The Holiday season, built around Christmas, has officially begun. For many businesses around the world, it is the peak sales season of the year.
In the United States, for instance, the total Holiday retail sales hit $889 billion in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation of the United States, growing by 13.5% over the previous year. Similarly, in Western Europe, consumers are expected to spend about $366 billion in Christmas shopping this year.
In Nigeria, the Yuletide is also the season when many businesses in the retail industry witness the highest demand and sales. Nigerians spend as much as 16% of their annual income on Christmas shopping every year, according to a report by World Remit.
While the current economic downturn in the country has reduced the consumers' spending power and is threatening to dampen Christmas sales, business owners can still position their businesses for healthy revenues by taking the steps outlined in this newsletter.
- Invest in digital marketing: The importance of digital marketing in today's business world cannot be overemphasized. Globally, there are around 5 billion internet users. In Nigeria, about 80 million people (or almost 1 in 2 Nigerians) have access to the internet. With the digital media, it has now become easier and more cost effective to gain visibility and reach your target audience. Despite this, it is surprising that many businesses in the country are yet to tap into the potentials of digital marketing. By bucking this trend and investing in targeted digital marketing, you can give more exposure to your business and generate a lot of leads that you can convert to paying customers.
- Offer discounts: The current economic downturn in the country is biting hard on the Nigerian consumers. Amidst rising inflation, spiraling cost of living and dwindling income levels, every kobo saved matters a lot to the average consumer. Therefore, something as simple as a marginal reduction in the prices of your goods and services in comparison to those of your competitors can encourage customers to gravitate towards your business.
- Leverage past and existing customers: It is easier to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. This is because you do not need intensive marketing to convince existing customers to buy from you as they have actually bought from you in the past and, if your product or service met or exceeded their expectations, they are likely to buy from you again when the need arises. This is in addition to their ability to help you to acquire new customers at no cost through word-of-mouth marketing and the referral of their friends, family members, colleagues, and associates to your business. This Christmas season is a good time for you to reach out to your past and existing customers. Send them goodwill messages, cross-sell, upsell and resell to them. However, leveraging past and existing customers is without prejudice to the importance of acquiring new ones as you would ultimately need new customers to expand your sales in the long run.
- Ask for referrals: Turn your satisfied customers into your indirect marketers. Ask them to refer people within their networks to your business if they are satisfied with your product or service.
- Join and leverage professional and business networks: Professional and business networks are associations of like minds. People join them for various reasons, ranging from access to information to belonginess. But the most powerful purpose that they serve is the business purpose. People in the professional and business associations that you belong to are not only your potential customers, but they can also put you in contact with other people that they know who may need your products and services. However, before you dive straight into sales and marketing, it is important that you first build meaningful and mutually beneficial connections with them and provide value. That way, your sales pitch will look more genuine when it eventually comes, and they will not perceive you as yet another self-centered salesperson.
Author- Chinedu Nnawetanma