Unsurprisingly, Christmas is the busiest time of year for most brands, retailers, and stores and for charities who rely on product sales, it’s no different.
Many charities are built on a retail model and rely heavily on sales within their high street stores or on their ecommerce websites to raise funds, so that they continue carrying out their services and support.
However sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and isolation measures, last Christmas consumers were unable to access stores and their expenditure was a lot tighter, meaning that many charities suffered a drastic dip in sales, and thus funds coming in.
The good news is that the UK’s isolation measures are easing, and vaccination numbers are rising, meaning that Christmas 2021 is looking to be a lot more joyful than Christmas 2020 for our retail-focused charities.
Consumers are also bouncing back after Covid and spending again, with recent data revealing that consumer expenditure has fluctuated in a number of retail categories compared to the same time last year.
Charities will often launch a Christmas-focused campaign or fundraising appeal to ensure they are front of mind for consumers in the lead up to December. But what can be done to maximise these efforts for Christmas 2021, to ensure that they really cut through the noise against the brands who are also fighting for consumer attention?
At The PHA Group, we love helping our charity clients to shine in the eyes of consumers all year round – but particularly at Christmas time, when we know capturing consumer attention is particularly difficult. Here are our ‘top tips’ on how charities can drive sales ahead of Christmas 2021.
1. Plan your strategy in advance
According to The Bank of England, in the run up to Christmas spending habits change and consumers spend on average £740 more in the month of December, which is 29% more than in a typical month. To ensure that your products are firmly listed on peoples Christmas wish lists, and that people remember to turn to your stores or websites for their Christmas shopping, it’s important to capture their attention in advance.
But how far in advance are we talking?
‘Christmas in July’ may sound crazy, but many people forget that a lot of the popular monthly media titles – such as Ideal Home, Good Housekeeping, GQ, Esquire, VOGUE, and Red – work 4-6 months in advance.
Not to mention the December Issues of all of these monthly magazines are usually on sale by the end of October.
So, letting them know all about the wonderful products you have to offer people at Christmas time is pivotal, and July is the best time to do this!
2. Have you tried ‘Product Placement’?
Whether you’re looking to promote charitable Christmas cards and festive wrapping paper, to children’s toys and games, to electronics and homeware for adults, there’s an opportunity to promote just about anything within the media. All you need is the right skills (and journalist contacts) to do so.
At PHA, we use our ‘product placement’ skills and contacts to secure coverage for our clients in a whole range of media titles – including popular morning TV shows like This Morning, highly-circulated newspapers like the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph, and trending websites like Tyla and Cosmopolitan.
3. Work with Influencers
Influencer marketing continues to be a powerful promotional tool for many brands, recent data revealed that 8 out of 10 customers purchased something after seeing the product used by an influencer.
Social media influencers can be used to help spread the word about the products a charity has to offer at Christmas time. But for any collaborations, it’s vital that the right influencers are carefully selected to ensure that firstly, they have a good synergy with the charity, and secondly, they are reaching the right audience.
4. Host an event
We know how important it is for charities not only to sell products, but to also raise their brand awareness and drive people to their stores and websites.
At The PHA Group, we believe that Christmas in July events are the perfect way to build relationships with journalists and influencers to encourage them to write or post about a charity’s product range. They are a great way to raise awareness for the charity’s cause as well as the retail products they have to offer.
So if you have a little extra budget available, it’s time to get Christmas party planning!
If you would be interested in discussing how The PHA Group could help your charity to cut through the noise this Christmas, get in touch with our award-winning Third Sector team today to discuss how we could support you.