How your business can start preparing for Christmas

Christmas is an exciting time of year – and not just for kids eagerly awaiting Santa. Traditionally, retailers expect to generate a large proportion of their annual profits in the Christmas quarter, and according to research by The Bank of England, household outgoings rise from at least £2500 per month to £3300 per month in the run-up to the big day. While the festive season is a huge opportunity for retailers, forecasts for this year suggest that consumer spending will be down by over £9 bn compared to 2019 due to the impact of the latest national lockdown. So what can you do to make sure your business is prepared for the unique challenges of this festive season?

Get your business online this Christmas quarter

If you haven't already moved at least part of your business online, there's no time like the present. Online sales are now forecast to account for almost half of all Christmas retail spending this year, so having an up-to-date and accessible online presence is a must if you want to make sure your customers can find you away from the high street. If your business doesn't have a website, SumUp's Online Store feature makes it quick and easy to start selling online. And with Payment Links, you can get paid any time and anywhere. Simply use our app to generate a link to a secure payment site and send it directly to your customer.

Get social and spread the word 

Social media is also a crucial element of your online strategy. Keep your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages festive and current throughout your pre-Christmas trading period, perhaps with some special Christmas offers, gift guides or competitions and deals for your followers. Plan and schedule your Christmas social media posts in advance if you can – because the time you invest in planning now will leave you with more free time closer to Christmas. And remember to let your followers know when you're taking some well-deserved time off. 

Wrap up the year with a newsletter 

Newsletters sent out to your customers by email are another great opportunity to build up a personal connection and make yourself stand out from the crowd. When you're creating your social media posts and writing your newsletters, think about how you can make Christmas easier for your potential customers. 

Finding the perfect gift for that awkward aunt or the sister who has everything is hard work, so make sure your followers know what you have to offer. If you don't already, why not think about selling gift cards? With SumUp, you can add gift cards to your online store, or create a purchase link to send out to customers in your newsletter, with just a few taps and no setup costs or monthly fees. 

So stay calm and start preparing now – there's still plenty of time for you to get Christmas 2020 all wrapped up.

Anna Marie Allgaier

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