The “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign is in its 2nd year in 2013, and, leveraging learnings from 2012, as well as the “Enjoy an Independent Easter” campaign events in 2013, it has evolved!
Engaging family footfall to increase sales this Christmas
The focus in 2013 is on encouraging families within the community to visit more of their local, independent shops in the pre-Christmas period, to explore and to hopefully divert some of their Christmas budget away from the online giants and major chains back into the tills of the local shops. This will be achieved by inviting them to take part in a “Christmas Shopping Challenge”.
Purpose of the Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign
The campaign aims to drive footfall to the independent shops, and then asks the retailers who take part to commit to make the most of that – to deliver great service, to do what they do best, and to engage with those who enter their shop. The campaign can’t promise increased sales, but certainly many retailers will benefit from a sales uplift during the campaign. However, the focus is on generating increased awareness of local businesses, and, retailers will be advised to do what they can to ensure that the first visit shoppers make to them (which might be to complete the Christmas shopping challenge) isn’t the last.
In addition, the challenge is a great way for the local business community to work together.
What is the Christmas Shopping Challenge?
The period within which your local “Christmas Shopping Challenge” can take place will be from Saturday 16th November and for the period right up until Christmas Eve, or, for those who want to extend it a little further, New Year’s Eve. Your challenge doesn’t have to run for the whole period, but it’s advised that you DO ensure that you include the week prior to Christmas day within your timeframe as that is often the week with the highest footfall to the high street.
The 2013 Christmas Shopping Challenge draws on learnings from our indie Easter activities. We will be providing promotional artwork that will invite children to “Decorate a Christmas tree” by collecting 10 colourful bauble stickers. These stickers will be available from participating retailers (more than 10 retailers can be listed, but only 10 baubles are needed to complete the challenge). I have even managed to negotiate a special rate on the paper stock that will be required for printing the stickers – so once the supplier sets that code up I’ll share it with all those who are getting involved.
How does the Christmas Shopping Challenge work?
The idea is that when children have completed their tree (which they can keep) they present it at any of the participating retailers for it to be “validated” (to confirm they have redeemed their prize). Then they will be rewarded with a certificate of completion and a treat – perhaps a candy cane, some chocolate money, a Christmas decoration, a small toy – as you like.
The enjoyment at Easter came from collecting the stickers, receiving a certificate, and getting a little chocolate egg… so it’s the act of completing the task and being rewarded, not value of the reward, which matters. Feedback from family shoppers and retailers alike was unanimously positive, so we hope that leveraging the family focus at Christmas will be equally rewarding for all involved.
Engaging with adult shoppers too!
However, to also engage adults without kids, they too must collect the 10 baubles (proving they visited at least 10 of the participating shops) AND they must produce receipts totalling a given amount, e.g. £50 (across all shops, or from just 1) to be entered into a prize draw. * This is optional and if your town don’t want to do this you do not have to! *
To enter the draw they fill in their details on an entry form which is countersigned by a participating retailer to validate they have completed the necessary criteria e.g. £50 spent locally (you can vary locally as you see fit).
The local draw ideally should be after Christmas to make sure you get the benefit of any last minute shoppers through the doors of the local independents.
You decide the prize – our experience is that when towns have several prizes, not just one top prize, the take-up is increased. Prizes can be various things – donations from retailers / local sponsors, vouchers, leisure experiences – whatever you can muster.
Become the local activation partner for the Christmas Shopping Challenge in your area!
If you decide to take on the role of “local activation partner” you will be delivering the “Christmas Shopping Challenge” for the benefit of independent retailers (and consumer-facing businesses) in your local area. Whilst there’s a fair bit of leg-work involved, your efforts will have a positive impact on the local business community, not only during the key festive trading period but hopefully well beyond.
In your role as “local activation partner” you are expected to co-ordinate and implement the structures around the Christmas Shopping Challenge, giving you the opportunity to engage with all of the participating retailers / service providers in a positive and supportive way. It’s a great opportunity for you to represent your organisation to the local community and be seen as a proactive partner with their interests at heart.
Planning Ahead – Celebrating an Independent Christmas 2013
Find out more about the campaign, the 2013 focus and about how to get involved by watching our webinar.
If you are a retailer, a local business, a representative of a local council / BID or town team OR even a resident who cares about the future of your town then you could become the “local activation partner” for the Christmas activities in your area – and this session will explain what that involves.