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5 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out This Christmas

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The run up to Christmas is traditionally the golden period of the year for retail, but this year it seems like stores are not seeing the same volume of custom. Far from creating a sales boost, Forbes’ senior contributor for luxury retail Pamela Danziger suggested shoppers are shunning the last-minute rush and instead seeking discounts at other times of the year, spreading the cost of Christmas.

This news comes as a host of retailers, such as Best Buy, Lowes and American Eagle, are cutting sales forecasts for the holiday period based on customer indifference.

The retail landscape is competitive at the best of times, but with fewer people buying, competition will be high to entice those who are ready to spend in the run up to Christmas.

Make Your Business Stand Out

There are a number of ways that businesses can get themselves noticed, even when competitors are all vying for the same customers.

1. Remove roadblocks

Whether you sell online or in physical stores, it is important that you remove any roadblocks between your customer finding what they want and completing the purchase. Making the process as frictionless as possible is the key to gaining buyers and to preventing them from abandoning their customer journey and finding somewhere else to spend money.

For online stores, roadblocks might include having to register an account to make a low value purchase or a confusing website layout. For physical shops, it could be an inability to touch and inspect the product or long queues at the till.

Try and view your business as a customer sees it and consider what might prevent them completing their transaction. The easier the process, the more customers will choose you over the competition.

2. Get creative online

Part of the battle to make your business stand out happens before the customer arrives in town or begins browsing online. If you can capture the attention of your target audience in advance, they are more likely to keep an eye out for your brand.

Use social media to speak to the people most likely to buy from you. Target them with content that will entertain them, touch their emotions, solve their problems or add value to their decision making.

By engaging customers on social media, you build a bond with them that endears them to your business, gaining an advantage over your competitors.

3. Review the data

If you have been in business more than a year, you already have a resource to help you predict customer behavior this Christmas. Look back at your sales data to understand when shoppers made purchases and what it was that they bought. Look at which items they bought together and consider the placement of the most popular items in your online or high street store last time around.

This year, optimize your layout, promote the popular items, upsell with the products you know work well together and ensure you have enough stock and staff for those times when you can expect a rush. Spot the trends from the previous Christmas to understand what to expect this year and how to improve on that performance.

4. Invest in people

If you have a physical shop, your staff come into their own in the rush of Christmas shopping. As December goes on, online sales fall and people return to shops. Part of the reason is the concern that online purchases won’t arrive before the big day, but there is also a romantic view of the jolly festive atmosphere on high streets. And it is your staff who facilitate this.

If your employees create a welcoming and warm atmosphere, it can make your business stand out from your rivals. This means you must invest in your people and ensure they are happy and motivated, even at this most stressful time of year in retail.

Make work fun for them and promise them incentives for their hard work, such as a team day out in the new year.

5. Work with a charity

Christmas is a time for thinking of others, but that ideal can fall by the wayside as retailers become more competitive in the run-up to Christmas. By taking time to highlight a charitable collection, competition or donation scheme, you can show that there are other benefits to buying from you over a competitor.

Highlight a cause close to your heart so that customers can see it is a genuine collaboration and not just a cynical ploy. Promote the activity so that your target audience knows what is happening and can help you in your campaign.

Christmas is a great opportunity to bring in revenue, but the competition is fierce. By finding ways to stand out from the crowd, you can claim your slice of the hard fought custom this year.

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