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What can I do to increase business on the run up to Christmas?

With Christmas here before you can say Jack Robinson, here are ten things you can do to increase your sales potential and boost your figures for a Merry Christmas.

  • Remember Your Customers
  • Reward Loyalty
  • Incentivise
  • Up Sell
  • Samples
  • Social Networking
  • Newsletters
  • eCommerce
  • Delivery
  • Understanding Your Numbers

1. Remember Your Customers

Many businesses think that a sure way of increasing sales is to entice new customers.  This is all well and good, but what about your current clientele?  The ones that have helped place you on the map?  Shift your sales focus from attracting new customers to enticing your proven customers to buy again. The best sales prospect is a prospect that’s already converted – in other words, one of your current customers. Done right your existing happy customers can do your marketing for you … read on.

2. Reward Loyalty 

Customer reward programs are a great way to help build customer loyalty and increase sales.  Although familiar with large businesses, small ones can get involved too! It can be something simple like a discount or as complex as a point’s scheme.  Done right, rewards customer loyalty can help increase sales.

3. Incentivise

As a business owner, you may have the answer that could send your sales sky high.  But how can you translate that to your sales staff, and get them as enthusiastic as you are?  A good start is to introduce a sales incentive to give your sales staff a reason to get out there and sell.  Offering staff rewards and discounts works, which is why so many businesses rely on them to drive sales.

4. Up Sell

Up-selling is a great way to increase your sales figures, attracting new customers with a try before you buy approach. However this isn’t just a case of thrusting products under a customer’s nose, in the hope of them possibly buying it.  No, to up-sell successfully, the customer has to be persuaded of the benefit.

5. Samples

People love to try before they buy.  With this is mind; customers can only think good things of you.  By offering a small sample for free, you are giving the customer an opportunity to possibly buy more of that product.

6. Social Networking

Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Foursquare may help you sell your products, but more importantly, if that’s where your customers hang out, maybe you should too.  Social Networking is a major player in the media world these days, and the blogs on these sites can help retailers keep in touch with shoppers, make announcements or feature new merchandise and promotions.

7. Newsletters

Newsletter and email marketing is key in keeping in touch with the customers you’ve managed to get in your store or on your website. You’ve done the hard work in gaining a customer, so do all you can to help them buy again.  With a newsletter, you can keep your customers informed with what going on, share a specific a topic or promote a product or service.  With many people having access to email, you could create an e-newsletter, which would save on costs and make buying from you again easier.

8. eCommerce

Develop a website to actually sell your products or services. Once you allow people to buy online you again make it easier for them to buy from you. Combine this with social networking and you have a recipe for growth and increased margins.

9. Delivery

Customers love free shipping! However as a small business, you’ll have to work out and see if the potential increase in Christmas sales is affordable, what with the cost of shipping. Much will depend on exactly what your products are and how much it costs to deliver them to the customer.

10. Understand Your Numbers

By understanding where your customers come from, how they interact with you and what helps to convert a sale, you can capitalise on your winning strategies. Track how customers use your site, find out why they came, what they were looking for and how they found you. With this information you can react faster to the needs of your customers and put more effort into marketing that is working.

A great way to leapfrog your competition is to join AsOne’s Innovation Club, a proactive marketing and analysis program that works for your business.