How To Prepare Your Business For The Christmas Markets
For businesses, the festive period is all about generating those sales as this short but significant window of increased opportunity is the only time of year when businesses can be sure that consumers are looking to purchase right away. That’s why retailers will often consider setting up a stall at a Christmas market to showcase their products to out of town visitors, seasonal shoppers and the local community.
Mark Thompson, Co-Founder of PrintDesigns relays the importance of Christmas markets by saying, “These events attract a huge footfall, making them the perfect opportunity for local brands to increase visibility and get their products in front of a new audience that is ready to purchase.”
And according to research from nabma, there’s no shortage of demand as 100 Christmas markets were staged in the UK in 2014. From the five markets that they reviewed, the average spend ranged from £11.45 to £49 per trip - to put this into context, the upper end of this spectrum is where a medium-size shopping centre hope to be in the Christmas season.
So with this in mind, here are a few tips on how to showcase your products at a Christmas market:
Tailor Your Product Range
Although you may have your core product lines already, it could be worth mixing it up for the festive season. This is relatively hassle-free and could just mean investing in some gift boxes and seasonal packaging such as tags and ribbons.
Or you could develop a limited edition seasonal product, for example, cranberry infused cheeses or Christmas inspired prints. This can expand your offering and target customers that are looking for something a little more unique.
Have Fun With Visuals
Christmas markets can get really busy and whilst visitors are walking around, you’ll want your stall to stand out from the crowd. This will differ slightly from how you would market in store as at the markets, your window display is your entire shop! So you’ve got to be clever with the space that you’re working with.
You’ll want to showcase as many of your products as possible without making your stall look cluttered, so make sure your most eye-catching items are at the front and group similar products together.
Peter and Hetty Koomen who sell second hand items at markets say, “Rotate the products in your boot; change the view of your booth often and make sure there are no empty spots. To avoid this, we always store extra products under our table.”
At Christmas time, many shoppers will be looking to buy multiple gifts, so offering discounts or promotions on multiple purchases could be a great way to encourage shoppers to buy more whilst also earning themselves a cost saving. This tried and tested logic has been known to work time and time again! Christmas is also an opportune time to offer new year discounts ahead of the January sales, and boosting business even after the festive period is over.
Be Proactive With Your Customers
Christmas markets can be lots of fun, and you’ll get to interact with customers in a different way then you would in a store. Don’t be afraid to engage with them and chat about your products - some of them may be shy or reserved approaching your stall so be friendly while also giving them space to browse.
You could also tell them some interesting facts about your products, how they’re made and which items have been popular so far.
Rutger Visser, a seller of handmade products says, “Sitting on a chair behind your booth is not enough! Be energetic and greet people who are passing by. I always throw in some humour to break the ice.”
Make Sure Your Customers Can Find You
Many visitors at a Christmas market may just be browsing for inspiration. This is why it’s important to make sure they at leave with some information on how they can find you or purchase products online at their own convenience. Business cards are great for this so make sure you have plenty to hand and make sure they include a website address and social handles. You can also include this information on your stall banners or stands.
As your products are likely to be gifted, you’ll also be reaching another potential customer base - the people receiving the gifts - it could be wise to include details such as a website and social media handles on the packaging or on gift cards. That way, if they’re happy with the product, they can easily seek you out for future purchases.
Now that you have a few tips on how to showcase your product at a Christmas market, it could be worth trying it out in practice! To see more details on some of the Christmas markets happening in your area visit christmasmarkets.com.