10 Christmas tips for small traders

2020 was a year that drastically changed consumer habits. With closures and restrictions, many businesses had to reinvent themselves: increasing the use of social media, introducing delivery services, and so on.

The challenges of 2020 have also proved that it’s now more important than ever for traders, small artisans, and business managers to be prepared. To help, we met with Davide Dal Maso, a popular Italian Social Media Coach, who has drawn up a list of tips dedicated to assist retailers in the run-up to the holidays.

Here are his top 10 suggestions to face the challenges caused by COVID-19 and prepare for the festive period.

1. Start social media posts early 

On social channels, you have to play it early when it comes to the holidays. Ideally, you’ll start putting together your editorial plan a month or so earlier than the occasion in question. You can then plan the promotions you’ll offer and focus on the content of your posts. Why not think about running a newsletter for your subscribers and communications about special monetary discounts?

In the case of paid advertising, the festive season is usually the most expensive time of the year. On Instagram, for example, the cost to reach each user is double the average cost of the rest of the year. This is good to remember when it comes to organic content, too. The holiday season always sees a big increase in both content and advertising competition, so make sure your business doesn't take a backseat. 

2. Leverage emotions

The festive period is the perfect time to show the human side of your business. Both in your advertising and organic content, it’s good to use warm colours in any graphics and to find a suitable tone to convey emotions. You could also send greetings in the form of videos or photos. Showing how your company is preparing for Christmas via Instagram Stories is also a nice way to stay connected to your customers during the holidays. 

3. Collaborate locally 

Gaining followers on Instagram is becoming an increasingly difficult task. However, the festive period provides a great opportunity to collaborate with other companies to combine content and grow followers together. Why not try organising a group of businesses working locally to raise money, toys, and food for charity?

4. Offer discounts and vouchers

Using discounts and vouchers is a great way to make your brand stand out in the crowd. And, you can promote SumUp Vouchers on your social media platforms. To do so, simply create stickers for Instagram Stories or add a button to your profile. By clicking on the sticker or button, your customers can quickly purchase a Voucher to spend later or give as a Christmas present. This allows people to carry on supporting their favourite businesses in a time of crisis or physical store closure.

5. Christmas means community

It’s essential to create a sense of community around your brand. Speaking to customers with an open heart reminds them of how important their support for small businesses is, especially during the holiday shopping period. It’s better, therefore, to create content with a strong human focus and to hone in on important issues that allow customers to empathise and offer their support.

6. Cashless and online payments

Maintaining social distancing and avoiding the exchange of paper money has been essential for most of this year, and the this holiday season is no exception. It’s really important to encourage and facilitate cashless payments both in-store and online, for example by equipping your team with portable card readers, such as the SumUp Air.

Additionally, allowing your customers to pay remotely is a useful solution, particularly for businesses that choose to offer home delivery services. To support this, SumUp has introduced Payment Links. Merchants can request payments by sending a link via email, SMS, or social channels to the customer, who then enters their payment details to complete the transaction on their smartphone. 

7. Betting on seasonal products

At Christmas, some items are given as gifts or purchased more frequently than others, so it’s important to focus on the right product offerings when choosing what to promote offline and online. Additionally, to encourage the purchase of a product, use images and videos on social media to advise on how to use it, stimulating the imagination and curiosity of customers.

8. Register your company on Google My Business

It’s a good idea to enhance your business’s commercial profile on the Google My Business platform by including your location, comprehensive information about your store, and recognisable, distinctive naming. Fill in the section dedicated to showcasing your products to promote online purchasing and delivery. Also, SumUp merchants using Google My Business have the option of adding a link to their sales page on Google.

9. Promote “smart” shopping

Wherever possible, think about how you can revamp your in-store experience by promoting “smart” shopping. A few ways you can achieve this are by adding click & collect services at the point of sale and by allowing customers to order in advance and pick up products during off-peak hours to avoid queues and crowds.

10. Create a digital shop window

Equipping yourself with an e-commerce solution or digital shop window can increase the visibility of your store and, consequently, boost your sales. To make it easier for business owners, SumUp has introduced the Online Store, a free digital e-comm solution designed especially for small businesses. This feature allows merchants to present their products and services to the public, while also enabling them to receive payments and requests directly through their social channels.

Want to find out more information about how SumUp can help your business? Use the form below to speak to our Sales team.

Lucia Cherchi