A retailer’s guide to a strong Christmas
Jonny Cameron is a digital marketer working with Retail Merchant Services in the credit card payment industry. He has put together a simple five point guide to help retailers understand the needs of their consumers during the most wonderful time of the year.
When it comes to retail at Christmas time, sales are the aim of the game. The more the better. You will want to have a strategy in place that meets the needs of your customers, not just for Christmas 2013 but long into the future as well.
Understanding sales psychology is a good starting point. Understand emotional responses in relation to the buying process for your products and services. It starts with a feeling, a need, a want or a reaction to something. Understand the concerns of the people you are selling to. Consider mulled-wine. To drink this monstrous hybrid any other time of year would be lunacy. But because it’s Christmas, it feels right and everyone else is doing it. Take a product or service that you provide and decide what would trigger a buyer to want it.
Justify your business
Why is what you are selling worth buying? There are clear reasons and facts, unique selling points if you will, as to why consumers should choose you over a competitor. The one thing all customers have in common is that they’ll ask themselves “what’s in it for me?” You’ll need to demonstrate the value. Not just the value of your product but the value of your whole service including customer service, convenience and distribution. People will buy from you because you are convenient, whether this means making sure people receive items quickly, to offering discounts to loyal customers.
Less is more
Perhaps this is an odd statement during a time when most businesses are trying to grow, but this is about customers’ perceptions and categorisation. Too much choice can be overwhelming unless your products are carefully categorised. You want to assist your customers down the purchase funnel to the product that is right for them, not bamboozle them with variations of products. Consider the Amazon.com model. It is only at the foot of the page or after the purchase has been made that we are told “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” providing you with highly relevant products after your mind has been made up, as opposed to at the start of the purchase decision.
Sell more than products and services
There’s more than the selling of a product going on here. You are also selling your business to the customer as a brand. Ask yourself the following questions, and tell potential customers the answers. Who else uses you? What is the allure or the thing that keeps them coming back? What is the perceived value to customers?
What else do you want your customers to do?
Don’t just end with a sale. Ask yourself “what would Amazon do?” What else can you get out of a customer who has bought from you? It could be a recommendation, a positive review online, a connection via social media or an email so that you can sell to them in future.