Georgina Wild of HIM offers some advice on increasing basket spend during the festive period

Shoppers are prepared to splash out on friends and family at this time of the year, but are you ready to cash in?

In many categories, such as spirits, shoppers are willing to trade up to premium brands, especially when buying as a gift, or to take to a party. However, if people are doing mass catering and using spirits in a punch, for example, they may be looking for own-label lines. Therefore, it’s important to have both options.

But it’s not all about party products. Don’t forget that 40% of shoppers are there to top up, so ensure availability of core lines such as milk and bread at key times of the day. These are the items which customers will run out of.

Stock a range of speciality Christmas products such as mince pies, puddings, confectionery, sweets and cold wine for all of those last- minute purchases. And don’t forget the gifting accessories such as cards, gift tags and bags, which can turn most products into a present.

Nearly half (48%) of convenience store shoppers say that c-stores still do not make the most of events like Christmas. Exciting and interesting displays create theatre, which will help to drive impulse. Perhaps create some buzz in a store with a prize draw or Christmas raffle for a local charity (the majority of shoppers think that convenience stores should be involved with local charities and their community). Could you arrange for Santa to visit the store, for example?

Think about sampling mince pies and non-alcoholic mulled wine, which can be then purchased on promotion.

And don’t forget to inform your customers via a leaflet campaign to remind them of all the products and services you offer and your opening times over the festive period.

But perhaps the quickest and easiest way to increase sales is to make sure that your staff are upselling at the till. Currently, only 2% of shoppers said they were informed of a promotion, and only 1% were asked if they wanted to play the lottery.

Here are some more tips:

l Dress up bottles with a bow or ribbon

l Move boxes of chocolates near champagne or flowers to create a gifting zone

l Hang gift bags near the wine, champagne and chocolates sections

l Offer a gift deal - buy a bottle of wine or champagne and get chocolates half price

l Ensure that you have sufficient chilled wine

l Don’t forget the ice.