Tag Archives: christmas

Is your business Christmas proofed

The question is, when is it time to start thinking about Christmas if you are an entrepreneur, running a business, owner of an online shop or any other enterprise that provides a service, training or goods to the public or other businesses and are be affected by Christmas ?

Some really forward looking people start planning Christmas and all of the logistical necessities that this extra busy time can entail in January, in fact the minute the door is closing on one festive season, the window of opportunity is just beginning to open for the following season of good cheer with its looser wallets and purses.

Some businesses rely so much on Christmas, it would be a complete dereliction to ignore this prime time of the year.  It is incredibly important to plan as much of your business activity as possible during this extra busy time of year, especially if you are a company that requires training for its workforce, making sure that all plans are in place in good time can avoid disastrous consequences and lost revenue, not to mention loss of consumer confidence.

Let’s look at some facts that might help put into perspective the very real proposition that the  Christmas period is ultimately the only important time of year and all other times are simply rehearsing for it.

At least half of small businesses rely so entirely on this seasonal trading that without it there would be no growth, almost 25% of the entire yearly revenue is taken during the festive trading period.

The average household in Britain spends around £800 at this time of year, this is a conservative estimate. This distils into a figure of around £40 for each present that UK shoppers buy for and on average we all buy 14 or 15 presents, this is in stark contrast to shoppers on the continent who spend around £20 per gift and buy only six or seven gifts each year.

Online shopping has rocketed over the years and peaked in 2017 at an all-time high of around £30 billion, this trend looks set to continue over the coming years with a massive 80% of shoppers in Britain saying that they purchase their gifts online.  It is also a fact that 70% of the U.K.’s male population state that they are unlikely to buy gifts in a shop when they can obtain them online.

An incredible £7 billion was spent by shoppers using their mobiles in 2017, bringing into sharp focus the necessity for any forward-looking business to have an online presence that is easy to use and navigate the most up-to-date version possible to make the shopping experience as easy and quick as it can be, those businesses lagging behind the online technology will suffer the consequences as consumers will most certainly make them pay a heavy price by taking their online footfall elsewhere.

40% of discerning gift buyers in UK go online as early as August and September looking for festive bargains that will look good for them when handed over on that very important morning in December.

The lesson in this for all businesses is to start capturing those clients as early as possible with Christmas offers and bargains to tempt them in.

The truly smart business manager or entrepreneur will never leave their Christmas planning until November and December when the decorations are going up, the most successful entrepreneurs will have their plans laid in stone and the nets out to capture this most lucrative of times way, way in advance, Certainly by the end of summer Christmas will loom large in their thoughts and absolutely the wheels of their plan will be grinding into motion by the end of September and no later.

Being ready for the logistical demands that the festive period puts on businesses of all sorts it’s not just a case of hiring the extra staff paying for training courses or even ensuring that the extra stock that will be required is indeed available in your warehouse, you have to look Christmas ready, you have to make your clients feel Christmassy the minute they encounter you on any level, be it in person, in the training room or even, and probably more importantly, on your website and in your social media images and messages on your website should truly reflect the fact that Christmas is coming and make your visitors feel the most welcome that they can be.

Now that the summer has gone by and we are all subjected to grey days and drizzly rain a true lift to the spirit of all human beings is to look forward and imagine ourselves in a winter wonderland themed with Father Christmas, Christmas trees, rosy chested Robbins and wondrous winter snowy landscapes, all images that we should be putting out over the Internet.

It really does not matter what you’re selling or what your service is, you will definitely do better and increase spend by your consumer if they feel jolly and nothing creates jolly better than to identify with the jolly, rotund bringer of Christmas himself with his glowing cheeks flowing white hair & beard and his shiny red suit.

making your clients feel good will invariably result in more revenue, this may sound very cynical but if you don’t do it someone else will and that someone else will take the benefit that could’ve been yours.

Not only is the festive season a time for storing away profits to keep you going through the lean times of the year but it is also time for you to free your inner Santa Claus, if you become the embodiment of Christmas and all of the cheer that that brings with it, you will invariably create a feeling in your workplace and in your customers that will definitely set an atmosphere conducive to higher profits.

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Getting your ecommerce site ready for Christmas

As we head into the busiest quarter for most ecommerce sites, you as a site owner you need to ask yourself some really pertinent questions as there is simply no point in sending traffic to a less-than-optimised website or product listing. So before you do anything else then take a good look at your website and product listings and ask yourself the following question: Would I buy from this site?

You need to be hard and honest and this is where an experienced outside team can help, asking such things like;

is your design professional enough for your business image?

do your product pages look dated?

does the copy need updating, are you actually selling each and every product?

What about your photos, if they were taken on a mobile phone – this is not good enough these days.

Does your site have any additional costs that you aren’t honest and open about?

Do you have a significant drop off at checkout?

If the answer is yes to any of these direct questions your site will be loosing business, maybe more than you are actually winning so why not take the opportunity now to get your site working as it should.  Don’t forget these days this  can include simply collecting data on a brochure download or getting new likes on your Facebook page.

The simple truth is that you need to make it easy for any potential (and returning) customer to do business with you, if you don’t they may go elsewhere.

Gleave Media are experienced ecommerce consultants and can help get your business plans sorted in time for Christmas and beyond, please get in touch here

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Shopping Centre

Safe Online Shopping for Christmas

In the run up to Christmas , this is the busiest time for ecommerce retailers as we all like to shop and browse from home or work (on break time !) Indeed Cyber Monday, the day when ecommerce sites are predicted to be the busiest is this year on Monday 28th November.

I often come across some people who are worried about providing their personal information online in particular credit card details. So if you are concerned I have 6 top tips to help you stay safe online;

What is the site Name?

We would always check the website spelling and the URL, quite often scam sites will use a URL which is very similar to the actual brand/business you want.

Are there any site reviews?

This is one we love, why not Google the company name and see what comes up, you can guarantee unless it is a new business someone somewhere will have had something to say about the business, good or bad.

What is the contact address?

If a site doesn’t have an actual postal address on it, and I don’t mean a PO Box don’t use them – simple, for me if they want my address but won’t give me theirs I ask myself what are they trying to hide?

Look for the Padlock or secure way of paying

When you come to pay for your items, check that the website has a secure way of paying either on the site or by third party – PayPal, SagePay etc…. When you complete the form with your details the web address should change to be ‘https://’ – the S signifies its secure, and you should have a padlock symbol.

Use your head when paying

If you order is over £100 then pay by Credit Card simply because you are protected by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (1974) and this give you as the consumer significant protection if there is a problem. If the order is under £100 then use Visa so again in the unlikely event of a problem you can use the Visa chargeback plan.

Keep the Receipt

When you have paid, keep the proof – setup a separate folder in your email for the confirmation of order emails

Follow these tips and they should help you avoid the scammer and shop happily and safely online.

When you have paid, keep the proof – setup a separate folder in your email for the confirmation of order emails.

Follow these tips and I don’t think you will go far wrong, don’t forget though the golden rule – if an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is!!!

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great content

are your Internet ecommerce plans ready?

So next week the kids are back at school and we all say goodbye to summer, hello Autumn, while at the same time longing for summer to stay as long as possible.

What possibly does this have to do with your Internet business you may ask? Well now is a great time to put plans in place as to how your web business will work and function in the coming months, indeed you really should have already done this. If not some things you defiantly need to consider are the following;

Autumn offers and promotions – possibly the most important thing your internet business can do is have a plan in place as to when to offer and promote certain products at certain times.  So look at the calendar and what is happening in your market place, maybe special events like Halloween (Oct 31st) or maybe country specific Thanksgiving (Nov 22nd).  When you have found them tailor your offering accordingly, this may just mean you send a ‘fright’ email on the 31st October – either way think outside the box!

Email marketing – are your email lists uptodate, do you segment data so someone who likes product A and not B will only get info on product A? Does your email marketing system offer you a fully functioning solution and include the such things as downloadable PDF reports, who clicked what link, a to b split testing and custom integration? If not it may be time to look elsewhere, we offer an email system you can read more here.

Related Posts – email marketing top tips and how to write great email marketing subject lines.

Marketing Plan in place for Christmas – this is THE most important event happening if you sell online before the end of the year, so you need to ensure you have your plan in place as to how you promote, pack and then ship all sales you make.  So think about large items, or time related articles, e.g. if you sell Christmas cards the market for these probably ends early December.  Also if you are shipping overseas when are the latest dates as this should effect what dates that you can offer guaranteed delivery upto.

Anybody who orders and doesn’t get the item for Christmas will not be happy, so bear that in mind.

Finally when all this is done, learn from your success and failures so next year you can be better prepared and ready earlier.

If your business needs advice from a team that has been in and around the internet since 1999 why get in touch through our contact form here we’d be happy to help.

 

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