Christmas is a time of great joy and merriment, and if you plan in advance, it can also be a time of great windfall.

Last year during holiday season, shoppers in the United States spent close to 830bn US Dollars in the Christmas season alone, and this doesn’t include Christmas cards and trees! Great Britain is not far behind and the purchase of Christmas gifts is only headed upwards.

What’s more, if Google Trends are to be believed, online searches for Christmas shopping and gifts begin to spike from August itself.

Related: Here’s What Consumers Will Buy From Retailers This Winter

If you’re a proactive retailer, this can mean two things for you. One, there’s a huge opportunity for sales coming up that you just cannot miss out on. Two, you better start prepping! Here’s how to make the most of the Christmas cheer and ensure you have a productive, positive Christmas sale season with detailed steps and an infographic.

have a better than ever Christmas sale

Have A Christmas Sale Calendar In Place

More than anything else, this calendar is for you to have a plan for when to do what. For example, you may want to upload your online shop’s banners at the same time as your physical store to avoid confusing the customer. Likewise, mark out the dates when you’ll send out emails to your subscription list.

Pick What Promos Work For You

Just because a candy store is selling everything at 20% off doesn’t mean the same discount, or even the same promotion will work for you. There are many things you can offer customers apart from a discount. Lucky draws online, Christmas hampers designed in-store and extra discount for buying more than a few items are just some of them.

 

Restructure Your Policies

This again is one of those ‘must-dos’ that seems like it is unimportant, until it becomes a pain. Several users who buy online during a sale complain that products are out of stock, so is it really wise to have a sale when you have low inventory levels? Likewise, retailers get a little generous with their returns and exchange policies, so if it works for you, you may want to consider offering post-Christmas returns and easy exchange.

Related: US Retail sales to grow by 4% this holiday season

Tell The World!

As a businessperson, you know there’s no better way to sell a product than to tell the world about it. With things going online, there are several ways to advertise your Christmas sale. If your product has more recurring customers than new ones, email marketing is ideal. If you have a unique new product that you want to advertise to the world, social media is your answer. You may even consider posting ads and sponsored content on Facebook to garner more clicks.

Attention To Detail

The devil is in the details, and this adage is that much truer when you’re bogged down by the incessant demand of a sale. Do you have sufficient links to landing pages in your marketing campaign tools? Does your promotional email link directly to a working sale page? Do you have a blog post up well before November so search engines have time to pick it up?

prep for the christmas sale

Track Your Progress

Just the way you keep track of how many people come, buy and leave in a physical store, it is important that you have a keen eye on the number of people who are visiting your store. Analytics can help you understand how many people are paying a visit, how many are staying long enough to browse, how many are making a purchase and so on. This information will tell you what you need to change to make more sales.

Give Customers What They Want

Online shopping is a finicky thing. With no dearth of choices, it is a challenge to hold your customer’s attention. This is where the progress you tracked earlier will help. If someone isn’t spending enough time on your online store, there’s most certainly a design element to blame. If they seem to spend some time on a product page but don’t buy it, that product is missing some information.

Tweak your store around so it appeals to your audience- much like how products are strategically placed in physical stores to encourage maximum buying.

Launch The Sale

Once you’ve followed steps one through six thoroughly and meticulously, this one should be a breeze. Just stick to the plan and watch as results begin to show!

Make Changes

When is a job ever done with just launching? Even after all this planning, you may find that sales haven’t improved as much as you’d hoped for. Go back to step five and analyze what’s going wrong. Set up more ad campaigns if need be- targeted at a more specific audience. Tell friends and family to share your shop’s link with others (as a Christmas present to you, of course).

Make Sure You Keep Restocking

The worst thing for you would be to find yourself with orders for a product that is out of stock. If you have a manufacturer who supplies products to you, have a quick restocking agreement in place with them to ensure that you’re not left with empty hands when (virtual) customers come knocking.

Armed with a degree and a pen, loves to tell stories. When not telling stories, she also works. Hard to decide which one she likes more.