Australians love to shop around holidays and seasonal events― in fact, our retail spending jumps by around one-third in December as we gear up for the festive season1. It isn’t just about gifts: at Christmas, we double our turkey consumption and buy 60% more alcohol2.
While Christmas clearly gives retailers cause to celebrate ― there are plenty of other seasonal events and occasions throughout the year that can help give businesses a major sales boost.
For instance, in February, Australians spend almost $800m on Valentine’s Day shopping, with florists generating 10% of their total annual sales on a single day3. The Easter Bunny’s arrival in March or April brings around $3bn in spending, and 50% more chocolate sales than any other week of the year4.
With this in mind, there’s opportunity to take advantage of these seasonal events to benefit sales.
Prepare your business for the busy period
The trick is to know your market and start planning early. From Mother’s Day to Mardi Gras to Easter, some holidays and events will be more relevant for your business than others. Once you have key dates, create a timeline for the year ahead and get a head start by promoting your product or service weeks in advance of the shopping rush ― think about putting up eye-catching banners, sending out catalogues or hosting an event.
The last thing you want is to run out of a popular item right before busy periods. In addition to a full display, you’ll need a stocked store-room to keep up with an increase in sales. Or if you provide a service, make sure you have the staff on hand to meet higher customer demand.
Take a look back at last year’s sales to work out what you’re likely to need in terms of stock and personnel. It can be tricky to get the balance right, as you don’t want to end up with leftover stock that needs to be marked down, so keep an eye on how sales are tracking.
Gear up your staff with training
While your staff should always know the features and benefits of your product or service, this is especially important when things get busy in the lead up to a holiday or festive occasion.
By understanding which products can be paired up together, they can help increase the value of a sale by recommending another item or suggesting an upgrade. So it’s worth refreshing your employees’ training before these busy times.
Dress up your business
The display of your business plays an important part in shaping the customer experience. You can create a positive environment by decorating your store with a seasonal theme. Your holiday or seasonal makeover could also draw the attention of potential new customers.
Boost your online sales
An increasing number of Australians now prefer to beat the seasonal crowds by doing all their shopping from the comfort of their home. In December, there is a surge in online sales ― with seven out of ten major retailers recording double digit gains in unique visitors to their websites5. To stand out from your competitors online and create a more enjoyable shopping experience for your customers there are a number of things you can do including:
- Put some festive cheer on your website
- Add a blog with season-themed content
- Highlight relevant sales and gift ideas
- Offer last minute shipping options and cut-off shipping times.
With upcoming festivals and events this year, plan ahead and prepare your business to maximise the opportunity to boost sales during these periods.