Plan ahead for a festive season like no other

Ordinarily, around this time I’d start to encourage my clients to plan for the upcoming Christmas bonanza. But of course, these aren’t ordinary times. 

However, I believe that people’s approach to Christmas won’t change; we’ll still want to connect with loved ones and celebrate (especially if us Melburnians get totally out of lockdown by then!). In fact, you could argue that the Christmas period will take on an even more significant meaning this year, as we all reflect on who and what is most important to us.

This will be especially so for families that have been hit hard – whether financially, with job or business losses, or emotionally, with sickness or the loss of a loved one. 

And part of us will want to put 2020 behind us and move onto more normal times.

So it’s worth thinking about this question: How can your business help families to make the most of this holiday season? The key will be to understand your customers’ changing preferences as a result of the pandemic.

Here are some ideas to be more helpful to your customers this festive season: 

Website and online store.

Christmas used to be a time of cramming into physical stores in search of bargains or the perfect gift. However, many people will now be wary of crowded places. How else can you reach and serve them? 

If you haven’t already, you need to set up your website so it supports or totally replaces the in-store experience. First, you need to provide information about your products or services: there needs to be facts (specifications, sizes) but more importantly you need to convey the outcome (how it will change their life for the better). And of course, you need a secure online store so they can easily and safely buy from you (which, on the bright side, opens you up to the national and global market). 

Get social.

You may be a social media darling, or absolutely despise it. But it’s not about you; it’s about your customer. If they use social media a lot, chances are they will make a lot of purchase decisions based on what they see on social media. And they’ll likely want to tell their friends about it too (which is amazing PR for any business). So revisit your social media strategy (or make one if you haven’t got one yet) to ensure you’re making it as easy as possible for customers to find, engage with, buy and brag about your products and services.

Offer cheaper options or special offers for hard-hit families 

Whether you are looking to get some positive promotion for your brand, or you just genuinely want to help out those who are doing it tough – or a little bit of both – then now is a great time put together some discounts or special offers. (Ideally the special offers or discounts should relate to your products or services, rather than promoting someone else’s brand.)

This is also a great way to generate sales (albeit at a discount) so your business can get back in the swing of things.

Plan and prepare now to be more dynamic in future

There are constant changes to rules and regulations at the best of times – let alone in this totally different landscape. Resilient businesses will continually look ahead to ensure they are compliant with current and future changes.

I hope this article has given you a few good ideas for how your business can best prepare for a dramatically different festive season, and your customers’ changing needs. Have a spectacular Festive Season everyone!

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