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Christmas is one of the most heavily anticipated holidays of the year, as friends and family gather for celebrations. Typically, Christmas festivities last a few days. However, in the Philippines, it spans months. This period of festivities is called the ‘ber’ months, marks the start of celebrations, shopping, reunions, and fun-filled activities.
The ‘ber’ months offer opportunities for businesses to increase their revenue and make a social impact. Read on to learn more about the ‘ber’ month season, the challenges they pose for business, and how businesses can make full use of the opportunities this period presents.
The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic society. For Filipinos, the Christmas season begins at the start of September, and festivities continue till the end of the year. Hence, the ‘ber’ months in the Philippines is the period of all the months that end with ‘ber’, lasting from the start of September till the end of December. People typically mark the start of these celebrations by hanging up traditional Christmas lanterns, known as the Parol. They also decorate their homes and workplaces with Christmas trees and various lights and ornaments. Christmas carols are played on television networks and streets with countdowns to Christmas day.
Generally, during this period, people indulge in extravagant parties, grand celebrations, charity, and other festivities. The ‘ber’ months also contain deep spiritual significance. For instance, masses – or Simbang Gabi – are held at dawn for Catholics from 16th December to 24th December. This ritual concludes on Christmas eve, after which, churchgoers are offered rice cakes such as bibingka and puto-bumbong.
Moreover, the ‘ber’ months mark the start of the shopping season. People organize parties and reunions, exchange gifts, organize feasts, and wear new, stylish apparel. According to AdSpark, household spending tends to increase by 20% in the last three months of the year. Likewise, during this season, malls and brands increase their revenue by 46% and food chains increase their sales by 19%.
These numbers tell a story: in short, the season presents great opportunities for businesses to take advantage of. However, companies must also understand the various challenges involved in doing business during this period in order to sufficiently prepare for sales peak seasons.
As the Christmas season approaches, businesses throughout the country gear up for the season of high spending. Many companies offer promotions and incentives to attract more customers. While this creates opportunities for businesses to increase their revenue, it also creates certain challenges, such as:
Increased competition due to various sales and promotions
The need to accommodate more customers
To make the most of this peak season, businesses must successfully navigate these challenges. This season also offers the perfect opportunity for new entrepreneurs to begin their business operations and develop a customer base. The following tips can help businesses welcome the ‘ber’ months and successfully sell their products during this sales season:
Before the ‘ber’ months begin, you must specify your goals such that everyone in your organization fully understands them and is on the same page. Set realistic and measurable goals along with strategies on how to achieve them. These goals could include expanding your business’ outreach activities or increasing your revenue or conversions.
The ‘ber’ months, is considered the peak season for businesses as consumers prepare for the festive season and start increasing their online shopping activity. Understanding consumers’ seasonal behavior is essential to ensuring that you do not rely on trial and error or assumptions, and are able to attract new customers and retain them. Conduct market research through interviews or field studies to find out the what the in-demand products are and what’s the best channel through which to reach your target customers.
Since consumer demand is bound to increase during this peak season, it is essential that you stock up on inventory so as to avoid situations where customers are disappointed when products are out of stock. By planning ahead, obtaining adequate warehouse space and partnering with a credible logistics company, you can ensure you increase customer satisfaction during the ‘ber’ months sale period.
However, you must be careful not to stockpile excessively, such that you have dead stock when the holiday season is over. Use analytics from previous years to identify products likely to be in high demand and prioritize your stockpiling accordingly.
One of the best ways to get the most out of this season is to offer exciting discounts and promotions. These may include gift packs, discounts, holiday coupons, and other incentives that can help you secure your position amidst stiff competition. Offering freebies and giveaways to regular customers via a customer loyalty program through channels such as social media or email marketing can also further drive sales and improve brand loyalty.
Boosting your online presence during the ‘ber’ months can help your business immensely. Start digitising your brick-and-mortar store by creating a customized website, choosing an e-commerce platform, and selecting the right payment methods. Engage in efforts to market your products online too. Create informative, entertaining content that increases brand awareness and offers information about your products. When customers are aware about your products, there is a greater chance that they will purchase from you when you offer promotions during the ‘ber’ months.
The ‘ber’ months provides businesses with the opportunity to win consumers over. By delivering an exceptional buying experience, you fulfil your brand promise and increase brand loyalty and advocacy. Shipping products to your customers in a timely manner is one of the key ways you can increase customer satisfaction during the ‘ber’ months.
During the festive season, businesses can partner with a trusted international logistics carrier like DHL Express to ensure that orders reach their customers on time. Sign up for a DHL Express account today to learn more about our services.