain value.
Have the cards ready to give out to shoppers or collect their email address and email vouchers to them.
9. Make customer service an art
Customer support requests will come thick and fast around the holidays, especially for digital retailers. To ensure staff are ready, experts recommend business owners prepare canned responses for the top three customer service questions:
- How fast do you ship?
- How do I return my order?
- How do I apply a promo code?
You could also add live chat to the checkout page, and set up chat pop-ups to initiate conversations.
As promised: ideas to increase sales
So, there you have it: our top nine ideas to increase sales.
As we all know, Christmas promotions start as early as October. You can start letting customers know about the products and specials you'll be offering as early as September. After Halloween, start feeding them ideas for gifts. This could be in the form of unboxing videos, holiday posts on social media or gift lists for mom/dad/teacher/girlfriend/etc.
The best part is, many of the tactics here will keep customers coming back well into the new year. Whether you try one or all nine, you’re sure to see increased sales this season.