In years gone by it used to be the case that hundreds of queuing shoppers would be waiting outside your store on December 26th, ready to get the best bargains on your products. But now, with so many people receiving shiny new gadgets on Christmas Day, the Boxing Day madness tends to start online as soon as the presents are unwrapped and the turkey is eaten.
Research from 13-ten showed that in 2014 there was a 34% increase in visits to retail websites on Christmas Day from 2013. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure you’re ahead of the game when preparing for the main Boxing Day event.
1. Start advertising early
With Boxing Day sales now starting even earlier, it’s important that your advertising does the same. Don’t just wait until the day itself; make sure current and potential customers know that you’re planning to hold a sale so they can factor this into their own plans.
With so many retailers now trying to get one step ahead of their competitors, and with the amount of potential customers that are browsing on Christmas Day itself, it’s important that your own price cuts start early too. Don’t wait until Boxing Day, entice your customers early when they’re searching on Christmas Day.
Make sure all your promotional messaging is clear and grabs the attention of your potential customers. You should also make sure that this messaging is consistent across all platforms whether that is online via social media and emails or offline through in-store posters and flyers.
2. Be mobile ready
With the ever increasing rise of smartphones, you can guarantee that people will be going online on their mobiles over Christmas as people receive them as gifts. It is therefore vital that your website is ready for smartphone visitors on Boxing Day especially as, IBM reported that 57% of online traffic on Christmas Day in 2014 was through mobile, compared to 43% on PC.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly so that you’re able to showcase your Boxing Day promotions no matter what device people are browsing on, and encourage people to spend time browsing through your site and offers. Nowadays, people are less patient and will no longer put up with a bad browsing experience on mobile, meaning they’ll quickly move on elsewhere if you don’t cater for their needs.
3. Schedule in email & social media updates
Timing is key in ensuring your promotional messages get seen and read. As you’re going to be busy with customers on the day, you can prepare and schedule these in advance. For your social media posts, consider using a tool like Hootsuite or our own social management platform.
Most email platforms also have a function built in that allows you to schedule the time of your send. Think about sending an email in the days leading up to Christmas to make people aware of the sale and then create some anticipation on the evening of Christmas Day with a sneak preview of the promotions you’ll be offering in-store the next day.
Boxing Day is a great time to consider using SMS (text-messaging) too. With so many people out and about and already on the high-street, an SMS could be effective in drawing them into your store.
4. Use search engine advertising for quick wins
Boxing Day sales are a tradition and people know that they’re coming. With this in mind, many people will be searching online for discounts at local businesses. The great thing for you is that these people are ready to buy, and so investing in some search engine marketing is an effective way to lure them in.
Putting in some research on improving advert performance is a great use of your time in the build up to Boxing Day. It’s important to select keywords that have seasonal significance and thinking how people will be searching for the Boxing Day sales and the phrases they’ll use such as ‘christmas sales in Stamford’ or a more product specific term like, ‘boxing day kitchen sale’. This will help to ensure that your adverts will be put in front of relevant potential customers and that you’re making the most of the surge in searches. The even better news is that this marketing is cost-effective, as you only pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
5. Be prepared
Being prepared for the sales day goes beyond just making sure your reduced items are all priced correctly. With the increased footfall in your store, there comes a need for more staff to deal with the demand. It’s not just in-store either. You’ll likely have more enquiries via phone, email and social media, therefore, make sure you have people to respond to these so potential customers don’t become annoyed.
Although many businesses use the sales as a time to clear out any leftover stock from the festive season, it’s important that you have enough items that have already proven popular or you anticipate selling well on the day. This extends to your website too, it’s crucial to make sure your website accurately reflects what you’re selling and what you have in stock, to avoid customer disappointment.
Boxing Day remains a tradition and presents a great opportunity for your small business to boost your sales and footfall. Like with most things though, planning and preparation are the keys to success. Use our top 5 tips here and you’ll be ahead of the competition in beating the Boxing Day rush.