Christmas markets are a lot of fun to visit, but they also offer a great way for businesses to increase brand awareness and sell some extra products.
John Armstrong, Director and Co-Owner of Custom Planet, explains how you can make your stall stand out at this year’s Christmas markets.
For many SMEs, Christmas is the perfect time to step up your game, raise awareness of your brand, and make some extra sales. One of the best ways to get your products in front of new people and make sales you wouldn’t have otherwise, is to set up shop at one of the UK’s many Christmas markets.
This is certainly a view shared by many businesses as the number of Christmas markets in the UK has more than trebled since 2007, generating over £500 million for the UK economy in 2017 alone, according to statistics released by the UK government.
From food stalls to jewellery makers and cheese connoisseurs to decoration designers, there are all kinds of great businesses getting involved. But with all these amazing stalls, it can be hard for yours to get noticed. With that in mind, here are my tips to help you stand out from the crowd at a Christmas market.
Choose your product range carefully
Every small business that plans on attending a Christmas market should carefully consider what products they will try and sell, as this can make or break their success. Think about your customers and what they would want to get out of a business like yours at this time of year.
Perhaps you already know what your big sellers are, so this could just be a matter of putting together some nice seasonal packaging or gift boxes.
But, if you want to push a particular product, consider revamping it to include a festive theme — such as cushions with Christmas prints or food items with a seasonal twist — as shoppers are already in the mindset for this time of year.
Use visuals to stand out
Humans are visual creatures and we are naturally drawn to things that catch our eye. This is particularly important at Christmas markets, which can be incredibly busy and are generally full of flashing lights and shiny decorations.
Many visitors will come to the market just once, so you only have one chance to make a sale to these people. Whether you want to go all-out Christmassy with tinsel and decorations, or you want something a bit less obvious, you need to make it clear what your brand is, so shoppers are able to understand what you’re about with a glance.
Make the most of social media
Gone are the days of setting up a stall and hoping for the best. Now, it’s up to you to promote your stall well in advance of the market using your social media channels. While some businesses use every social media platform under the sun, I recommend just sticking to what you know, and where you have a solid, engaged following.
You can start building a buzz around your Christmas stall by teasing new and interesting products that you will be selling. You could even have a go at doing a competition to increase brand awareness and hopefully bring more people to your stall.
Getting people to like and share posts for the chance to win a product or two won’t cost you much, but it will get people excited about your brand.
Don’t forget the marketing material
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to selling from a Christmas stall, but what many don’t realise is the number of extra sales you will receive after the fact. Many people who go to Christmas markets are simply browsing or looking for inspiration for their Christmas presents. When they go away later and think about it, they may well wish they had bought something from you. For this reason, it’s important that you are handing out business cards and marketing materials, letting people know that they can buy from your brick-and-mortar or online shop.