Words by Vistaprint’s UK market lead, Charlotte Holmes-Darby
While mid-November marks the official start of the UK’s Christmas shopping season, it seems to begin earlier each year.
According to research from RetailChoice, a quarter of UK consumers had already started their Christmas shopping before the end of August.
Small jewellery businesses need to take full advantage of this Christmas rush, which can drive a large part of their annual revenue.
To help small jewellers with this challenge, we’ve put together a chronological list of marketing activities to show you how to tackle the Christmas rush and set yourself up for a glittering year ahead.
Add some festive cheer
As consumers are already in Christmas shopping mode, you should leverage the season and this active consumer mindset. Your digital presence is an especially great place to showcase your spirit and drive engagement. On your website you can refresh your designs to get customers into the Christmas spirit. On social media, share pictures of your Christmas decorations, any special seasonal promotions and general Christmas-spirited messages to engage with your audience and get them in the mood. Create jewellery gift guides on Pinterest and Instagram to lend customers a helping hand and take the pain out of Christmas shopping.
Grab the eyes of passerby’s
When your business is based on selling hand-crafted and visually appealing products, your physical presence also needs to leave an impression on passerby’s. If you have a storefront, decorations can go a long way in bringing shoppers into your store. According to Vistaprint research, more than three-quarters of small retailers (78%) believe decorating their storefront increases sales during the Christmas shopping season. Artist and interior designer Sally Dailey advises retailers to follow these tips to make their shop-front display stand out:
- Give it dimension – a few simple ways you can give your storefront display a 3D effect include staggering image boards and items, adding a heavy shadow line on printed materials and placing darker items in the background and lighter objects up front
- Let it shine – use mirrors, glass and glittery metal along with a small spotlight to give your display more sparkle
- Make it fun and festive – this is for Christmas after all!
Launch your Black Friday sale
This is a key day to market to customers with clear discount messaging that drives interest and understanding of the savings involved. Many major jewellery brands in the UK offer significant discounts on the big day and through the whole Cyber weekend.
As a small independent jeweller, you may not want to price slash to the same level as large jewellers to bring customers through the door. However, even by giving a little extra, you can get a lot in return. Whether it’s a percentage off their purchase or a free gift with every order, a special promotion can be the difference between shopping with you or someone else. Offering free gift wrapping or shipping can also help, as customers always appreciate a little money (and time) saved during the run up to Christmas.
One creative way of standing out is to host a Black Friday in-store event to entice new and returning customers to come to your store for an experience beyond your usual offerings. You can offer guests special giveaways, promotions and a sneak peak of product launches for the new year. As well as generating sales opportunities with your guests, hosting an event will give you great content for your website and social postings.
Make it personal
A recent study we ran into the consumer expectations of small businesses revealed that one of the main reasons British customers prefer to shop small is because it feels more personal. Even small gestures can make an impact. Use this season to show how much your customers mean to you by sending them thank you cards or gifts like mugs, calendars or branded promotional items. It’s never a bad time to thank your customers and to strengthen your relationships for the upcoming year. When customers are in store, take the time to explain the story behind your handcrafted products and which ones would make the perfect Christmas gift for their loved ones.
Participate in Small Business Saturday
While Black Friday can seem more geared towards large retailers and online giants, Small Business Saturday is dedicated entirely to businesses like yours. This grassroots campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages customers to shop local and support independent businesses in their community, takes place on December 7 this year.
On last year’s Small Business Saturday, customers spent £812m in small businesses across the UK, an increase of 8% on 2017. You can share in this success by promoting your involvement offline and online, leveraging the buzz around Small Business Saturday on social and teaming up with other small businesses in your area to create an event, campaign or joint-promotion.
Take a well-deserved rest
The Christmas shopping season can take a toll on small business owners. Our own research shows that almost nine in 10 small business owners in the UK (88%) anticipate they’ll be doing at least some work over the Christmas break.
Small business owners put their hearts and souls into their businesses and at key times of the year this pressure increases. That being said, Christmas is an important time for family and we’d like to encourage small business owners to take a well-deserved rest during this period.
Returning to your business after spending some quality time with your family and friends can help you bring fresh ideas and a renewed sense of drive to your work, ensuring a strong start to 2020.