No matter what you’re selling, Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. If you’re selling food, however, you have an even bigger advantage, because everyone is eager to feast until the New Year! Excitement is in the air and everyone you know is looking to host a memorable meal, give a tasty gift, or offer a hearty spread of appetizers next to the mulled wine. How can you best turn the joy of the season into sales? Let’s look at five ways to make this an FMCG Christmas to remember...
1) Tap Into Audience Sentiment
You might know someone who hates Christmas, but the holiday is as universally beloved as anything can be in the internet age. Your customers already have their hearts warmed by the season, and visions of sugarplums are dancing in their heads. Capitalize on their sentimental attachments to Christmas fare and favourite treats by connecting your product to traditional meals, or showing how it can be used in new seasonal appetizers, sides and desserts.
If you can’t think of a way to tie your product into a traditional Christmas dinner, try offering limited edition Christmas products and packaging designs. Coffee wasn’t exactly synonymous with the season, but Starbucks hit the jackpot by offering seasonal drinks such as the Gingerbread Latte, and their Christmas Cups have become beloved by millions of people around the globe. They’ve even inspired fan sites that count down the days until their launch! Remember, Coca-Cola created the modern image of Santa Claus in 1930, and they’ve been doing pretty well since then!
2) Smooth Out the Journey to Purchase
Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the busiest and most stressful. Everyone is pressed for time, and brick and mortar stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls are swarming with frantic shoppers. Every second you can cut out of the path to purchase is another moment your customers can use to relax, party, or spend time with their families. Every headache you cause them will push them closer to Amazon, or another competitor who offers a seamless experience. Make sure that your product can be purchased online via mobile and voice enabled digital assistants, and that the process is as quick and painless as possible. As we’ve written before, when asked why they abandoned carts by the Baymard Institute, 37% of consumers replied that they had been asked to create an account, 28% said the checkout process was too long and complicated, and 20% said the website had issues or crashed. If you don’t get rid of these roadblocks, you’ll find coal in your stocking.
3) Improve the Customer Experience
During the holiday season, you’ll find your customers yo-yo-ing between joy and stress. This creates risk and opportunity for retailers. Consumers will be extremely appreciative of everything you can do to make their lives easier, but unforgiving of any difficulties you create for them. Create gift guides and bundles to make their shopping experience simpler. Offer free shipping and returns so they don’t have an extra worry when buying online. Offer free express shipping so they can buy last minute gifts and items without worrying that they won’t arrive on time. Give your customers gifts, whether in the form of stocking stuffers, special discounts or promo codes. Offer time saving recipes that will help them prepare for parties and family dinners. It’s better to give than receive (complaints).
4) Convenience Counts: Get Shoppable!
UK clothing retailer Ted Baker made headlines last year with a shoppable video, coupling wintry imagery and music with models wearing that season’s styles. The video was a huge hit, and its success is waiting to be replicated in the FMCG industry. In case you missed it, 2017 was declared the year Christmas became shoppable. If you’re selling food, you should make sure that your social media, video content and recipes are shoppable. Throw an “add to cart” button on EVERYTHING! People are looking for a way to make their parties, meals, and gifts memorable, and they’re primed to buy. If you give them the opportunity to purchase your product without the headache of a trip to the supermarket, they’ll jump at the chance.
5) Christmas Isn’t For Everyone!
While most of your customers love it, remember that a significant portion of the world doesn’t celebrate the holiday. And it can be a difficult time of year for them. As one non-celebrant writes “simple acts like going to the grocery store feel like a kick in the jaw when Christmas music blares in the aisles… everyone else is off having a party without me simply because of my beliefs.”
It’s important to keep these customers in mind and to show them that you care about their needs, beliefs, and cultures as well. How can you do this? Use data to personalize offers centered around holidays that might be significant to them. Hanukkah is usually the first example you’ll find, but by targeting lesser known holidays this winter (like Diwali, the birth of Guru Nanak, Chinese Single’s Day, or Milad un Nabi) you can earn the goodwill of customers from other ethnic groups and religious traditions who are tired of being bombarded with Christmas campaigns. And remember, the appeal of winter-themed marketing is as universal as hot soup on a cold day!
Have A Holly Jolly (and Lucrative) Christmas
Your number one priority during the holiday season should be spreading joy to your customers. The simplest way to do this is by focusing on their wants and needs. Time is precious at this time of year, and every minute you can save them leaves more time for building lasting memories. Give them the gift of convenient shopping experiences, and they’ll surely remember to leave money under your tree.