Whatever happens in the next few weeks, there’s no doubt that Christmas will be different this year. The festivities we’re used to will be put on hold, and with England in lockdown again, small businesses face yet another difficult month. It all seems very doom and gloom for the “happiest time of the year”, but it’s not all bad news!
The good news is that there’s been a big increase in online shopping this year, and a lot of that has been small businesses! Some of our favourite Macclesfield shops, cafes, and makers have been selling online (see our last blog) and we hope they’re able to continue to do so as much as they need/want.
However, Christmas is one of the most important times for small businesses, and a new website or occasional Facebook posts may not be enough. This in mind, the Skyzack team have put our heads together (socially distanced of course) to share some marketing tips for Christmas 2020.
1. Communicate clearly:
We can’t stress this one enough! With fast-paced changes becoming the norm, it’s so important to keep people informed. Try to keep clear, up-to-date information on your website, social media and Google listing, along with on your business premises window.
Openness and honesty are a must to create a positive experience for your customers, especially this year. Businesses may face extra issues such as staffing, stock levels and delivery delays, but transparency can build customer trust and instil your businesses values.
2. Use email marketing:
Newsletters are another great way to stay in touch, and to increase customer loyalty. By directly sharing any news, products, promos or just saying hello, your business can connect on a more personal level than some other digital methods allow.
3. Celebrate support & loyalty:
In a year where many are under huge financial stress, more people have been supporting small businesses in any way they can. Whether they’re ordering takeaways from your restaurant every week, sharing your social posts or writing a Google review, it all helps. Because of this, we think a genuine thank you message is a lovely idea this Christmas. Maybe even with personalised Christmas cards!
If you can, offering reward schemes or discounts are also great ways to show appreciation and boost loyalty whilst helping customers to cut costs.
4. Support fellow businesses:
Along with thanking those who support your business, remember to return the favour (both as a business and personally). You can share local gift guides and ideas on social and blogs, or even collaborate on a festive project.
Skyzack can help:
There are so many amazing small businesses in Macclesfield and Cheshire, and the Skyzack team is dedicated to supporting them as much as possible. For help with Christmas marketing, to collaborate, or for anything else, please feel free to get in touch. You can reach us through our contact form or call us on 01625 574111.
We all know that COVID-19 has been incredibly hard for small businesses, and we can’t sympathise enough. As we enter a second lockdown so close to Christmas, highstreet closures and restrictions bring on new concerns. But it’s not all bad news! This year we’ve seen the incredible resourcefulness and creativity of Macclesfield small businesses as they adapt to a new way of life.
With more people at home, online shopping has increased hugely and many businesses began (or increased) selling online so we don’t have to miss out on our favourite things. This in mind, we’d like to share some of the local businesses that we can all support online, and how they’ve adapted.
Monocle Deli: Social Media
Local cafe Monocle Deli is a great example of how simple online selling can be. Earlier this year, they began selling Treat Boxes for delivery or collection through social media. The boxes are perfect for sending to loved ones or treating yourself and can be made vegan too. We’re not sure what Monocle Deli’s plans are for this lockdown, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for updates and can’t wait to see their festive bakes.
So many great local cafes have also been selling through social media, including Cherry Blossom Bakery with their afternoon teas! Be sure to check on your favourites on Facebook & Instagram, along with food delivery apps like Just Eat, Deliveroo & Uber Eats.
Red Willow Brewery: Website
We miss the days when we could call into a local bar with our friends. Luckily, Red Willow Brewery has made it a little bit easier. They launched their online shop back in March, and are now delivering nationwide! Whether you’re sending a few cans to a friend for the weekend or getting a small keg for your Christmas at home, they’ve got you covered.
Treacle Market Sellers: Etsy
Something else we’ve all been missing this year is the Treacle Market. Our towns monthly stalls are a great chance to buy from Macclesfield small businesses and many others. Whilst it can’t go ahead, there have been virtual Treacle Markets on Facebook, where makers share products to buy directly or links to their online stores, including Etsy.
Etsy is an e-commerce website for independent makers, creatives and other small businesses. You can find lots of your favourite sellers from the Treacle Market on there, and discover many new ones. It’s so important to support small businesses this Christmas, and we highly recommend checking out Etsy for your online gift shopping. You’ll find so many lovely unique and handmade gifts, like Dick Vincents 2021 calendar!
Other locally-based Etsy shops we love are Marc Makes Comics for fun comics, badges & mugs, Adam Francis Art for Macclesfield and Cheshire illustrations, and Sandbach based Posner & Posner for beautiful handprinted textiles.
Skyzack can help:
There are so many other amazing Macclesfield small businesses you can support online, this is a very small handful! Please let us know of any we’ve missed so we can support them too.
If you’re a small business owner and need any help or advice on online selling (or anything else) please feel free to get in touch for a chat. You can reach us through our contact form or call us on 01625 574111.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for supporting small businesses in any way you can. We’re wishing you all the very best during this difficult time. Stay safe & take care – the Skyzack team.