Is it worth running Christmas promotions?
The pre-Christmas period is the time when retail nets the most. Is it worthwhile to spend more at this precise time on promotional campaigns at points of sale?
Christmas-packaged variants of products and the first promotions taking advantage of Christmas motifs start to appear in shops in the second half of November. We see the greatest build-up of these campaigns in December. Promotions, events, and demonstrations led by sales consultants or hostesses are most often run by companies from the food, personal care, and alcoholic beverage sectors, as well as toy and electronics manufacturers.
According to estimates by Deloitte , the typical Polish family is spending 882 złotych on Christmas 2017 on average, which is 2% more than the previous year.
“A well-organised promotional campaign translates into sales growth not only at the time of its duration, but may also keep its effect over a longer time, building a bond with the brand in the consumer. Thereby it affects sales results measurably, no less when the Christmas decorations are disappearing from the hypermarkets” said Przemysław Bogdański, OEX Cursor board member and specialist in sales promotion campaigns.
Promotions are also a chance to gain new customers, who will never have had contact with the brand before. The opportunity to sample, touch, and judge the taste or smell of a product increases their tendency to make the purchase. Advice in sales outlets also plays a large role. It is good to plant the idea in the customer, inspire them, and pass on knowledge to the customer, but also good to let people have detailed information about the composition of the product or its popularity with a certain age group. Customers will then associate a positive experience with the brand and will make the same selection in subsequent purchases too.
How to stand out?
Promotional campaigns in points of sale should primarily hold the customers’ attention. The heavy intensification of these campaigns in December makes it harder to reach the target group with the message around this time. Companies planning promotions elect more and more often to use atypical techniques, which work far more effectively than classic product demonstrations.
For some years we have been watching the trend of consumers engaging with campaigns which evoke brand love. Examples of such activities might be gingerbread decorating workshops, the chance to have your photo taken with Father Christmas against a festive background, or multimedia fireworks displays.”, added Przemysław Bogdański.
When is the right time to begin?
Christmas promotional campaigns should be planned and prepared several months in advance. This not only lets you prepare better for these actions but also exploit their potential better.
Consultation with the multiples should take place regarding promotional campaigns. If we do this well in advance we have a greater chance of access to a more attractive part of the sales floor and thereby greater effectiveness in reaching consumers.”, said Przemysław Bogdański.
Out of regard for the notable number of promotional campaigns in the pre-Christmas season, retail chains more and more often restrict any one single brand from occupying too much of the sales floor. In such case the attractiveness of the concept is make-or-break. How the stand looks, what the crew wear, and the basic nature of the campaign are elements which companies commissioning campaigns to drive sales attach more and more importance to.
The campaign duration pre-Christmas should be appropriate for the particular product. What is right for toys and sweets is not for fireworks, which most customers do not buy very long before they will use them. It is also important to suit campaigns to the buying habits of the target group. All of this will maximise the effects of the campaign in the longer term as well as in the short term.
 According to Deloitte’s “Christmas Purchasing Behaviour” , Deloitte 10/2017