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Christmas Shopping

Visa’s Christmas advert has one clear message: ‘Support your local high street’

And trust me everyone who didn’t grow up with an iPad attached to their pram from day dot wants to

But even these customers have one clear message: “Local Businesses let us know what you’re offering. If we don’t know, we can’t buy from you”

In our latest blog we look at What Stops Customers Spending Local At Christmas

If we don’t know you exist, then we can’t spend from you

It’s as simple as that and don’t assume that having a location in the town centre means customers know you exist

When potential customers are walking past your business they’ve probably got their heads looking down at their phone, thinking about their plans for the day ahead or working out what they need on the latest food shop

They’ve probably walked past your business 30 times this year and they don’t have a clue what your business name is or what you actually sell

You need to market yourself both online and offline so that every single person in the town who could be your customers knows you exist

Awareness is the 1st part of marketing. Action is the 2nd and that’s harder, but if you don’t have awareness you don’t have action

Do your customers really know what you sell?

I don’t just mean a top line headline of “clothes” or “gifts” or “stationery”

I mean do they know the full range of what you sell

I can go on Amazon and buy anything and when I’ve bought one item next time I log in it will suggest via an algorithm for 10-15 items I might also like. And I do buy from the algorithm

But your business you’ve probably posted about 5% of what you actually offer and there’s items you sell which are perfect fodder for social media

If you want customers to shop local this Christmas stick to your opening hours

A couple of months ago a local business lost hundreds of pounds worth of business from myself as I spent 2 30 minute round trips to buy from them for them not to be open on their advertised opening hours

I went and spent with a chain on my 3rd attempt. I won’t buy from the business ever. And I told others how bad it was that I’d wasted my time trying to support a local business

If you want to lose customers for life and drive people away from the high street to online – one of the easiest ways to do it is advertise Christmas Opening Hours and then not stick to them

High Street Businesses are their own worst enemy and over the past 2 or 3 years businesses on the main shopping centre in my home town have not been able to agree to set Christmas hours and have instead all had individual closing times

Why would people go out of their way for this?

In terms of the UK we’re a pretty divided nation when it comes to customer service

In many respects we have pretty poor customer service and as customers we accept a lot we shouldn’t – it’s a cliché but go to New York and you’ll understand how bad we are as a nation at customer service

And on the other side we are a nation that has one bad customer service experience and won’t go back to that business ever again

If a customer has had a bad experience they’ll actually go out of their way not to spend with you

Your success at Christmas is based on your success the 12 months previous

Wow people in January, March and May and they’ll spend gladly with you come Christmas

Christmas is a year long campaign

I’m in the service industry – which means there are many variables that people buy from me for. My personality, my experience, my testimonials, my blogs. So so many factors dictate whether people are prepared to spend with myself or spend with others

If you’re a retail or B2C business chances are you’re selling a product. It’s the same product wherever they buy it

People are price sensitive

Whilst they might spend £1 or £2 more than online as your customer service is amazing and they want that product right now rather than waiting for delivery. What they won’t do is pay double for the same product and that is a huge

problem. You have to realistic with your pricing if the same product can be bought significantly cheaper online

Address the above, I hope you have a great Christmas

Be Great


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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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