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Christmas retail this year will present some challenges

Summary

Christmas retail this year will present some challenges – but also some enormous opportunities. The continued significance of social distancing is very likely to have a significant influence on the way that retailers conduct themselves during the peak buying season. […]

Christmas retail this year will present some challenges – but also some enormous opportunities. The continued significance of social distancing is very likely to have a significant influence on the way that retailers conduct themselves during the peak buying season. Drawing on our extensive experience of the last challenges and successes faced by our clients (such as during the excellent recession), we’ve produced this guide to assist retailers maximise their selling potential and get the most out of the”gold quarter”, even during the most troublesome times.

Most of all, retailers will have to begin their promotional campaigns earlier than ever this season, especially since delivery times and queuing waits have increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The combination of increased demand for deliveries, and social distancing rules, imply that business throughout the board have had to begin rethinking their Christmas advertising plans, and an early start is key this season.

Use additional signage in windows and doors, such as window clings and banners, to warn clients of any security precautions, such as one-way systems, compulsory face coverings, and social distancing reminders.

Additionally, make customers aware that items may take longer than normal (like queuing and delivery lead times). For those who have a mailing list, keep your clients current with this, in addition to with additional signage in and around your shop.

How do I raise my Christmas sales?

Conventional POS displays have a classic appeal. Using them liberally within your Christmas retail campaigns will help efforts to boost sales and recover losses. Using poster stands inside, and sidewalk signs outside, can help draw new and existing customers towards your assumptions, towards your own promotions, and invite them to create add-on purchases or pick upsell choices.

Use rustic chalkboard signage for some items, such as bread, wine, cheese and handmade products, and glistening high-end signage for many others, such as cologne, cashmere jumpers or sneakers, to appeal to different customer requirements and encourage impulse purchases .

Create a fantastic cross-channel marketing strategy to make sure you retain customers. Even if they get fed up waiting in store, make it easier for them to connect online. Utilising interactive digital printing and screens QR codes in your printed posters are both fantastic ways to participate instore customers with your internet services.

Use mobile FSDUs (free standing display units) and reconfigurable displays like slatwall or gridwall. Not only do these permit you to keep your screens looking fresh for the new season, they also make it effortless for you to rearrange the store design so as to follow social distancing guidelines as and when required. With mobile or reconfigurable POS screens, if you find an area of the shop is getting too crowded, you can then easily change it as you see fit.

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Food retail at Christmas

Classic POS displays, such as end-of-aisle FSDU’s, are always a wonderful way to boost sales of particular lines, but these are especially helpful at Christmas, when shoppers may be under stress and in a hurry to get things right, and fast. Create product bundles to put in prominent locations. The convenience of having the ability to get everything in one place will make your products seem even more appealing!

Furthermore, overhead signage is an perfect choice asin a more crowded or hurried scenario, your clients can learn where they are and where they have to be with a fast glance. Most supermarkets and department stores generally have regular overhead aisle signs to point clients in the ideal direction. Why not give them some additional help with their Christmas shopping, with the addition of temporary overhead signage to point out your Christmas promotions? This is not simply additional in-store advertising for your store, it really provides value for your clients by making their lives simpler.

Make signage and online food promotions all of the more visually appealing, with rich and descriptive language and descriptions of flavour, especially since tasting samples is less likely this year.

Christmas marketing ideas for retail

While lots of folks will be trying to have a regular Christmas this year, a lot more people than usual will be downsizing and having little Christmas dinners, because of the requirement of social distancing. Supermarkets ought to keep these customers in mind, and use the opportunity to push their ranges of smaller meal deals, half-size bottles of champagne and wine, and smaller packs of Christmas crackers and table configurations. Retailers have a responsibility and a chance to make this as appealing and enjoyable as possible during this holiday season.

On the approach to Christmas, supermarkets and other food retailers should consider what products their customers will probably want to purchase together as part of the big Christmas shop. Clever cross-merchandising at Christmas really can boost sales and AOV – just be certain that you reduce clutter this season to permit space for social distancing to continue as long as it is required.

5 product bundling ideas for cross-merchandising in Christmas:

  1. Fishing with boxes of Christmas crackers – those things are normally utilized at roughly the same time on Christmas day.
  2. Organize board games and boxes of chocolatesbeside each other, for an indulgent dose of family fun.
  3. Fruits and crackers with cheese collections – meals from various aisles may go together, package these on aisle ends.
  4. Lay hats, gloves and scarves close to slippers and hot water bottles. They are thematically linked, and all make great gifts.
  5. Add convenient alternatives for gift wrapping, ribbons and sticky tape close to common gift choices , for the last-minute shopper.
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‘Bundling products together for one delivery gives retailers the opportunity both to market more things and to create efficiencies.’ – George MacDonald, Retail Week (September 2020) [1].

Fashion and homeware retail at Christmas

Although clients are less likely to be attending as many Xmas parties as usual, these businesses should still observe a burst of earnings on the run-up to Christmas, because garments and accessories create such popular presents. So as to adapt in this holiday season, provide more aid to your clients where possible to make purchase decisions easier for them.

1 means to do this is to offer gift wrapping. You could even offer the possibility to send direct from your shop to the gift receiver. Options like these will likely be gratefully received by busy shoppers and people who will, understandably, still be nervous about purchasing in crowds after the virus epidemic earlier this year.

While many vendors could be anticipating a silent and less-profitable Christmas retail period this season, being ready for any outcome is key. With the support of your powerful promotional campaigns, clients might be more keen than ever to devote money and ensure they have a great Christmas, however which may look. Thus, having great queuing systems in all types of retail environments is a significant concern, especially at this time of year. After COVID-19, with an organised and spacious place for queuing is very important for continued social distancing attempts, but you can still decide to use this area to exhibit smaller items for add on purchases. This is a simple way to improve your profits by raising the average value of every purchase.

‘The winners in this environment will be those who can quickly adapt […] merchants will need to be readier than ever to create quick, real time adjustments.’ – Alexa Driansky, AlixPartners Senior Vice President (Sept 2020) [2].

Sonia Lapinsky, a managing director at AlixPartners, recommends that companies have to be flexible to be able to reach their sales goals in this season’s holiday season, forecasting that ‘In addition to online sales probably breaking records this holiday season, so too will curbside and in-store pickups. It follows that agility will be essential for retailers’ [2].

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Bearing this in mind, consider if it is possible to adopt new ways of working to better suit your client’s needs this year. For those customers that are still eager to enact social distancing correctly, they may appreciate having a greater array of options to purchase and collect from you, which will also allow them to avoid the crowds.

Look after your staff!

The Christmas sales period is obviously a bit more high-pressure for retail employees than other times of year, but in 2020 retail employees might be facing greater levels of anxiety than ever before. A recent survey has indicated that 55 percent of retail workers feel more stressed throughout the crisis and 60 percent report with greater stress levels [3]. Your employees and customer service are one of your greatest in-store assets; be sure they feel as secure and appreciated as possible during this year .

If you do not already have an internet store, now’s a terrific time to start. Giving customers new options for buying online means you are not as likely to lose their business if they want or need to remain in the home, for self-isolation or another reason. There’ll be an increased demand for online services more than ever this season, and it’s critical to get ready for this so that your company is capitalising on each available opportunity.

Concerning in-store merchandising in Christmas, however, enhanced queuing and enhanced signage will ultimately help clients to understand their surroundings better and to feel more at ease. Increasing consumer confidence after the 2020 pandemic is a must so as to lift sales and regain losses, and so retailers will need to think about how to organise and product their point of sale and displays to be able to help consumers have more confidence and willingness to invest.

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