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Increase Sales with these 10 Christmas Marketing Ideas

Increase Sales with these 10 Christmas Marketing Ideas

There are still five weeks until Christmas, but it’s never too early to start marketing your business to increase your sales.

Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for eCommerce businesses and missing out on the boost in sales it brings can be devastating. That’s why it’s never too early to start planning for how you’ll market your business this holiday.

Here are 10 Christmas marketing ideas that will help take your business forward this year.

1. Plan ahead

The saying goes that practice makes perfect, but that can also apply to planning. Setting actionable goals for your Christmas sales will help you see what you’re up against.  Then, putting an actionable plan into place will help you achieve those goals and measure your success along the way.

2. Customize packaging

Consumers like to get into the holiday spirit as they shop. One way that you can do that is by customizing your packaging for Christmas.  You’ll be making your products more attractive to those who purchase your products and those who receive them as gifts.  In fact, this is something that can leave a lasting impression on people, which could boost your sales year-round.

3. Create bundles

Another tried-and-true idea is to create special Christmas bundles of some of your products that complement each other.  These are very attractive to consumers, as it makes buying and gifting easy.  It also looks extra special when it’s given as a gift come Christmas time.

4. Create an online catalogue

So much of Christmas shopping happens online these days.  This is especially true this year during the coronavirus pandemic.  This year make sure you give extra attention to your online store.  One great way to do this is to create a digital version of an old-fashioned Christmas staple — a holiday catalogue.  This allows people to browse all the products you’re offering, some on special, for the Christmas shopping season.

5. Make a gift guide

While you’re creating an online catalogue, take it one step further and create a special gift guide.  This can feature all your special products that you have this holiday season, and any of your most popular items.  This will allow you to quickly target products you want customers to purchase.

6. Partner with other small businesses

A great way to market yourself and reach new customers is to partner with another small business like yours.  For example, if you sell coffee, find an eCommerce business that sells coffee mugs, and try to partner with them.  This way, you could cross-promote each other through both of your marketing efforts, allowing both companies to potentially reach new customers.

7. Be transparent with dates

One challenge many eCommerce stores face during Christmas is fulfilling orders and getting them shipped in time for the holiday.  Postal services are always extra burdened this time of year.  You don’t want to disappoint your customers by delivering products they bought as gifts after Christmas.  So, make sure to set and communicate purchase deadlines.

8. Stock up

Along those same lines, make sure you have enough product on hand to meet all your orders.  The last thing you want to do is run out of your most popular product and not be able to fulfill someone’s Christmas purchase.

9. Ship for free

Customers have a lot of choice when it comes to Christmas purchases.  One way to convince them to purchase from you is to offer free shipping on all purchases. You can run this special for the entirety of the Christmas shopping season, allowing customers to spend more on their loved ones.

10. Give back

Christmas is a time for giving back and helping those in need.  A great way that you can participate and help support charities is by donating a portion of your sales to a specific charity.  Choose a non-profit organization that means a lot to you.  Then, take a percentage of every sale you make and donate it to them. Communicate this to your customers, too, and they’ll be more likely to purchase from you.

Please call the Photo Direct Customer Service Team if we can assist you with any of your needs.  We are here to work with you!  03/9894 1644

6 Things Small-Retailers Need to Prepare for Christmas Shopping Season

6 Things Small-Retailers Need to Prepare for Christmas Shopping Season

Christmas season is coming soon, and retailers everywhere need to gear up to prepare for the influx of customers coming. This includes you, as a small retailer, since Christmas customers will be heading your way re their Photo Gifting needs when they’re looking for unique gifts for their loved ones.

Christmas customers tend to prefer large retailers because they want a smooth Christmas shopping experience, which they assume small retailers tend to lack. With this in mind, there are certain things you need to prepare to ensure that you’re providing the best customer experience for your Christmas Photo shoppers.

Stock-up on Christmas-friendly products

Use last year’s Christmas sales data to determine what products you need to stock up more. Customers who come for Christmas shopping will prefer to have a section in the store that they browse, so decorate this spot with Christmas ornaments. Most importantly, prepare gift wrapping kits so you can offer a gift-wrap option to your Christmas shoppers. You should also have gift card products ready in-store.

Prepare your store for Christmas shoppers

You can decorate your whole store with Christmas-themed things. You can also play some holiday music during the Christmas season. Be sure to hire additional employees for certain days, like the week lead up to Xmas Day, when there will be more customers. Always have some small change ready before you open the store during Christmas season. Little things like this, helps create a better Christmas shopping experience for your customers.

Market your Christmas season promotions

Although new Christmas shoppers will come, you should also make your store the first choice for Christmas shopping to your existing customers. Do this by sending a Christmas email newsletter containing discounted offers. Also, update your social media with discount codes posts and Christmas product offerings. For in-store promotions, provide a Christmas card for your loyal customers with an enclosed discount voucher for their next visit.

Make a special Christmas-only event or products for your store

Aside from promotions, you can also make a special collaboration or limited edition products for the Christmas season. It is also possible to hold a Christmas event, such as a charity drive, in your store. Doing this will help attract customers who are looking for specialised gifts and increase your brand awareness. Use social media to advertise and don’t forget to stock the products accordingly.

Optimise your product delivery for Christmas

Christmas delivery can be a nightmare, so it’s crucial for you to plan ahead. Be sure to update customers on your Christmas delivery date range. You can also circumvent this situation by offering a click and collect service if you also operate an online store. To entice customers to visit in-store, you can also extend your opening hours. Return and exchange policies should also be clearly informed to customers prior to their purchase.

Offer a post-Christmas shopping discount

The best way to engage a new batch of customers after the Christmas shopping season will be to offer a post-Christmas discount. You can send them an email newsletter and post updates on your social media, but you can also do this in-store by putting posters on your storefront. Doing this also helps you move out your remaining Christmas products stock.

Photo Direct are here to assist you with any needs or enquiries, please call 03 9894 1644.

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5 Tips for small businesses to master social media in 2020

5 Tips for small businesses to master social media in 2020

Social media is no longer a maybe — using social networks to connect with your customers, for free, is an essential part of running a business in 2020. But, social media can be difficult to master and slow to get started. Choose one or two social networks to focus on where your target audience spends the most time. Then, to focus your efforts and build your business on social media, try these five ideas.

Set clear goals that are easy to measure.

What do you hope to accomplish on social media in 2020? Setting a goal helps focus your efforts and is essential to keeping your social media campaign on track. Once you have set your goal, however, take it one step further. Determine how you will measure that goal. List the social media metrics that you will monitor to determine how successful you are at achieving that goal, such as the follower count, engagement, or post reach.

Share content, not commercials.

Too often, businesses treat social media like one big commercial. Don’t. Instead, share posts that are useful to your followers. Share tips, advice, insight, inspiration, or even, if it’s on brand, humour. Posts on sales and promotions should be a small percentage of what is shared on your page. Sharing content from other pages is another way to build your page without loosing followers for sounding like a commercial.

Get creative with strategy.

There’s more than one way to create success on social media platforms. Brainstorm options to jump start your social media, and choose more than one strategy as you move forward in order to create a variety of content. Remember to treat social media as a conversation and engage with users, commenting on other posts and not just creating your own posts. Giveaways are another good strategy for growing your follower count, as well as creating hash tags.

Schedule posts.

Once you have a goal and strategy, start scheduling posts. Set aside one day a week or one day a month to schedule posts to your page. This both ensures that you have a regular stream of content and encourages more thought-out posts. Avoid scheduling too far in advance, or you won’t be able to use the information that you’ve learned from determine what posts are successful and which ones are not.

Use analytics to adjust your strategy.

No matter what network you use, it likely has some analytics that tell you how each post performs. Don’t neglect this data. Look at your most successful posts. What time of day were they shared? What content did you use? What format? Using analytics, you can recognise trends such as the best time of the day to share, or perhaps that asking a question increases the engagement on a post.

5 Ideas to Increase Foot traffic at Your Stor

5 Ideas to Increase Foot traffic at Your Store

Foot traffic increases sales for small businesses — and now, more than ever, foot traffic is increasingly important. Besides ensuring customer safety, how can small businesses encourage more customers to come through those doors? Here are five ideas.

Inspire loyalty with a rewards program.

Loyalty programs help keep customers returning to your store instead of a competitor. Thanks to technology, loyalty programs can also be data-driven, sending your loyal customers coupons for the items they are most likely to shop for or on days when they are most likely to shop. Research different loyalty program providers to see if a program would be a good fit for your business.

Try coupons that require return visits.

Coupons can be great tools for getting more customers through your doors, but some coupons can get them through your doors twice. A coupon such as spend $20, get $5 off your next purchase will have customers returning to use that second coupon. Be sure to set an expiration date on that discount, and don’t hide the fact that the discount applies to the next order in the small print, or you’ll give potential life-long customers a bad taste of your business on their first visit.

Create a catchy window display.

You could increase your foot traffic and encourage customers to walk through your door simply by what you place in your window. Brainstorm catchy themes or funny motifs for your storefront that would allow you to display your product. Displaying a major sale item in the window is also a great idea. Don’t have a good window or want to draw attention even from further away? Try a sidewalk sale, which is also a great way to get rid of clearance items.

Build a display off-site.

Window displays only work for people who are already walking by your store. To bring in even more customers, consider building a display that’s off-site. Consider renting display space at the local mall, or trading spaces with another business in a cross-promotion. Renting a booth at a local event is another way to grab the attention of people that wouldn’t typically walk past your window.

Support local and share online.

Many customers go out of their way to support a local business. Be sure to include in your inventory locally sourced products. That won’t do much, however, if customers don’t know about those local items.  Use your social media channels to advertise the fact that you have local products to people in your area — use the social media platform’s tools to limit the audience by location.

Increasing foot traffic at your store often requires more creativity than cash — which means it’s a great way for small businesses to grow without a big budget for advertising.

Please call Photo Direct Sales Team on 03 98941644 if we can assist you.

5 Keys to Organising Stores for Better Sales

5 Keys to Organising Stores for Better Sales

Ever buy more than you intended at a store, just because something you walked by caught your eye? Just like items in the checkout lane are easily added to an order, the way that your retail store is organised can play a key role in how much time customers spend in your store — and how much money. Here are the five keys to store organisation that small business owners can capitalise on.

Almost all customers will walk by the display that’s to the right of the door.

Customers tend to shop counter-clockwise in a circle around the store, says Profit First author Mike Michalowicz. That makes the display that’s to the right of the entrance a valuable spot. Place your high value products and displays here, Michalowicz suggests. Positioning your best display here will encourage more of your customers to walk by.

What do most people come to your store for? Place it far from the door.

The more time that customers spend in the store, and the more items they walk by, the more money they are likely to spend. Grocery stores place their frequently bought items — milk and eggs — in the back of the store because then customers will walk by several displays to get there. Identify what customers are most often coming to your store for, and strategically place those items so that customers walk through more of your store.

Eye-level shelf space is prime real estate.

Customers are most likely to see items that are at eye-level. Of course, not all items can be placed there, but that information can help you choose which shelf to place what product on. High value items can go at that eye-level shelf, while related items that aren’t quite as valuable can go on the top and bottom shelves. Keep in mind, too, that the definition of eye-level varies based on the height of your customers. Products geared towards kids should be lower on the shelves.

Maximise the space that you have.

Small businesses don’t often have the resources to create giant retail spaces — and that’s okay. Work to create a space that’s inviting, rather than vast. Find a balance between creating a store that feels cluttered, and creating a store that feels empty.

Keep products easy to find.

While strategising where to place your products in the store, don’t let retail strategy override the obvious — products should be easy to find. Keep related products near each other, and organise in a logical way by product category. Yes, you should keep customers moving through as much of the store as possible, but don’t allow them to leave frustrated because they couldn’t easily find what they were looking for. Be sure to use extra signage after rearranging for returning customers who may be thrown off by the new arrangement.

Using strategy when organising your store can help customers stay longer and even grab more items off the shelf — just make sure that your organisation scheme will also make sense to anyone looking for an exact product.

How to use online cross-promotion to boost your business

How to use online cross-promotion to boost your business

Cross-promotion is an affordable way to advertise your business by partnering with another business that reaches a similar audience. By sharing resources with each other, businesses can help boast each other up, without the spending of a major ad campaign. But, cross-promotion doesn’t have to simply be restricted to displaying fliers in each other’s stores. Online cross promotion can be a very effective tool to grow your brand. Here’s how.

1. Recognise potential brand partners online.

Start by identifying a handful of businesses that you’d like to cross-promote with. Look for a non-competing brand that reaches a similar target audience. A wedding photographer, for example, could partner with a dress shop — they both market to engaged couples, but aren’t competing with each other. With online cross-promotion, consider more than just other businesses but influencers too. Take a look at their online presence and see who has a higher number of followers.

2. Identify the potential ways to cross-promote.

The possibilities for online cross-promotion are big. Brainstorm both the platforms that your brand could promote another on, and the potential places you’d like to see your brand get cross promoted. Consider social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. Don’t forget about blogs and email newsletters.

3. Reach out and start crafting a plan.

With a few ideas in place, start reaching out to those potential cross-promotion companies. As you reach out, make it clear that the plan is mutually beneficial. Be sure to convey where you could promote them and how your brand has similar values. Once you find a partner, be specific about what you will cross promote, when, and where.

4. Build the cross-promotion campaign.

As you share posts for cross-promotion, be wary of making your page suddenly sound like an advertising service. Cross-promotion posts should still sound like a friendly or helpful social media post and not an ad — you don’t want to loose followers that don’t want to be spammed. Be sure to add links where relevant. Sharing each others posts is also another great way to cross-promote without sounding like a salesman.

5. Evaluate and continue brainstorming.

After a post, see how the post did and work with your partner to identify different ways to improve or to continue working together in the future.

Cross-promotion is a great tool for small businesses. Along with strategies like swapping flyers, online cross-promotion can help put your business in front of potential new customers.

Remember to “Think Outside the Square” in these challenging times.

Call Photo Direct Customer Service Team if we can assist you in any manner….03 9894 1644.

Stay safe and stay positive at all times.

What is cross-promotion? What small businesses need to know

What is cross-promotion? What small businesses need to know

A business doesn’t exist on an island, but inside a larger community. And just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to build a successful business. But a community is made up of more than just individual people — businesses, too, can help boast another business. While new business owners may shy away from other working with other businesses, cross-promotion can be a very effective tool.

Cross-promotion is simply a promotion that’s shared between two businesses. Consider it a sort of “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine” among two different businesses. In a cross-promotion, businesses may trade ads on each other’s websites, displays in each other’s stores, post on each others social media networks and more.

To be effective, most cross-promotion is done with a non-competing business in the same industry or that has the same target audience. For example, a wedding photographer can run a cross-promotion with a bridal gown shop. The same customers will shop at both, yet the two companies aren’t in competition with each other.

Cross-promotion is not only an effective strategy for reaching your target audience, but can be very cost effective. You’re not paying to take out a billboard or newspaper ad. Instead, you are essentially trading services with another business. That doesn’t mean it’s always free — you may need to print out brochures if you are swapping an in-store display, for example. But, compared to other types of marketing, cross-promotion is one of the more affordable options.

Cross-promotion can take on many different forms. Here are just a few examples:

  • Trade social media posts. Promote each other to your followers for an easy and inexpensive option.
  • Swap mentions in newsletters. Whether it’s a physical newsletter or email marketing, trade a mention in each of your lists.
  • Trade in-store displays. Something like a simple brochure, or even a wall hanging can work. There are lots of different options here.
  • Write guest blog posts. Trade posts on each other’s blogs by writing a guest blog related to your product or with links back to your online store.
  • Instead of doing cross-promotion with a business, consider working with a non-profit.

To get started, brainstorm some businesses in your area that have similar target audiences, but aren’t direct competitors. Then start reaching out to gauge interest and work together on finalising what the cross-promotion will look like.

Cross-promotions don’t have to be one-time deals. Businesses can develop long term relationships with other similar businesses to create an effective, affordable way to continue reaching out to potential new customers.

Social media influencers: What small businesses need to know

Social media influencers: What small businesses need to know

Social media ads are big — but users still have a tendency to scroll right past anything with that “sponsored” headline at the top. Influencers, however, can put products right inside the news feed, without appearing to “salesy.” Influencers are social media personalities with big audiences that share your products with their audience, in return receiving payment or occasionally free products or services. Here’s what small businesses need to know.

Social media influencers are often more trusted than traditional ads.

Consumers know that advertisers have ulterior motives, but tend to have more trust in the real people they follow on social media. Users tend to trust an influencers opinion, or at least influencers with a solid reputation. Besides sounding less salesy, influencers often share their real thoughts on a product and customers see that as more trustworthy.

Social media influencers tend to have a certain audience.

Businesses can’t target their ad based on location or interests when using an influencer like they can when placing a social media ad. But, the people that follow an influencer still tend to fall into certain categories. Look at who that influencer is, what they post about, and their personality, and you’ll get a general idea of who a partnership with that program would reach. Look for influencers with a connection to your industry, like beauty bloggers for a personal care product, or photographers for a printing service.

Social influencers can help ads stand out.

Ads placed directly with the social media platform are easier to scroll past. But, posts from influencers blend right in with the news feed, often designated as an ad by a simple hashtag like #ad or #sponsored. Pad posts from social influencers don’t feel like ads, and that can help them garner some extra attention.

Social media influencers can help start a conversation.

Social media marketing is more about conversation than just randomly blasting your message out there. Influencers can help get people talking about your brand. They can ask their followers a question, or encourage comments on a post to get even more reach. An ad feels like an ad, but interacting with a sponsored post from an influencer feels social.

Social influencer posts can last longer than a traditional ad.

A typical ad may grab attention for a few seconds, but because of the conversation generated, social influencer posts may have a most longer-lasting impact. But besides the conversation aspect, those posts don’t just disappear after a set amount of days. The post may still get some attention later by followers viewing the influencer’s Instagram grid, for example. That helps stretch the value of working with an influencer even further.

Social media influencers can share posts that don’t feel like ads, but instead drive conversation with a specific audience and have a long-lasting impact.