Article written by Graham Fitzpatrick, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

Around this time last year, I wrote a column about the coming sales season and how promising it was looking like for business. This time last year we were coming out lock down and found ourselves cashed up and ready to spend during the Christmas, Boxing Day and New year Sales.

12 months later and things are very different. Supply chain issues, high inflation, interest rate rises and staff shortages are just some of the pressures that are putting the squeeze on the family budget, which ultimately effects business. This sales season, businesses need to work harder to capture the sale. Your marketing is going to be such an important factor so let’s explore some things you can do.

We always on the hunt for that perfect Christmas gift idea and we all know that Christmas shopping can be stressful. So why not make it easier for your potential customers. Make suggestions and promote your hero items. Create desire and copy trends to make the decision and buying process easier. Gift cards are always huge at Christmas time. A CPM Australia study reported that 51% of shoppers wanted to buy gift cards and certificates.

Bundle items similar items together. This type of sales strategy is where you combine complementary products and services together and offer them at a single (often reduced) price. These bundles have a greater perceived value to customers. Bundling items together can help sell more and decrease marketing and distribution costs.

Everyone loves something for free. This is why big retailers do promotions like buy on get one free or offer free delivery. But don’t just give stuff away for the sake it. Talk to your suppliers about promotional items you maybe able to use. Price the free item into your pricing strategy. Offer things that won’t have an effect on your bottom line. Free gift wrapping is an easy and cheap add that offers real value at Christmas time.

Other things you should look at doing this Christmas include ramping up your online sales. Clear excess stock and don’t over order new stock. You should also take into account stock shortages and delivery delays. Staffing is also going to be an issue so stay focused on your rosters.

And as an old boss of mine always said……..”sell, sell sell!”