I know, I know I've already mentioned the festive season a couple of times and been talking about it in The Resilient Retail Club - but really if creative product business owners don't refine their Christmas plans now then the busiest period of the retail year will be a challenge.
People are looking for Christmas ideas and information much earlier than they have been in other years. Lockdown has meant that many family gatherings have been cancelled or postponed so for lots of people - Christmas might be the first time the family gets together and they will want it to feel a little more special than usual.
Pinterest published a guided much of it talk about the timing of Christmas browsing a couple of weeks ago - customers are looking now!
If the customers are getting ready, you need to be ready.
Why else is it really important for you to start thinking about Christmas early? There's lots of advantages to having your Christmas hero products picked out now. Some gift guides have a long lead time so being prepared for those will be an advantage and also help you feel in control.
Big platforms like Etsy or Not On The High Street are planning their Christmas campaigns right now, the latter has already had their product call for Christmas. If you've done your Christmas planning in July you will be ready for an opportunities like this that come your way.
It's also wise to take advantage of what are usually quieter months for retail - June, July and August are the summer months so people are away or quite focused with their seasonal purchasing. This give you some golden 'time' to plan for Christmas.
Come September you'll be ready for those organised customers who will turn their attention to festive purchases - you want your hero products ready for them.
This year, possibly more than any other year, I think it is very important to have your plans in place as early as possible because we simply don't know what the autumn is going to look like for retail.
Supply chains for example - the disruption to the supply chain has been pretty phenomenal across the world. If you've got specific products you want to get or you want to source particular items - you need to think about getting those sooner to avoid last minute rushes and disappointments.
There might be more localised lockdowns, or worse another nationwide one - if there was ever a year for you to get yourself organised for Christmas early then this is it.
If you want some help getting ready, then I have put together a Get Set for Christmas 2020 Masterclass with Joanne Griffin from Arnold & Bird - we cover everything from trends to getting organised, perfect to kick start your Christmas. Find out more here.
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