With so many changes on the cards for the holiday 2020 period, start-ups and huge corporations alike are busy making adaptations to the way they operate. Here are some of the best pieces of insight we’ve gathered to aid Christmas planning for businesses this year.
No one knows quite what to expect this festive season, but with a bit of careful holiday planning, businesses can take steps to prepare as best they can. By taking note of the research findings below, and implementing the strategies we’ve listed, you can put yourself in a better position to maximise your earnings over the holiday 2020 period.
2020 trends and holiday planning strategies
1. E-commerce boom - Let’s start with the most obvious trend. Everyone knows online shopping has peaked in popularity this year. According to Statista, retail websites across the world experienced 22 billion visits in June this year, up from 16.07 billion in January.
2. Delivery and collections - By now, we’ll all be aware of many businesses’ introduction of delivery and click-and-collect services. But did you know implementing these measures can boost your sales income by 23 percent? Research by Shopify has revealed people spend more when selecting delivery or local pick-up options, and bump up the size of their online shopping bag by as much as 25 percent.
3. Self-gifting - Facebook has analysed Christmas trends and shopping habits to present data we can use to inform our expectations for the holiday 2020 season. The findings reveal people like to treat themselves as well as others, so retailers should position their products not only as potential presents but as self-gifting opportunities.
4. New products and services - Another insight from Facebook’s marketing report speculates consumers are more receptive to the introduction of new products and services during times of imposed disruption. A quick look back over the events of 2020 have shown this suggestion to be true, as people have significantly changed their buying habits.
5. Huge sales - Many of us, experts or not, have predicted the launch of bigger sales than ever this holiday season. As businesses desperately try to make up for the year’s low sales figures, it’s likely many will offer impressive incentives to get customers to loosen their purse strings.
6. Philanthropy - Consumers really do care about the measures businesses take to support the community, not only locally, but on a national and global scale too. The pandemic has provided plenty of opportunities for bosses to do good deeds, and customers will be interested in hearing about them. In fact, 65 percent of people say brands’ responses to the crisis have a significant impact on whether they will buy from them in the future (Edelmen).
All businesses right now should be thinking about connecting with your customers digitally, getting creative in how to acquire new customers, wow the customers you have to improve retention, and watch expenses to preserve cash.
- Jeff Jones, H&R Block President and CEO
Planning for holiday sales during a pandemic
Wondering how to prepare your business for the holiday season? Read our top tips for making sure you’re doing everything you can to push up sales while protecting staff and customers.
- Review the efficiency and effectiveness of any measures you’ve introduced, such as delivery and collection procedures, contactless transactions and online sales
- Meticulously plan out the weeks leading up to Christmas. For inspiration, see our guide, Holiday Planning 2020: Your Official 6-Weeks-to-Christmas Countdown
- If you have a brick-and-mortar store, consider extending your trading hours to combat the challenges posed by social distancing restrictions and long queuing times
- Consider extending your returns period, and make sure customers know about any changes you make
- Although certain businesses may welcome fewer customers at any one time this year, be prepared to hire more staff, particularly if you’re ramping up your cleaning efforts
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- Make sure you’re taking advantage of the government’s business support packages to stay afloat during the Christmas season
- Partner with other local businesses to start a conversation and increase sales
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- Create authentic and compassionate marketing material to showcase your brand values and allow for a closer connection with customers
- Take advantage of online promotional tools like geo-targeted ads to reach more customers in your local area
- Make sure customers know how you’re responding to the pandemic; use clear and concise language on your website, email marketing, social media posts and signage
- Analyse how your website has been performing over the past months and implement or enhance your SEO strategy to make sure people find your business over the 2020 holiday period
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate and mobile optimised; people are easily put off by factors like confusing layout and slow loading times
- If you rushed the set-up of your website or online store, go back and review your content; provide more detailed descriptions and add photographs to improve the user experience
- Make a point of connecting with loyal customers and offering exclusive promotional deals - they’ll appreciate you checking in with them and be more likely to continue supporting you next year
- Start a fundraising initiative; pick a charity that aligns with your brand and values and tell customers how their money will be spent
- With office parties and Christmas bonuses off the table, find other ways to celebrate the festive season with colleagues - you could send inexpensive gifts or complimentary food during virtual gatherings
It can’t be exaggerated how important [the Christmas season] is. In just a few days, many brands and small businesses can sell as much as they do the rest of the year combined.
- Jeff Rosenblum, Questus founder
For more business advice on surviving the holiday 2020 period…
You’ll find a large selection of business guides here at Point Franchise. We gather the latest insights and expert advice from across the sectors to help bosses see success. Check out our most recent articles or use the search box to find specific information.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©