Christmas is big business in the United States, and organic purchases are continually on the rise. In fact, consumers are prepped to go organic or green around the holidays, so Christmas is a great chance for organic retailers to reap in some big profits, especially if you have some cool holiday marketing plans in place.
Of course, Christmas is not the one and only winter event. Pay special attention to how you're recognizing other holidays during the Christmas season so you don't alienate possible customers. To help you capitalize on the holiday shopping season, here are 14 great Christmas promotions ideas that can help increase holiday sales.
Spread Joy by Doing Good
Many Americans are moved by good deeds and want to help others. During the Christmas season, people tend to be in an even more giving mood, so match that mood by doing some good during the Christmas season. Not only is it kindhearted and personally rewarding to participate in charitable activities, it's great public relations for your company. Below are some ideas:
Decorate With Nature
Many shoppers are overwhelmed by the amount of shiny Christmas decorations they run into each holiday season. That doesn't mean you shouldn't decorate at all, but it might be a good idea to go with a more subdued approach.
You can decorate without going overboard on Christmas cheer if you stick to a more natural Christmas decor theme. As an organic retailer, it's smart to decorate with natural, handmade, wintry decor that keeps your customers in the mood for natural and organic products.
Using natural decor you already have, such as natural wreaths, organic fruits and flowers, plus retail goods such as candles and organic candy displays, also keeps costs low because you're doubling up sell-ready items as decor. Here are some tips:
- Natural Christmas Decorations
- Making Handmade Fresh Pine Wreaths
- Holiday Decorating with Greens and Nature
- Decorating Green for Christmas
- Decorate your store with taste and safety for the holidays
Offer Must-Have Holiday Items
As the Christmas season approaches, it's wise to stock up on seasonal organic goods you don't normally offer. Many organic retailers stock the following during the holiday season:
- Organic Christmas flowers and organic poinsettias (check with local greenhouse growers for supply)
- Organic chocolates and other organic Christmas candy
- Recycled gift wrap
- Organic hot cocoa and special holiday coffee
- LED Christmas Lights
- General Christmas goods such as wreaths, Christmas trees, ornaments, greeting cards and stockings
- Specialty seasonal fruits such as organic pomegranates and tangerines
- Organic holiday cookies (either from your own in-house bakery or a local supplier)
Keep Festive Music to a Minimum
Used carefully, Christmas music may increase sales. However, relentless, annoying and loud Christmas music played for three months straight does not make anyone jolly.
In fact, research shows it can make people downright cranky and less likely to hang out in your store. There's a time and place for Christmas music, such as at a large Christmas event where you can get a local band to play live.
Set aside specific and limited times for holiday-themed music and go with more neutral music choices for the bulk of the season. When you do choose Christmas music, experts suggest going with classical melodies, such as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
Give Holiday Treats
Offering small samples of organic Christmas treats can help increase sales and promotes a general feeling of good cheer. Offer samples of Theo's seasonal organic chocolates, little cups of hot organic cocoa or cider, organic candy canes for the kiddos or organic gingerbread cookies. Your options are limitless, but it's best to offer samples of goodies you actually sell. Set up a sample booth near the Christmas goodies to entice customers.
Offer Free Gift Wrap
If you sell more than food, consider offering free gift wrap for customers who purchase a minimum set amount of holiday gift items, such as books, calendars, pottery, toys and more. Choose a neutral, recycled holiday wrap.
Plan a Major Organic Event
You should plan at least one or two major Christmas events at your store. Make it an occasion that will encourage customers to spend money, but also have fun. If you have a customer email list, be sure to send out messages about your event and post the event on your business website too. Some ideas are included below:
- A huge Christmas sale can be an event on its own, but to make it festive, have treats and other fun activities on hand
- Hold a Christmas tree decorating and lighting party complete with hot cocoa, gingerbread, and local music. Let customers' kids help decorate your store tree
- Bring in an organic, natural or local cookbook author and hold a demonstration of some organic holiday recipes
- Hold a wreath making or Christmas crafts class, using goods that can be purchased in your store
Hold Kid-Friendly Events
Make sure to celebrate kids during the holiday season with special treats just for them. For example, create a little holiday toy land area if you sell toys, or set up a "Letters to Santa" area. Hold holiday coloring contests or a gingerbread house-making event.
Work Around a Holiday Theme
When planning out the Christmas season, popular themes can often guide your plans and help them gel. For example, a "Twelve Days of Christmas" sale can help to spark sales. "Oh, Christmas tree," Frosty the Snowman or other general winter snow themes can go over well because snow is not only a neutral Christmas theme but both soothing and fun at the same time. Any of these can be a great plug for winter products like hot cocoa and organic chestnuts.
Stock Fair Trade and Eco-Friendly Items
"Organic" may not officially mean "eco-friendly," but in the eyes of consumers, the two terms often go hand-in-hand. Also, organic consumers note that they're willing to pay more if items are not just organic but also eco-friendly.
For the holidays, seek out and stock up on not just seasonal organic goodies, but Fair Trade and eco-friendly items as well. Fair Trade candy is an especially hot holiday item to consider.
Have 'Stocking Stuffer' Sales
If you're midway through the holiday season with tons of Christmas goods still on hand, try selling the items with a new slant. Set up dedicated "Stocking Stuffer" tables and pile them high with tons of awesome organic treats and goodies from around the store. You can even stuff stockings yourself and sell them to last minute shoppers.
Whip Up Holiday Gift Baskets
Beyond stocking stuffers, another good way to sell holiday goods is to wrap them up in holiday gift baskets. Organic Christmas baskets go over very well with last-minute shoppers and take little time to make once you get a routine down. Think beyond basic treats too. Christmas gift baskets can heave themes, such as:
- handmade organic goods
- organic body care
- organic tea
- organic coffee and chocolate
- Fair Trade and organic goodies
- local organic produce
Bring in Santa
If you really want to go all out for Christmas, consider employing a Santa Claus for a day or two to charm customers' kids. You can go simply by locating an employee willing to dress up or bring in someone from outside. And yes, there's actually a "rent a Santa" website to help you out.
Celebrate Your Customers
This is the time of year to pay extra attention to how you celebrate your customers. If you have an email list or newsletter list, send out digital Christmas cards, perhaps with store coupons. If you don't keep a customer email list, place holiday greetings on your website or on your business blog.