Meet the female entrepreneurs we’re celebrating this International Women’s Day

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re proud to recognise three inspiring female entrepreneurs from the Ankorstore community. 

We had the opportunity to speak with Natasha Ray, co-founder of UK-based concept store &Keep, and Soledad Rivas and Isabel Tormos co-founders of Spanish brand Reliée Studio about their unique journeys and the challenges they have faced and overcome as female business owners. 

Join us as we share their stories and learn about their successes, what drives them and the advice they have for other female entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. 




Natasha Ray, Co-Founder of UK concept store &Keep

Please tell us a little bit about you and your store?

&Keep is an online one-stop shop showcasing a vast selection of eco-friendly, sustainable and reusable alternatives for people and their homes. Through email, blogs and social media we aim to educate and inspire people in their desire to live more sustainably and encourage our followers to live more mindfully.

What challenges have you faced in your career and what’s been your career highlight so far?

There have been a fair few challenges thrown at us since launching &Keep 6 years ago – Brexit, COVID, the Ukraine War and the Cost of Living Crisis to name a few! I am lucky to have a fabulous team and we adapt and roll with the punches to overcome most challenges.

There have been so many career highlights it’s hard to pick one. Winning awards that recognise &Keep’s contribution to the community, the planet and the female entrepreneurial leadership industry all gave me a huge sense of achievement and motivation to keep on doing what I do.

My daughters telling me they want to be like me and take over &Keep one day has been a stellar highlight!

Which women in your life or in the media are you most inspired by and why?

Women who use their spotlight and influence to help the planet, champion small businesses and particularly female-led enterprises always have my admiration. Michelle Ovens, Mary Portas, Holly Tucker, Anna Turns, Natalie Fee, Julia Bradbury all top my list. 

When did you join Ankorstore and how has the platform supported you in your independent retail journey?

I joined Ankorstore in October 2021. Ankorstore has been a huge support in many ways. It’s great to have a single platform that so many of our suppliers are on. It allows us to place smaller orders than we would have to directly with the supplier, and ‘bundle up’ numerous orders to qualify for free shipping. It also cuts down on admin time and keeps track of the various ways suppliers want you to place an order!

The promotions Ankorstore have run have been a massive help with keeping our margins maintainable and keeping the business afloat during these austere times. We would have had to discontinue some brands had it not been for the boosts Ankorstore gives retailers.

Ankorstore also provides a global shop window. It opens up opportunities to stock brands that we would not have happened upon ourselves – a fantastic wholesale catalogue!

Do you have any advice for women who are taking their first steps into the entrepreneurial world?

Life is tough my darling… but so are you! Women are still expected to wear many hats in society. Many female entrepreneurs are full time mothers and housewives as well as full time business owners. It’s exhausting, but it can be done. Put on your big girl pants and go get that dream.

Draw strength from those who have succeeded when you feel downbeat or hit a stumbling block, reach out to communities of female founders – we are all in the same boat and have felt how you do. And learn to celebrate your successes… I’m rubbish at that!

As an independent business owner, what does International Women’s Day mean to you?

As an independent business owner, International Women’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the single-handed contribution women make to the economy. It’s all our hard work – fuelled by a passion for what we do. I am always thrilled to count up the number of small businesses we support that are female founded and led. Sisters really are doing it for themselves!

It’s so important to take one day a year to reflect on achievement and check in with yourself that you are doing a good job, it’s recognised and it’s appreciated.

The past year has been a little tough for me as I have been going through active treatment for breast cancer. I have not missed a day of work and kept my business fully operational – perhaps this IWD I should remember that and feel a little proud.

Discover Natasha’s concept store &Keep here.


Soledad Rivas and Isabel Tormos, co-founders of Spanish brand Reliée Studio 

Please tell us a little bit about you and your brand?

Reliée Studio was born four years ago from the need to transform waste into good design. As we both come from the world of design, and we both love bags, we decided to create a brand of sustainable bags.

We created our first collection of handbags using scraps from clothing brands, upholstery and leather goods workshops. With the fabric scraps we made patchwork pieces to create models such as Paige. In the next collection, we introduced recycled fabric from plastic bottles as the main material, and then applied the scraps of leather in the form of pockets. This material made it easier for us to keep up with the pace of production, while still keeping in mind our mission to recover waste.

When did you register to join Ankorstore and how has the platform helped you in your independent brand journey?

We have been with Ankorstore since 2021. The most important benefits of Ankorstore for us as a brand are all those things that we couldn’t offer as a small brand: 60-day payment terms, free shipping on orders over 300€, being able to offer discounts on first purchases to new retailers, visibility and of course access to retailers all over Europe. Another advantage is the Ankorstore team, who have always been willing to help us with any queries (and we have had many!).

Do you have any advice for women who are taking their first steps into the world of entrepreneurship?

One of our biggest tips for women taking their first steps in the business world is to network. For example, start by contacting small brands that you admire. Nowadays it is very easy through networking to meet people and learn from their experiences.

Persevere. Don’t be afraid to persist even if you are a small brand or just starting out. It has happened to us that by placing small orders there are suppliers who pay less attention to us, so you have to keep insisting.

As an independent business owner, what does International Women’s Day mean to you?

We feel privileged to be able to do a job we love and to have had access to higher education (we met doing a Masters degree). This would not have been possible 100 years ago, and it is all thanks to the struggle of many women. Even so, we still have a long way to go.

We have to say that many of the brands we follow and know are led by women and we are proud of that. There is an atmosphere of generosity and support among us that empowers us all.

Discover Reliée Studio on Ankorstore now

An independent retailer’s ultimate guide to Easter

Easter is just around the corner, marking the first major holiday since Christmas. This is a great opportunity for independent retailers to enjoy a seasonal boost to sales whilst customers enjoy the four-day holiday weekend and time with friends and family.

With the right strategies and promotions, independent retailers can make the most of this special time of year and create a memorable shopping experience for your customers.

To help you get your shop ready for Easter, we asked Sodia Haddassi-Amma, founder of independent concept store, Beldi Maison, to share more about her store and her top tips for increasing sales and engaging with your customers. 

Please tell us a little about you and your store?

We are a home and lifestyle store focusing on sustainable products where possible. We also run workshops for children and adults in our space!

How do you plan for Easter in your store?

We have a selection of chocolates and cards available, as well as Easter-themed accessories for children. We also plan Easter-themed workshops for children during the Easter holidays!

What are your bestselling items around this time of year?

Homeware items are popular at this time of year for those who are looking to freshen up their home for spring, as well as candles and beauty gifts for upcoming events such as Mother’s Day.

For children, bunny-themed items such as Miffy and Bunny Ears from Talking Tables have already been popular!

You have a thriving online presence, do you do anything special on your website for Easter?

Making it easy for my customers to shop on my website is very important to me. This year, I’ll create an Easter Gift Guide on the Beldi Maison website so that customers can find sustainable gift ideas without the hassle. 

How do you promote your business’s sustainable values over Easter?

We stock chocolate from Coco Pzazz and The Raw Chocolate Company, who both use biodegradable packaging, as well as cards with biodegradable cellophanes.

Do you create any special window or in-store displays?

Last year we had a spring-themed window display, complete with handmade giant crepe flowers which our customers loved so much that they asked for a workshop teaching them how to make them!

What are your top 3 merchandising tips for Easter?

1. Create a section where all the Easter chocolates and treats can be found in one place.
2. Set up a display where products with complimenting  seasonal colours can be displayed together.
3. Use a display table to showcase Easter gift selections.

How do you create excitement for your customers at Easter?

We run drawing competitions for children, which are always very popular!

How do you promote Easter on your social media platforms?

We create Easter-themed posts showing gift suggestions and Easter-themed baking recipes to help get our customers involved with the fun activities that this time of year brings. 

What Ankorstore brands are you buying for Easter this year?

I’ll be buying from Coco Pzazz, Lorna Syson, Raw Chocolate Company, Made By Shannon and Miffy by Bon Ton Toys. These brands reflect the sustainable values of my shop and are popular with our customers.

What tips would you give to other independent retailer owners this Easter?

My number one top is to listen to your customers. Last year I had a lot of requests for Easter cards and I didn’t have a wide enough selection, so this year I have made sure to be more prepared.

Do Ankorstore’s buying conditions make it easier for you to shop Easter products? 

The minimum order of £100 per brand means you can easily get a variety of products and brands in store without risking cashflow.


We hope Sodia’s tips have inspired you to get your shop ready for the Easter holiday. Discover hundreds of unique items from brands across Europe in Ankorstore’s Easter selection now.

Shop Easter

Ankorstore experts predict the key product trends for 2023

We’re already off to a busy start in 2023, with tradeshows taking place and new-season stock starting to fill shelves of independent retailers’ stores across Europe. To help you get set for the year ahead, we’ve asked the category experts at Ankorstore to share their top product trend predictions.

2022 was marked with plenty of global and economic uncertainties, which show no signs of slowing down in 2023. Despite this, independent retailers continue to show their resilience in the face of adversity and consumers’ love of local remains as strong as ever. Pricing is the key factor to consider in 2023, with pockets being squeezed throughout Europe, having a strong pricing strategy is essential for continued independent growth. 




Trend predictions from the Ankorstore experts


1. Sustainability: the trend that’s more than just a trend

With ever-growing awareness of the impact our decisions today can make on the world of tomorrow, consumers are prioritising sustainability and eco-conscious choices in every aspect of their daily lives. This mindset shift represents more than just a passing trend, and will be a mainstay in consumer values today and in the future. 

Guillemette Renoul, Home & Kitchen Category Manager at Ankorstore, explains: “Across all product categories, customers want to buy more and more eco-friendly items. This doesn’t mean organic products only, but sustainable materials and reusable products too. Besides sustainability, there is a huge trend towards using natural materials, such as wood, stone, and plants, in home and interior design. These materials are often seen as being more sustainable and bring a natural, organic feel to a space. In terms of colours, green will continue to set the tone in 2023, together with oranges and new reds as well as gold.


Shop Home & Kitchen


2. New packaging and emerging ingredients for beauty and fashion sectors 

The fashion and beauty industries will continue their shift to reduce their carbon footprint to meet consumer demands of buying more thought-conscious pieces. Selfcare has been high on the beauty agenda since 2020 and will continue to be important to your customers, new ingredients such as sea moss bring a fresh take on this product category. 

Luisa Aísa Castillo, Beauty & Fashion Category Manager at Ankorstore, comments: “Packaging is a key topic in 2023 as it’s a major contributor to the beauty industry’s carbon footprint, making Net Zero design a priority. In 2023, the fashion industry will also continue to replace synthetic fibres and materials with recyclable, bio-based and biodegradable innovations to lower the overall impact of fashion. We also expect the trend to prioritise self-care with pampering products to continue in 2023. Look out for  sea moss, which is emerging as the new key beauty ingredient due to its applications in skincare and haircare, offering new opportunities for brands and retailers.”


Shop Fashion & Accessories

Shop Beauty & Wellness


3. Quality products top parents’ wishlists 

The sustainability movement stretches down to our mini counterparts, with those buying for children citing quality and locally made items as the most important factors to their purchasing decisions. Wooden toys will continue in popularity and recycled materials are also being introduced into the kids’ market to offer more sustainable options for consumers. 

Camille Monzein, Kids’ Account Manager at Ankorstore, adds, “As can be seen in other categories, the new trends for 2023 in the kids’ sector are sustainable products, ethical toys and above all, locally manufactured brands. End consumers are looking for better made and quality products for their children. We’re also seeing a trend towards products made from recycled materials with the emergence of several new brands across Europe in past months.”


Shop Baby & Kids


4. Sober-curious products and premium foods dominate the grocery sector 

The sober-curious trend has been bubbling under the surface for some time, with more and more consumers questioning their relationship with alcohol. This has made way for a plethora of new non-alcoholic drinks being developed in the grocery sector. Healthy drinks also continue to be important as consumers’ continue the pandemic-induced search for optimal health. With rising costs of living, gourmet groceries will continue in popularity as a treat for customers. 

Cyrielle Domerg, Food & Drinks Category Manager at Ankorstore, explains: We expect to see an increase in regards to low-sugar, healthy, fizzy, plant-based brands in 2023. It’s a  trend that began in 2022 and marked a turning point in the beverage world. Non-alcoholic drinks for aperitifs (verjuice, mead, non-alcoholic spirits) have been democratised and will continue to play a major role in consumers’ entertaining activities. French know-how on aperitifs (spreads, crisps, crackers) is at the top of the sales list and very popular among European retailers, who devote a large section to this category in their shops. Although we predict 2023 to be a challenging year for retailers due to inflation and energy prices, premium groceries will remain appreciated by customers.”


Shop Food & Drinks


At Ankorstore, we know it’s essential for independent shop owners to set the right course for their product assortments to allow them to not only survive, but thrive in 2023. Discover over 30,000 European brands on our platform now and get inspired with a unique range of products.

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A brand’s guide to 2023 tradeshow season

The 2023 tradeshow season is just beginning, and it’s the perfect way to start the new year by strengthening your relationships with existing clients and meeting future buyers and prospects.

With the first major tradeshows taking place at the start of the year, and another wave in the autumn, it’s a good idea to start planning ahead so that you can make the most of these events and promote your brand in the best way possible. 

At Ankorstore, we have a range of tools to help you thrive during tradeshow season and to continue to grow your business on our platform. We’re sharing our top tips below to get you started and help you navigate tradeshows with ease.  



Before tradeshow season begins

During tradeshow season

After tradeshow season ends


Before tradeshow season begins


1. Prepare your marketing material 

Marketing materials such as banners, flyers, business cards, and signage is a great way to ensure your brand gets noticed at tradeshows. Use these materials to decorate your stand, promote your brand, and share key information like your logo, brand name, website address and contact details, as well as your values or your most important USPs. 

Don’t forget to include your Ankorstore Referral offer code on your marketing materials to encourage your new prospects to shop from your brand on our platform. You can find your Referral offer code by logging in to your Ankorstore account and going to the ‘My Network’ section. 


2. Let your retailers know where you’ll be showing 

Don’t just rely on footfall at tradeshows to keep your booth busy. Communication is one of the keys to success, so make sure you spread the word to your retailers about the tradeshows you’ll be at so that they know where and when to find you. Use the ‘Messages’ tool in your Ankorstore account to contact your retailers, or post about your tradeshow presence on social media. Don’t forget to encourage retailers and new prospects to book an appointment with you on the day. 

Boost your client list on Ankorstore by training your brand representatives about our platform before you attend a tradeshow. Make sure they’re comfortable talking about how Ankorstore works, explaining the benefits for retailers and inviting customers to your shop via your Ankorstore brand page.


3. Manage your stock levels

Keeping your inventory up to date during tradeshow season is important to help your retailers enjoy a seamless ordering experience with your brand. In fact, rejected orders due to stock levels cuts the chance of a retailer ordering again from a brand by 50%. You can easily update your stock via your Ankorstore account, and you can see a detailed step-by-step guide in our FAQ article here


4. Offer exclusive discounts

To make sure you’re offering your clients the best deals, check the prices for products in your Ankorstore shop match those on any of your other wholesale platforms. Boost your sales during tradeshow season by offering a special discount in your shop using our guide here or use our Personalised discount feature to offer your clients the same prices and benefits as buying direct.


During tradeshow season


1. Make your booth stand out

Considering your booth design and product merchandising is key to ensuring your appearance at a tradeshow is a success. Buyers and future clients will be visiting lots of booths in one day, so make sure yours is the one that they remember. Your booth is a great place to showcase your new-season collections, and you could introduce additional elements like interactive displays, product demonstrations or free samples to drive footfall to your booth. 


2. Use our Prepared Orders feature

Want to take orders from your clients on the spot during tradeshow season? Now you can with our Prepared Orders feature. Simply click on ‘Prepare an order’ in the ‘Prepared Orders’ section of your account, select the products and quantities your client wants to buy and send them an email link to their pre-populated basket, all your client needs to do is check out. Additionally, you can also create Prepared Orders for retailers who are not yet registered on Ankorstore. To find out more, please read our FAQ article here


3. Network and create a lead capture process

Tradeshows are one of the most important times to meet new prospects, strengthen relationships with existing clients and meet your peers. Having a short digital lead capture form is the best way to get the details of everyone you meet on the day so that you can contact them afterwards. Remember that the WiFi connection at tradeshows can sometimes be slow, so having a physical backup like a guest book at your booth will also ensure you keep track of all your visitors on the day. 


After tradeshow season ends


1. Update your contact list 

Being one of the first to make contact with a new prospect following a tradeshow is a great way to start a positive working relationship. Start by updating your contact list in your Ankorstore account by going to the ‘My Network’ section and then send personal messages to each of the new prospects you have met. Remember that a personal message makes all the difference and you can use your Referral offer code to invite your retailers to join Ankorstore and benefit from a voucher to use on your shop. Find out more about our Referral offer here


2. Track leads through the sales pipeline 

Understand the impact your presence at a tradeshow had by tracking any leads you created on the day by following their journey with your brand. Send a follow up communication if you haven’t heard back from them including a Personalised discount to help encourage conversion and take note of the products and quantities they add to their basket so you can check in with the retailer after purchase to see if they’re happy with their order. 


3. Measure performance and improvements

Every tradeshow you attend is another opportunity to learn something new about your customers and your brand. Having key performance indicators in place to measure the success of your attendance is a good way to understand impact and make improvements for next time. 


We hope you find these tools and tips useful and we look forward to seeing you thrive during the upcoming tradeshow season.

Retail predictions for 2023 with Mary Portas

With 2023 just around the corner, we’re looking ahead to the top trends that will shape the year ahead in our Future of Independent Retail report, created in partnership with Mary Portas.

With a love for local still at the forefront of consumers’ minds, the opportunity for independent retailers remains high despite the ongoing economic downturn. With survey results from British independent retailers and consumers, we’ll be looking at insights into product trends and the new technologies that will change the retail industry for good. Plus, British retail expert and broadcaster, Mary Portas, and Ankorstore’s UK General Manager, Tarun Gidoomal, will be sharing their key takeaways from our findings.

Download our Future of British Independent Retail report 



Top 3 trends for 2023

1. The rise of the ‘15-minute city’

68% of independent retailers believe the 15-minute city, an area where daily necessities and shops can be reached by either cycling or walking from a resident’s home in just 15 minutes, is the future of retail.

2. Emerging tech to offer new retail experiences

With 41% of consumers looking for a more personalised shopping experience in 2023, the adoption of new technologies is key to retail success. 80% of independent retailers will be exploring social commerce opportunities, followed by 47% trying augmented and virtual reality tools. 

3. Love for local remains strong

A huge 92% of British consumers believe it’s important to support local businesses, and Mary Portas adds, “We know there is hope for our local high streets post-Covid. Shoppers want to support them and almost half of retailers are positive about 2023. But – and it’s a big but – the government has to support them.”

Download our Future of British Independent Retail report 


Watch our webinar with Mary Portas

Missed out on our Future of Independent Retail webinar? You can catch up now and watch as Mary Portas and a panel of experts discuss next year’s biggest trends.

Watch the webinar


How to prepare for 2023 tradeshow season

The 2023 tradeshow is just around the corner, and these events are important for all kinds of retailers as suppliers come together to showcase their products for the new season. As an independent business owner, attending a tradeshow is a great way to see products in person before making a purchase, talk to vendors to learn about their merchandise and network with other retailers in the industry. 

We know that tradeshows can often be a busy and overwhelming experience, especially for independent retailers. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you get organised before, during and after tradeshow season. 




Before tradeshow season starts 

1. Set your goals

Ask yourself what you want to achieve by attending tradeshows this season. Are you there to find new trends, expand your product assortment, discover new vendors or network with your peers? Your answer will help you decide which tradeshows are best for you to go to and how to structure your day.

2. Plan ahead

Once you’ve chosen the tradeshows you want to attend, it’s a good idea to look at the exhibitor list online and write down the brands you want to see. Booking appointments in advance is a great way to organise your time, but make sure you leave a few slots free to meet new brands you might spot during the day.

3. Decide your route

Tradeshows are usually held in large spaces, so having a route planned is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Most tradeshows will offer a downloadable map before the event and you can use this to decide which booths you want to visit and in what order. This will save you time walking back and forth during the day.

4. Know your numbers

As an independent retailer, you’ll want to make sure you don’t overspend at tradeshows. Make sure you have a clear idea of your top performing categories and bestsellers so you can place orders in the categories you know work best for your store.


On the day


1. Pack all the essentials

The last thing you want to do is turn up to a tradeshow and realise you’ve forgotten something important. Remember to take plenty of business cards and a one-pager with your key figures and goals so you can stay focused and on track throughout the day.

2. Aim for quieter times

Being one of the first through the door at a tradeshow will ensure you beat the crowds and get the time you need with vendors. If you aren’t able to make it in the morning, towards the end of the day is also a great chance to explore the floor with less people around.

3. Take notes and pictures

Remembering one product from another can be difficult when you’re seeing so many in a short space of time. Photographing everything you want to follow up on, taking business cards and making notes each time you stop at a booth will help remind you of what you were interested in once the event is over.

4. Use our ‘Prepared orders’ feature

Meeting with a brand who sells on Ankorstore? Ask them to use our ‘Prepared orders’ feature to create your basket on Ankorstore with your chosen products. They will then email you a link and all you need to do is check out via the Ankorstore platform. 


After the tradeshow


1. Review everything you gathered during the event

Spend some time organising your photos, notes and any business cards you picked up during the event whilst it’s still fresh in your mind. Sort out your notes into vendors you want to follow up with, those to review in the future and those to pass on to other peers who will be interested.

2. Follow up with vendors

A personal note, email or phone call following a tradeshow is a great way to start a positive working relationship. Use the ‘Messages’ feature in your Ankorstore account to keep all your brand correspondence in one place, and don’t forget that brands who sell on Ankorstore can offer you a personalised discount so you can enjoy the same benefits as buying direct. Find out more in our FAQ article here.

3. Invite brands to join Ankorstore

If you’ve found a brand that you’d love to see on Ankorstore, you can easily invite them to join us by logging in to your Ankorstore account and going to the ‘Refer brands’ section. If a brand you referred successfully joins our platform, we’ll reward you. Find out more in our FAQ article here.

4. Post about your day on social media

Remember that tradeshows are a marketing opportunity for your independent business too. Use your social media platform to post pictures or videos from the day, or film an Instagram Reels to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at how industry events work. 


Meet the Ankorstore team

Our representatives will be attending Top Drawer at Olympia London from 15th – 17th January 2023 and Spring Fair at NEC Birmingham from 5th – 8th February 2023.

Email to book an appointment.

Encuesta a los minoristas independientes de Ankorstore

The key takeaways from our State of European Independent Retail report

Faced with inflation and the rising cost of living, many independent retailers like you are worried about the current economic situation. As the end of the year approaches, we surveyed over 500 independent retailers across Europe to understand how the festive selling period impacts their businesses, the challenges they are facing and their thoughts for the future of our high streets. 



1. The importance of the festive season

A huge 87% of independent retailers believe that the end-of-year selling period is more important than ever. Following two years of uncertainty over the festive period with the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and shop closures, European independent retailers are now not only trying to recover from the after-effects of Covid on their businesses, but are also facing new challenges. 


2. The challenges independent retailers are facing

With rising cost of living and inflation rates, consumer purchasing power has seen a sharp decline. In fact, ⅓ of surveyed independent retailers are unable to say whether they are optimistic for the festive season and 73% state that the current economic climate puts the future of their businesses at risk. In addition, 77% fear that consumers will spend less, or at best the same, as they did the previous year. 


3. Creating a unique experience and product selection 

Independent retailers across Europe have one thing in common, they know that it’s their unique in-store experience and product selection that makes them stand out. While 43% of independent retailers are facing increased competition from big chains and e-commerce giants, consumers are craving opportunities to shop in person and support their local communities, especially during the festive season. When it comes to product assortment, 49% of independent retailers will be stocking regional products and 47% will put more eco-friendly products on their shelves. 


4. Cost reductions as the end of the year approaches  

Our survey reveals that independents across Europe are applying the same coping strategies to manage the current economic challenges. A staggering 80% of independent retailers across Europe have cited reduced consumer spending power as their biggest challenge, whilst 46% are struggling with the rise in energy prices.  To combat these challenges, 63% of independent retailers will reduce their energy consumption, such as heating and illuminating shops at night, 54% will reinforce their external communication to reach consumers and customers 47% will restock last minute to avoid over-ordering. 


We hope these insights will help you navigate your business over the coming weeks, and if your stock is running low for Christmas, you can shop our selection of curated brands that ship within one week here

For further insights, download our full State of European Independent Retail report here



Research conducted by Ankorstore with 570 independent retailers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy in Aug./Sept. 2022. The primary aim of the survey was to understand retailers’ pain points towards Black Friday and Christmas sales in the current economic context and to voice their needs.

une main tient un smartphone et clique sur une image

How to master social media this festive season

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal as a retailer. It’s an opportunity to connect with customers at every stage of the buying lifecycle, from those discovering your store for the first time to the loyal customers who consistently engage with your brand. 

With Christmas fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to boost your social media presence and attract more customers who are looking to make purchases. To help you get started, we asked our Social Media team to share their expert tips and advice. 



1. Stay relevant and inspire your followers

Many customers will turn to social media to find inspiration for Christmas gifting and décor during the festive season. This is a great opportunity for you to get creative with images and videos that make purchasing decisions easier for your customers and showcase your top products. 

Make the most of the shopping features available on platforms like Instagram. This gives you the chance to tell your story and highlight your products seamlessly. Use the Product Tags feature on Instagram to allow your customers to shop in-app during the moment of discovery. Don’t forget that a consistent look and feel of your imagery and videos is key to building the identity of your store and catching the eye of customers old and new. 

Top tip from our team: “Relevancy is key on social media – timely content that resonates with your audience and reflects current events is much more engaging. Getting into the holiday spirit should help you grow your reach this season.” 


2. Share behind-the-scenes content

The human element of your business is key when it comes to connecting with your current and new customers. ‘Behind-the-scenes’ content has grown in popularity on social media platforms as it creates transparency that helps customers feel like they are part of your brand and community.

Using Instagram’s Reels feature is a great way to increase your visibility on the platform. According to data from Instagram, accounts with over 10k followers who posted at least five Reels over 60 days gained 2.5x more followers than those who didn’t use the feature. 

During the festive season, you could consider using Reels to introduce your store team, share top gift picks from your shop or show quick how-to videos featuring your products. Reels are 90 seconds long and should be shot vertically, use a tool like InShot to easily crop and resize your content for use on Reels. Remember that this type of content doesn’t need to be as polished as your other posts. The more natural, the better.

Top tip from our team: “Human interest content and posts featuring real people drive engagement. Be humble, show your personality and let your followers in on what’s going on in your world. The response could be surprising… and inspiring.”


3. Get to know your customers better

One of the greatest benefits of using social media for your business is that it gives you a focus group of customers at your fingertips. This can help you understand how your customers shop, what products they are looking for and what would persuade them to make a purchase. 

Popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all offer polling features which enable you to directly ask questions to your customers and see their responses. In the run up to Christmas, this feature can be especially useful to gauge your customers reaction to new products or find out what gifts they’re looking for. Remember to intersperse polls with humorous or personal questions too, like what your customers’ favourite Christmas tradition or Christmas food is. Approaching your customers in an informal way will help them feel more of a part of your community. 

Top tip from our team: “Social media is a two-way street – don’t underestimate the insights you can get by polling your followers. Polls are good for engagement, and can improve the reach of your Instagram Stories. Plus, you can learn more about your customers. It’s win-win!” 


4. Give back to your customers with competitions and prizes

With the end of the year synonymous with giving, use the opportunity to give back to your customers and thank them for their loyalty throughout the year, whilst increasing your business’s social media engagement metrics. 

A competition is a fun and easy way to engage followers. Be creative and original when it comes to your competitions and make them as interactive as possible. You could offer a prize for the best photos shared of one of your products being used, or ask your followers to tag a friend that they’d share a gift voucher for your store with. These simple tricks will ensure your customers feel valued and loyal to your brand year after year.

Top tip from our team: “Fun competitions that are designed to reward your existing followers can be a great way to show a little love and make someone’s day.”


5. Keep your customers up to date

Take advantage of the immediacy of social media to keep your community up to date with any changes that you’re making during the festive season.

Make sure your last order dates for online shipping are clearly communicated on your social media profiles and add any details about international delivery cut-off times. If you’re changing or extending your store opening hours in the run up to Christmas, put this information in your bio so that customers can easily find out when you’re open and the days you’re closed over the holidays. These easy additions are a great way to manage your customers’ expectations during the busiest time of the year.

Top tip from our team: “It’s important not to lose sight of a basic truth: your social media needs to give value to your followers. Otherwise why should they follow you? Use social media to make your customers’ lives easier. Your Instagram bio or Instagram Highlights can be a great place to pin your opening hours or any other useful information. If you’re closing for Christmas, let them know with an Instagram Story or a pinned post.”