It’s been a strange and difficult year for business, and it’s not over yet. The 2020 festive season is still a bit of an unknown quantity, with many predicting that bricks-and-mortar business could take a major hit, while online traders may see an uplift in their seasonal fortunes.
All this adds up to worry for print shops, many of whom rely on a brisk festive season to bolster their business throughout the rest of the year, and who were already facing increasing pressures from the online sector even before the pandemic.
One of the great things about print shops is the personal service they provide. There’s simply no substitute for hands-on customer support, a friendly face and partnering with a business that understands and shares the challenges their customers face.
These things haven’t changed just because of Covid-19, but because face-to-face dealings have nosedived, many people have forgotten the reasons they previously chose to deal with a real-life printing company instead of an online provider. To maximize sales this Christmas, and to build equity with your customers for a future post-Covid, it’s time to remind them!
Here are some simple ways you can help your printing business attract new custom this festive season, and keep yourself at the forefront of customers’ minds as we head towards a new (and hopefully better!) year…
Give good greetings
Whether you normally send out physical greetings cards or e-cards at this time of year, this is a valuable opportunity to show customers what you’re made of! A dull and uninspiring festive greeting will lead your customers to draw negative conclusions about the creativity and passion you bring to your work – and since we know that’s not the case, it’s time to get on top of your greetings game! If you’re sending a physical card, why not use the opportunity to show off premium materials and finishes, or for an e-card, make a statement with bold design and a theme that raises a smile or tugs on the heartstrings? Big retailers use these tools to incredible effects in their festive campaigns, so there’s no reason you can’t too.
Magical window displays
As a print business, you’re a supplier – but you can also inspire. Window displays are one of the oldest forms of advertising and you only have to look in a department store window to understand their value as reflected in the time, expense and effort that goes into creating them. Put simply, a great window display wins business! There are so many ways you can transform a simple display of products into something magical – print banners up with beautiful, festive graphics, add twinkling lights and a sprinkling of snow or fairy dust, or bring in seasonal props to add interest. Passers-by will love to stop for a closer look, and you’ll be amazed how quickly word of mouth can spread as a result. Putting the effort into the way your shop front looks can feel frivolous, but it demonstrates creativity and shows you care – both attributes that matter to your customer.
It’s true – print isn’t an impulse buy. People walking down the street don’t just get the urge to order a banner stand or a bunch of flyers. But people walking down the street these days don’t look around as much as they used to either, and that can mean they overlook the valuable, bricks-and-mortar businesses that are right under their noses! Make sure your potential customers know you’re there by extending your footprint into the outdoors if you can, using sidewalk signs and other displays like light pole kits and portable billboards not just to remind them you’re there, but to showcase your product portfolio and creative skills in a way that proves your value – by stopping them in their tracks.
Don’t forget to smile
Even if business is slow. Even though you’re wearing a stuffy face mask and feeling isolated from your customers behind a plastic screen. Never underestimate the power of a smile and a friendly word to make you and your customers feel uplifted this festive season. Personal service is what sets print shops apart from their online competitors no matter what time of year it is, but this festive season more than any other, we all need to look out for one another, be kind and show a little extra care for our fellow human beings. Genuine friendliness is such a basic thing, easily forgotten when you’re wrapped up in your own worries – but long remembered by your customers!