Christmas in July is a term that has popped up in terms of marketing for the last few years. In reality however, it started 84 years ago in 1933 at a girls’ camp in North Carolina. It was the idea of the co-founder of the Keystone Camp, who was very creative, a bit of a dreamer and wanted to add uniqueness to the program. The cabins have names to identify them, and for the younger visitors they are called Elves, Pixies and Dryads.
The tradition still continues today, with campers taking a dip in the lake, in the blistering hot Southern summers.
This year in the UK, the government are giving us the 23rd and 26th July to celebrate the postponed Christmas from 2020 with the aim to help people feel good, and get together, hopefully igniting spending in the hospitality sector.
The TV channel Movies 24 has already started it’s Christmas in July film showings.
So this is a wonderful opportunity for a business like our’s to offer something to our customers (loyal and new) and also to prepare for Christmas – which is an important time of year for any of us in retail.
The pandemic has changed the way many people shop, forever. More people are shopping online than ever before. Although, some people have always shopped throughout the year for Christmas presents, and there were plenty of opportunities to spend their time browsing when they were out shopping. Then they would often buy that product online at a later date. Now, people browse and buy online, moving between websites to look at products and prices.
Christmas is a busy time for both customers and businesses alike, which is why getting ahead of the curve is vital.
Although businesses who are in the service industry still need to plan for offers during Christmas alongside finding ways to celebrate their relationship with clients, it is also, about sales for those in retail businesses.
Most people buy their Christmas presents from brands and companies they have already successfully bought from, so knowing your customer base is important.
We love being able to have a relationship with our brand loyalists on our Instagram page and other social media feeds. We get instant feedback from them when sharing ideas, and we can make offers just for them.
As much as our focus is about selling a product, it’s also about answering a shopper’s needs – which, in our case can be around providing foodie presents snacks and food for people who have allergies. This could be now or in readiness for Christmas. A reminder that we have the snacks needed for making an allergy free Christmas go with a swing.
As a food business, this is also the time to get that seasonal packaging and those Christmas products ready to go – this includes taking our seasonal photography. And believe us, it’s really weird to be doing Christmas shots when the sun is shining!
Things to consider when planning for ‘Christmas in July’:
- Include the whole team in any brainstorming ideas, because they will have fresh ideas too.
- Start building on the relationship you already have with customers now – with marketing promos and sales.
- Look at previous year’s best sellers is a useful baseline to begin.
- Check past years’ data to see when the holiday wave began, so you can start optimizing keywords around that time.
- Check sales, campaigns or promotional offers we used in previous years, can we use similar ideas this year? Or is this an opportunity to clear the decks for a new product range?
- Look at the products that outperformed our projections – can we sell, sell, sell some more?
- Test products early to provide insight from customers and helps us to refine marketing plans for winter months in the lead up to Christmas.
- Planning well ahead also helps with the logistics of online sales reaching customers in time.
- Now is a good time to review inventory, and warehouse space for the holiday season.
- Check the website is holiday-ready, showing products, and recipes to go along with the products.
- Check that links work well on both desktop and mobile
For the consumer
It’s a great time for you too – it might be to make the most of special offers in July or even to shop very early for Christmas to bag a bargain (just be careful what type of product).
Get on those mailing lists for your favourite brands as well so you don’t miss out on those VIP moments – you can sign up to our’s here
Don’t be afraid to shout on your own social media feeds about bargains you found, brands you like and love (and why you love them) and also any special offers you think your friends might like.
Small businesses, like ours, really need your help more than ever. The great thing is that we really appreciate and notice you. Your investment in us quite literally puts food on the table of our team!