Every year, Tower Systems publishers Christmas marketing and sales tips to retailers using our POS software. These are available free for anyone to use. Here are our Christmas 2012 ideas:

  1. Collect donations at the counter. Setup a big jar and say you want to fill it by Christmas with change for a named local charity your shoppers will know. Choose a charity you  believe in. Label it: SPREAD SOME CHRISTMAS CHEER.
  2. Harvest shopper data. Run a competition with a terrific hamper as a price. Get customers to enter with the name and email address. Indicate you’ll add them to your database. Use the database next year for marketing.
  3. My Christmas. Setup a pinboard somewhere in the shop for locals to post stories about their Christmas – from the past or plans for this year. Make this a place for people to share something of themselves with their community.
  4. Helping hand at Christmas. Find out what local charities are doing at Christmas and offer to promote this for them. Put together a one page flyer and give it to your shoppers so they can support any of these groups.
  5. Best Christmas recipes. Setup a noticeboard somewhere so locals can post their favourite Christmas recipe. get them to tell something more than just listing the recipe.
  6. Locate stock by gift recipient. Consider creating displays targeting the recipient, especially those hard to buy for like Dad. You could have a sign: gifts for Dad for under $30 for example.
  7. A carol discount. Offer a discount to a shopper who comes in singing a carol. Make the discount worth their while. Consider nominating the carol you want to hear this year.
  8. The best part of 2012. Become a beacon for positive stories. Setup a noticeboard for customers to post their stories on the theme – the best part of 2012. This will help get your  business known as a positive place.
  9. Customer endorsements. Invite your customers to write on a specially designed card why they bought what they bought and use these cards as part of your product merchandising – endorsements from other shoppers for the item.
  10. Dress for Christmas. Get T-shirts printed or an apron or some other garment for your customers so they can feel different to the usual year round uniform. Get them to be part of Christmas with what they wear.
  11. Move it. Each week, move product around, keep the shop looking Christmas fresh and people will buy more. While moving stock is hard work, the pay off is that shoppers will find “new” things.
  12. Christmas art. Invite school, kindergartens and play groups to provide art with which to decorate your shop. Offer a modest prize for the winner. Invite public voting if you like. Be proud in showing off local art. This will bring families in to show off and show you as community connected.
  13. Really connect with a local charity. Offer a local charity coupons (in a catalogue) to distribute which provide a discount off certain product categories on presentation. In return, give them a commission from each sale. For example, the coupon could offer 10% off any gift and you could give the charity 5% commission on every sale. A good charity will promote the coupons for you.
  14. Kris Kringle. With Kris Kringle giving growing in popularity, display your gifts based on price point. Signpost them as Kris Kringle gifts. Show people what to buy.
  15. Give gifts to shoppers. One day each week give gifts with every purchase. It could be a chocolate, a fridge magnet or a calendar. Whatever you give, make sure it is something people will like and is easily given away from the counter. Get known as the shop which gives more. Choose gifts related to what you sell. For example – a bag for holding jewellery, cleaner for homewares, recipes from cooking magazines, a voucher for a free service if you sell items requiring servicing.
  16. Sample what you sell. If you sell chocolate, offer samples. There are ways to do this with the food health regulations. Candy companies will tell you that offering samples drives sales.
  17. Use aroma. Choose a smell for Christmas and use a vaporiser to let this waft into the shop. Darrell Lea stores do with well with a liquorice smell. I have seen store do it well with a pine tree smell at Christmas. Tap into a sense which is not often used in retail.
  18. Manage shop floor traffic. With more customers in the shop this time of the year, managing lines is important. Have your best people at the counter and driving traffic so that wait time is kept to a minimum.
  19. Specialise. There are many gifts you can sell by showing that they relate to a highly specialist gift giving occasion: teacher, neighbour, priest, local service provider, gardener. Promoting a gift for one or more trains your customers about giving such a gift and getting it from you.
  20. Good counter offers. Have two impulse items at the counter to be pitched in every sale. Gift tags, Christmas candy or a trinket for car, work or home. Research suggests that 18% of sales can include a counter based impulse purchase. Get the product right and tap into the opportunity.
  21. Add value. Seize every opportunity. Have tape with gift wrap, gift bags near gift items, pre-wrapped gift items, an up-sell opportunity printed on receipts, a promotional flyer in every bag and a logical layout to the store – zones for product categories with good adjacencies.

Yes, there are too many ideas for one store for one Christmas. Choose what works best for you.