An alarming number of businesses make the mistake of preparing their Christmas and Boxing Day sales at the beginning of December, resulting in many missed opportunities and fewer sales. But there’s so much to do at this time of year, and that’s why it’s important you start some of these tasks in November instead. Here’s what you can do this month to better prepare yourself for the Christmas push:

Optimise your ecommerce

Increasing numbers of consumers are turning to online shopping, and this trend shows no sign of slowing. According to the Financial Times, overall spending increased in 2016, but the strongest growth was in online sales, where as high street sales slumped somewhat. November gives you some much needed time to optimise your website for higher traffic, test the functionality of your shopping basket and checkout page, and ensure that your online marketing is spot on. Mobile optimisation is also crucial so that smart phone shoppers are more likely to buy.

Streamline delivery

With greater online sales anticipated, your delivery service should be impeccable. Delays lead to frustrated customers, so you need to get it right.

In November, test and evaluate your delivery service, and consider offering shoppers an upgrade to a speedy, guaranteed delivery or click and collect. These premium services give you the edge against competitors and will provide much needed reassurance to your customers.

Create vouchers and gift cards

For the person who’s impossible to buy for, a gift voucher is a real god-send. It’s no wonder that around £2.25 Billion is spent annually on gift cards and vouchers across the UK. So, if you haven’t done so already, create a voucher with different denominations available for your customers to purchase as gifts for friends. Not only does this boost your seasonal sales, but gives you a wealth of newly referred customers for the new year.

Don’t wait until December to get Christmassy

While many people (and by people, we mean men), leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute, it might shock you to know that over a third of shoppers buy Christmas gifts in November! Whether your business is online, offline or both, you’ll need to start marking Christmas in November and consider a November Christmas sale to keep ahead of the competition. If you own premises that customers visit, consider a Christmas tree. You can also add Christmas décor to your website and social media presence.

Keep an eye on your stock

Having to tell a customer that you’ve run out of a particular product is never ideal, but at this time of year it is often a deal breaker. In fact, 79% of shoppers will go elsewhere if you can’t give them what they want immediately. Therefore you’ll need to take inventory of your stock and order in whatever you need well in advance of December. It’s also important you update your website should you be low on a particular product so that online shoppers won’t be left disappointed.

December will inevitably be a busy month, so remain one step ahead of the game and prepare your business to make the most of your seasonal sales. Need help with your planning? Book an appointment with us today.

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