How you can boost your last minute Christmas sales

Last minute Christmas salesWhen it comes to Christmas shopping there are three kinds of people.  The ones who have it all done and wrapped up by October, the ones who leave it until Christmas Eve and the rest of us, who are somewhere in between.

If your business sells anything that could be given as a Christmas gift, this is going to be your busiest time of year.  Hopefully the marketing you’ve done throughout the year will have paid dividends, but what else can you do?

Answer: target the last minute shoppers.  They’ll be looking to make a quick decision and you can capitalise on that.  But how do you do it without sounding desperate?  Here’s how.

Write great product descriptions

Having clear descriptions of your products is important all year round, but especially at Christmas.  Your customers will have a long list of people to buy for and they don’t want to faff around searching for information.

You should include important basics like size and materials but also think about who you’re selling to.  The person browsing your website might not be your ideal customer, but you could offer the perfect gift for their relative.  If they’re looking for a last minute present for a keen gardener, tell them that your product will fit the bill.  That not only helps them make a decision when they’re on your website, but it makes it easier for them to find you in the first place.

This isn’t necessarily just a short term thing.  If you use words that are targeted at your customers but also include reference to gifts you’ll start to improve your search engine rankings.

Make it easy

Marketing is all about building relationships.  You use social media to attract people to your website and nurture them until they’re ready to buy.  Marketing to last minute present buyers is a bit different.  You’ll still want their details if you’re using email marketing but the odds are that if they’ve hit your website just before Christmas they’re ready to buy now.

Make it easy for them.  Provide a good picture and product description.  Make sure the price and shipping costs are clear and up front.  The last thing you want is to lose a sale because your customer gets to checkout to discover that your shipping costs don’t fit their budget.  Then you’ve not just lost them, you’ve annoyed them as well.

Emailing your list with clear last minute offers is a great idea too.  Include a link so they can click straight through to the product page.

Be clear about delivery

If your order book is closed and you can’t deliver in time for Christmas, tell everyone.  On your website, social media and via your email marketing.  Give people plenty of warning of your last posting dates, especially if you make your products.

Think about discounts

This is where it gets tricky.  How do you offer discounts without sounding desperate?  The best way is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.  What will help them?  How can you make their lives easier?  If you can afford to absorb free delivery, offer that.  You could include gift wrapping.  The key is in how you word it.  Asking questions like ‘Looking for a last minute gift?’ or ‘Can’t think what to buy your Auntie Marge?’ lend your marketing some humour and make it about them rather than you.

Try offering something for a limited time so it’s more of an event.

How are you handling Christmas sales?  Drop me a comment and let me know!

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