It may feel like we’ve just had Christmas, but as we’re in July (in retail terms) Christmas is only around the corner.

If this is one of your first Christmas retail periods, here is a guide to make sure the marketing strategy for your start-up business has covered all the essentials.

If you need help with your Christmas marketing for start-ups, and strategy for business marketing, you’re in the right place.

First, ask yourself –

  • Is your Christmas product or service list completed?
  • Do you have copy and images ready for your website, email database and social media platforms to launch the information at the right time?
  • Have you planned when you’ll launch your Christmas marketing messages?

If the answer is no, or not quite, take a read of this previous post HAVE YOU PLANNED TO TAKE CHRISTMAS BY STORM, OR ARE YOU WINGING IT?, then come back here for more tips.

This year, businesses face more challenges than ever. With the covid pandemic throwing a spanner in the works last year, many startup businesses have failed to find their feet through this difficult trading period.

The covid pandemic adds more pressure to your Christmas marketing strategy

All over the World, the supply chain has drastically changed over the last 16 months. Companies that used to be able to fulfil a next day turnaround may now have weeks’ lead times.

Have you checked with your regular suppliers what their lead times are?

If not, I urge you to do this as soon as possible. Not only will you need to check the times, but also the prices. Many stockists have also had increased supply costs and have put their prices up to reflect this.

Planning early will allow you extra time to research your products, prices, and lead times.

Make sure you consider that although social distancing may not be enforced at Christmas, people may still feel uncomfortable being around strangers. If you can allow for wider aisles, less people at once, and increased cleanliness, this will help people feel more at ease.

Marketing for startups during the festive period

If this is your first or second year of business, you may find it difficult to predict your sales figures. Last year was an unusual trading year for everyone on the run up to Christmas, due to the pandemic.

  • If you were open, take a look at what items in your retail store were popular.
  • If you were fulfilling online orders or click and collect, did that change what was the most popular?

Is this your startup year in retail?

You will have to conduct market research into your business field to predict approximate sales. It’s unlikely you will predict exactly right, but you want to be prepared by having good stock levels of gift items.

A suggestion in your first year is to invest in timeless pieces (i.e., products without festive packaging) alongside a festive range, so that if you have stock left over you can display them at other times of the year.

Host an opening event for your Christmas range. What better way to welcome your community, neighbours, friends and families to your shop?

Create flyers to hand out to your local area, add your event to Facebook or Eventbrite for Free and start talking about it on social media in advance.

Playing festive songs, having tasteful decorations, and offering sweet treats like mince pies will help add to the atmosphere and put people in a good mood.

Create a friendly, welcoming destination for shopping and people will come back again and again.

Marketing Christmas gift guides

Help people who don’t know what to buy. Curate areas of your shop to dedicate to different gift categories.

For example, have an area dedicated to ‘Gifts for your other half’, ‘stocking fillers’ etc.

Push this even further by creating visual posters and share ‘Christmas gift guides’ to your social media and website, including images and links to buy.

Other things to consider in your marketing strategy for business in the festive period –

  • Can you offer gift cards for those who are hard to buy for? What value in £ for and how long will they be valid?
  • Will you offer a gift wrap service? How much will it be, and where in your shop can you display and dedicate to this service?
  • Will you open later than usual to allow for after-work shopping?
  • Have you thought about additional staff to help during busy times?
  • What is your returns policy and how will you communicate that to your customers?

Community spirit in your marketing strategy for business

Christmas is the time for spreading joy and love through the world. It’s when we feel most charitable, nostalgic, and often emotional.

Use this to think about your community and local charities. Is there anything you can do to help them during this time?

Charity incentives

There are many ways your marketing strategy for Christmas could align with your personal values.

You may have a charitable cause that’s close to your heart. You could think about the following charity incentives –

  • offering a % of your sales to charity
  • having a product that’s been designed or made by another local business
  • planning to give back to the local area by planting trees

Thinking outside of the box to give people an unexpected surprise will get people talking, and you will be remembered for all the right reasons.

If you have an incentive that not only helps your business, but also helps your local community, it’s a win-win.

It really is never too early to prepare your Christmas marketing strategy!

If you need help planning your festive marketing, we’ll be offering Christmas Clarity sessions. Find out more and book your Clarity session below: