British export businesses have plenty to be thankful for over Christmas, with export sales booming every festive season.
Here at HelloTranslator, we work with too many British exporters to count so we’ve heard plenty of tips on boosting your sales during this busy time. As our customers gear up for Christmas, this seemed like a fantastic time to share what we’ve learnt.
So, here goes. Here are 7 tips for your export business to capitalise and turn Christmas good cheer into double-digit sales increases.
- 1 1 – Offer Christmas gift cards
- 2 2 – Group products into gift categories
- 3 3 – Create Christmas deals
- 4 4 – Create post-Christmas deals
- 5 5 – Perfect your delivery schedule
- 6 6 – Don’t ignore returns
- 7 7 – Build a festive marketing strategy
- 8 Professional Translation Helps UK Export Sales Grow this Christmas
1 – Offer Christmas gift cards
Gift cards allow the gift recipient to choose their own present and save the gift giver from the plight of indecisiveness – so everyone wins. Almost all our customers say gift cards prove most popular over Christmas. The gift card industry is expected to be worth $160Bn by next year, to put that into context[i]. That’s quite a goldmine.
Plus 65% of gift card holders spend over a third more than their card value when shopping with you, if you needed more persuading. Gift cards are an advance payment from profitable new customers: what’s not to love?
Gift cards are also fantastic for exporters because it doesn’t matter if you’re only physically located in the UK. Digital – online or mobile-only gift cards are growing massively in popularity, and you can offer them easily using international apps like PayPal, so there’s not a huge set-up cost involved. Simple.
2 – Group products into gift categories
Search terms for phrases like “gift ideas for husband”; “gift ideas for mother in law” increase massively towards Christmas. Capitalise on that for your export business by grouping your products into gift categories that reflect what people are looking for. Try adding sections into your website, “gifts for him”; “gifts for her”, etc.
Don’t forget to optimise for your target language though, to ensure you’re getting the right phrases. Spaniards, Germans, Italians and Brits won’t search the same things – or even give the same sorts of gifts.
Ideally exporters should have a translated and localised version of their website to cater to these international differences. A professional translator will help you develop an international SEO strategy that capitalises on those Christmas search trends – and search trends all year – so you can maximise online awareness.
Read more: 6 Steps to Ace Website Translation for Export Businesses
The point is to become a resource, not just pitch your products. From what we’ve seen, our export customers who enjoy most success over Christmas give advice to their customers, to help them explore present ideas and find something they genuinely love.
3 – Create Christmas deals
We always hear how competitive Christmas is, especially for small businesses. One thing we’ve seen to helps your business stand out is Christmas offers or deals. Buy-one-get-one-free always seems popular – and encourages customers to buy multiple gifts, which is always good news. Or you could offer a referral discount, to help build momentum in your Christmas traffic.
Free Christmas shipping always proves popular amongst the export businesses we know, helping keep products competitive abroad. Free shipping might prove the difference between buying your export product and buying a similar product from a domestic store.
4 – Create post-Christmas deals
Turning visitors into customers is only one part of the equation – you want to keep them coming back too. Statistically, most customers who shop with you over Christmas will only buy from you once. If you could turn that around, you’d be able to capitalise on the Christmas sales boost all year around. That’s the ideal, anyway!
One fantastic way we’ve seen our customers do that is by offering post-Christmas deals to your Christmas customers. You reward them for their custom and encourage their repeat custom at the same time: ideal.
Customer loyalty is an especially important metric for most exporters because you’re aiming to build an entirely new market abroad. Network and loyalty are two of the most important ingredients for export success.
(Also, we don’t want to harp on about the benefits of translation but building rapport is a vital ingredient in building loyalty. It’s very difficult to build rapport unless you speak in your customers’ native language!)
5 – Perfect your delivery schedule
If you frustrate a first-time customer, you’ll never see them back – and delivery mishaps are the surest way to ensure frustration. And anger. And disappointment. And very realistic damage to your brand reputation too, as they spread the word. We’ve heard some awful horror stories from our customers!
This is especially true over Christmas, when customers are buying for a specific date. And especially true for export businesses with complex delivery, sometimes in countries without the same rigorous delivery systems.
From the customer perspective, no excuse is good enough for getting this wrong. So build in plenty of cushion time, make back-up plan arrangements, and publicize your shipping details clearly on your site. Even if you don’t translate your whole site (which you really should, but we know that’s not always a priority), you definitely need vital information like shipping translated clearly into your target language. Misunderstandings here will hamstring sales.
6 – Don’t ignore returns
However amazing your products, we all know you’re going to get returns. We hear all the time what a headache the returns period is for our customers. Especially over the Christmas period, as hapless souls who didn’t choose the gift card route return unwanted or unsuitable gifts.
It might be a headache for you, but it absolutely cannot be for your customers or you’ll lose business. As with shipping, you have to translate this information into your target language on your site. Customers are much less likely to buy from an exporter who doesn’t have a clear, simple returns policy.
Then you have to deliver on that promise with simple, hassle-free returns once Christmas is over. One of our customers mentioned a strategy they use which sounds fantastic: offering a small discount code to customers to send returns, thanking them for their time and incentivising repeat purchase. That could be a brilliant way to build rapport and ensure you’re remembered.
7 – Build a festive marketing strategy
An effective marketing strategy in the run-up to Christmas can build awareness, drive traffic and create demand for your products. We do loads of marketing in loads of languages, and in every case: it’s the lynchpin of a successful sales period.
Momentum is critical, to build, grow and then hopefully capitalise on a sense of excitement. Aim to ‘fade up’ before Christmas then ‘fade out’ after Christmas, like sliding the volume rather than an abrupt start/stop.
Whether content marketing, email marketing or social media, the most important principle is to add value.
Over the festive season, customers are bombarded by aggressive, festive messaging near-begging them to part with their hard-earned. Be different by offering value-add content like informative articles, gift ideas and unique discounts.
It’s really important to market in your customers’ native language. One-size-fits-all marketing in English can appear inconsiderate, and makes you very easy to ignore amongst the Christmas noise.
Imagine you got a Christmas sales email into your inbox now, written in Spanish. Statistically you’re less likely to speak Spanish than Spaniards are to speak English. but even if your audience do speak English it’s unlikely as strong as their Spanish. Marketing has powerful potential, but not if your audience can’t fully understand what you’re saying!
Read more: 3 Make-or-Break Tips to Succeed at Content Marketing Abroad
Remember, you’re not only competing with other English export businesses. You also competing with domestic businesses for your target market, who’ll definitely be marketing in the native language. If you want to compete and be persuasive, translating your Christmas marketing efforts is a must.
Professional Translation Helps UK Export Sales Grow this Christmas
British export is booming – but no season is merrier than Christmas. Our translators are working away like busy little elves right now to help all our customers translate their marketing campaigns, add shipping and delivery information to their websites and create smart Christmas-centric international SEO strategies.
Is your export business fully prepared for Christmas? If not, put HelloTranslator on your Christmas list and get simple fuss-free translation support over the festive period.
HelloTranslator is library of professional translators with extensive experience handling all types of language translation including website translation, marketing translation, business translation and academic translation. Our speciality is Spanish translation but our library also includes specialist Russian, French, German and Italian translators.
Check out our library of professional translators HERE for simple, fuss-free support translating your Christmas export efforts!
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