Get shoppers in the holiday spirit with Christmas in July

The iconic images of evergreen trees, nicely-wrapped presents and holiday lights make this a whimsical and appealing season both for retailers and consumers alike, and tapping into that spending spirit earlier can always help business.

Nobody is quite sure where the tradition began, but it seems it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas earlier every year. The iconic images of evergreen trees, nicely-wrapped presents and holiday lights make this a whimsical and appealing season both for retailers and consumers alike, and tapping into that spending spirit earlier can always help business.

If you need something compelling to get people thinking about Santa Claus and gift giving a little earlier than usual, try offering promotional cards and other Mr. Christmas gifts that are sure to have people talking about your company and its interesting items.

A universal ad campaign

Even if people don't celebrate the holiday, everyone knows what Christmas is and what it's all about. A time for family, togetherness and giving expensive gifts, it's never too early to encourage consumers to get started on that long shopping list.

Many different kinds of companies are utilizing this advertising strategy as well. Busch Gardens in Florida announced it would be holding a special Christmas-themed event all month to try and pull in more attendees. Shopping centers nearby are also getting in on the push in Christmas spirit by hosting special sales to go along with the celebration.

To draw attention to these campaigns, offering items that could easily become promotional gifts will encourage people to keep the holiday shopping spirit alive. Not only that, providing them with an additional incentive to patronize a certain store by offering a free gift will bring in more foot traffic, which will hopefully generate more sales conversion.

Celebrate for charity

Not every purchase this July will be for personal gift-giving, though. Many shoppers may be drawn to groups like Habitat for Humanity and Toys For Tots that ask for charitable donations for needy families.

Retail stores can partner with these entities and offer special holiday promotions to go with the Christmas in July drive theme, encouraging them to come in and buy items to support charities in exchange for a promotional item. Both the business and consumers helping a worthy cause in the true spirit of Christmas, they're also associating the store with future holiday shopping, promotional giveaways and community awareness. All this visibility and positive association can only help boost sales even more come Black Friday.

An existing market

Believe it or not, these Mr. Christmas and other themed promotional items may already be something on shoppers' lists, as some people are already actively tackling their annual lists.

According to Harris Interactive and CouponCabin, nearly half of all Americans have already begun holiday shopping. Nearly one in five is almost completely done shopping already, however, so businesses may want to consider moving up their holiday card and other promotional item drives anyway, seeing as the market could be shrinking as the summer ends.

"Every year we see holiday shoppers getting a jump start earlier and earlier," said CouponCabin's president, Jackie Warrick. "Planning ahead for holiday shopping, as it gives them plenty of time to buy gifts and find the lowest prices possible."

With this price-mindedness at the top of shoppers' lists, businesses need to find creative ways of leading consumers to deals. Offering a free Christmas promotional item could be the boost to convince customers that your business is truly the best.

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