5 ways to prepare for Christmas (in July!)

Christmas is the biggest time of year for retailers, but it always sneaks up on us. This year, flip the script and prepare for Christmas, in July.

Almost everybody is buying something from retailers at Christmas time, but the challenge for retailers is to get them to buy something from you.

Believe it or not you don’t have to start preparing for the Christmas rush on 1 December, but you can take some time now to make sure this is the biggest year yet!

Time to put on your Santa hat and lay the groundwork to make sure customers are coming to your store when the jingle bells start ringing.

Here are five things you can do right now.


1. Engage with your customers in store about Christmas now


  • Let customers know when you expect to get your Christmas stock in.
  • Mention to customers that you provide Christmas gift vouchers.
  • Ask your customer if they would like to be notified of new Christmas stock as it arrives and capture their details so you can keep in touch.

2. Plant the seed to shop with you at Christmas in store through displays and signage


  • Have a sign saying when Christmas stock arrives or put a message on your receipt with this information.
  • Have an in-store display with some of your products available later in the year. Let customers know how they can pre-order the products.
  • Put up Christmas decorations for a Christmas in July theme.
  • Put information and suggestions for Christmas on your phone answering message.

3. Set up a system for customers to purchase now for Christmas


Not everyone is thinking about Christmas now, but some people are.

You know the ones, they buy their Christmas paper for the year ahead during the Boxing Day sales.

There are a small percentage of shoppers who love to get organised for Christmas early.  They like to make sure they don’t miss out on a particular item – especially with high demand sell out products like toys, books or limited editions.

Think through how you could take advanced orders and whether you need to offer an incentive like a discount. Always take some form of deposit from the customer and have a cut off time for collection.


4. Keep in touch with customers in the lead up to Christmas


Send out a newsletter revealing different items as they come in promoting what date they will be available for sale.

This is a great way to generate interest in your Christmas stock.

It also gently reminds shoppers that Christmas is on its way.  If you don’t have your customer database up to date July is the perfect time to get those details.

Start gathering a list in store for customers who specifically want to be kept up to date on Christmas items or specials.

You can also take the opportunity to add some Christmas sparkle to your social media.

For example, could you whip up a post asking people who’s an early Christmas shopper?

Find out when most people are planning to start their Christmas shopping or who they have the most trouble buying Christmas presents for.  Send out some sneak peeks of products and ask for customer’s opinions on what they like.

Help customers with gift ideas and showcase products in different price points.  If you have an online store let customers know what’s available right now for them to buy in advance.


5. Invite customers back for special Christmas shopping activities


Depending on your products you could have a fashion show, an in store demonstration or just a VIP extended shopping hours evening with drinks.

You could even hire a Santa for the evening giving people the opportunity for a selfie with Santa before the big day.

Having appropriate promotions on the night such as everyone who spends over $200 goes into the drawer to win a Xmas Hamper delivered before Xmas Day will encourage pre-Christmas spending.

 

These five things will get the register buzzing by Christmas.  So get your Christmas in July on now!

Choose at least one of them to put into action today, to set your business up for a Merry Christmas in December.