Some thoughts from Corin Birchall, founder of Kerching and the MIA’s training partner:
Despite Selfridges, Liberties and Harrods launching their Christmas departments over the summer, for most of us thoughts of Christmas only start creeping in when the media celebrates crossing the “100 days ‘till Christmas” threshold. And yes, that’s this week!
So with 100 trading days left until Christmas, plus a typically strong week between Christmas and New Year, how can we ensure we have the “Biggest Christmas Ever” and start 2018 with a real bang!
Many of the big High Street brands sign off their Christmas plans at the turn of the year, not surprisingly when 40% of John Lewis’s annual profits reportedly come from the Christmas selling season. But don’t panic, there is still plenty of time for you to scribble out your ‘Christmas business list’ and better maximise every opportunity the season of ‘indulgence and consumption’ brings. What we cannot do is leave it to chance or expect that our forward orders of Christmas stock mean our job as retailers is now done.
Questions I would be asking myself as an MI retailer:
- In amongst the noise of big brand Christmas marketing, how do we intend to cut through? What is our singular message this Christmas and how will each and every marketing channel reinforce this? What the staff say to customers, social media posts and advertising, website, blog, banner ads, email blasts, local press and PR, window displays and hotspots. Are they all in sync?
- If our Christmas headline is a promotion or added value offer – How should we present it to engage our target audience? Money off, % off, bundles, buy get one free or an online coupon? Not all promotional approaches are equal, in terms of results?
- As a specialist sector how can we minimise leakage to the likes of Argos, Toys R Us and Amazon over the holiday season. Some other sectors have successfully clawed their starter business back.
- We know there are spikes in traffic around Black Friday and post Christmas – what is our plan to maximise this and still make good profit? Are we using price establishment now to bolster our margins?
- When our guys are met with a price matching situations on the phone or in store, are they well prepared? Do they have the perfect answer to close the deal now?
- What social media and digital marketing trends should I be adopting for Christmas 2017? Is it all about video?
These are just some of the questions I will be answering at the “Biggest Christmas Ever!” retail workshops sponsored by the MIA.
“I’m delighted to have teamed up with the MIA to help prepare MI retailers for their “biggest Christmas ever!” With so much at stake and the knowledge that a few tweaks can be the difference between having a ‘Stellar Christmas’, or wanting to drown your sorrows in a pint of Stella. Taking out a few hours to prepare ourself seems like a no brainer!”
MIA retail members are invited to attend one of our 5x regional Christmas workshops. Hosted in Bristol, London, Midlands, Leeds and Glasgow. Sessions are designed for store/branch managers and/or department heads, to help get their businesses ready for Christmas.
In addition, we will be launching our online training platform at the events. The platform includes short training videos designed to up-skill shop floor and telephone customer service teams to convert and maximise more sales in the run up to Christmas.
The event and online training tools are FREE to MIA member retailers. Non-MIA members are welcome to attend the workshops for just £149+VAT.
To book now visit: http://miabiggestchristmas.eventbrite.com
Mon 2nd Oct: Bristol
Wed 4th Oct: London
Mon 9th Oct: Midlands
Tues 10th Oct: Leeds
Wed 11th Oct: Glasgow
More information visit: https://www.mia.org.uk/biggestchristmas
Corin Birchall is the founder of retail sales and marketing consultancy Kerching! Corin works with brands and retail operators across the UK and Europe. He is a keynote speaker at events across the globe. http://www.kerchingretail.com/services/keynote-speaker