Has been since July 2021 Eva Olbrich in addition to Christmasworld, the international trade fair for seasonal decorations and festive decorations, also the management the Creativeworld, Trade fair for the international hobby, handicraft and artist supplies industry. So she is responsible two strong product worldsthat are also moving closer together in retail.
Ms. Olbrich, what creative trends did you see in 2021 that you think will be popular this Christmas?
It was and is very clear that DIY experienced a boom again during Corona. Do-it-yourself is more trendy than ever, you had time again for beautiful and creative things. The topic of sustainability has also increased in importance.
Interesting DIY trends that are also suitable for Christmas are homemade and personalized wrapping paper and packaging – here, for example, with batik or the Japanese variant Shibori, which also works on paper.
In addition, the screen printing process is experiencing a renaissance. Lettering and Christmas motifs can be printed on a wide variety of surfaces – for postcards, but also napkins or tablecloths. Complete sets for crochet work, embroidery templates, hand lettering sets including instructions or printing sets can be offered as gift ideas. It is also very trendy to make colors yourself, and there are complete sets for this, too, which enrich the range.
What trends do you see in festive decorations?
For example, the “blackboard balls”, which you can design yourself with chalk, create your own note on the Christmas tree. Glass, ceramic or cardboard balls can be customized with pens. Glass balls, which you can fill yourself with natural branches, moss or feathers, are also a trend and set sustainable accents. Or get real Christmas trees in the store, hang them upside down for the presentation of goods in the shop or in the shop window – this is an absolute eye-catcher and attracts customers. Nature plays a major role in the decoration: dried orange peel can be cut out with Christmas cookie shapes and form a beautiful table decoration or window decoration. There is a wide range of natural decorations from florists’ needs at Christmasworld and Creativeworld. Use the product worlds and trends of Christmasworld and Creativeworld profitably for yourself.
What are your tips for small retailers looking to jump into new product lines this Christmas?
The desire for a sustainable way of life is currently greater than ever – take this trend into account when composing your product range. Put your Christmas business under a motto – for example “Green X-Mas” or “Merry, sustainable Christmas”. Decorate everything with natural materials, without plastic, just with glass, ceramics, wood, felt or similar jewelry.
The new lines can be advertised through an attractive shop window design. You can now optimally prepare an extraordinary shopping atmosphere. Remember, customers want to feel products again, try them out and fuel their creativity in the process. The shop window is your figurehead. Advertise your actions there. Put a Christmas tree in the window with self-designed balls and offer help in the shop for the creative design of the balls. Show crafting instructions for other jewelry. Show what you can do!
In addition, the focus is on personal exchange, especially for this Christmas business: If you know your customers well, you can very well point them out about new products and pick them up on their needs and preferences.
What are the best ways to reach customers and let them know about these changes?
Whoever wants to introduce new product lines has to know them well and be able to offer the customer competent advice. To order new product lines, I recommend our digital order platform Nextrade until the next live trade fair experience at Christmasworld and Creativeworld on 28/29. Will start again from January 1st to February 1st, 2022.
In addition, the motto applies – customer loyalty through community and community building. Workshops on the new products are available for this, which can be advertised through postcards, flyers and social media. The workshops can be carried out by your own dedicated employees, or influencers can be hired. Workshop topics could be: designing Christmas decorations or candles yourself, upcycling Christmas decorations, getting creative with paper, felt and fabrics. Position yourself as a good advisor. There is no such thing as a single pen for exactly one product; you can test the handling of materials and open up new possibilities for use.
Which guiding principles have shaped you the most recently? What do you give retailers?
We had our Consumer Goods Digital Day in April and the following sentences from our keynote speaker Sanjay Sauldie stuck in my mind: Those who sell with passion always win – also at the cheaper (online) price. Put the customer at the center of all your considerations and don’t stop questioning what you are doing, as successful startups do.
Think networked with dealers in your immediate neighborhood – such as hairdressers, booksellers or cafés – and work on joint sales ideas that offer the customer valuable synergies. Involve external experts for digital solutions or create a joint online presence for shopping streets with a central online shop. See lifelong learning as your personal opportunity for those who have stopped learning have stopped participating in the economy. Everyone should internalize these principles and reflect on them regularly.
How far in advance do you think should start preparations for Christmas?
In these special times, people start decorating for Christmas much earlier than usual, because they long for a cozy Christmas time with their families, which is now hopefully possible again in a larger group. Retailers should start decorating the interior and exterior and offer the Christmas goods by the beginning of November at the latest.
The key word for the Christmas season is emotionalization, because this remains the decisive success factor between brick-and-mortar retail and online retail. Create attention-grabbing theme worlds and presentations that appeal to all the senses and that above all suit your business. And combine your on-site services with digital offers, because consumers start shopping at home using their smartphones. Announce promotions not only in-store, but also in advance via your social channels.
You could start a Christmas countdown with decoration and handicraft tips via social media to increase the anticipation.
The number of younger people interested in DIY has risen sharply. How can small businesses target this age group while retaining older generation customers?
There is, for example, the topic of street art, which attracts young people in particular. A display with matching spray cans and markers fits into every creative shop. Here, too, authentic and competent advice is important. Hand lettering is still in demand across generations. But also offers such as Christmas tree balls with Star Wars motifs or emojis attract young people to the business. Crocheting and knitting is popular with young and old and should appear in the range. The younger generation can be easily reached via social media channels. In order to reach both target groups equally, a mix of workshops, live promotions in the store and social media is probably the best solution.
How important is a good social media campaign / presence in the run-up to Christmas this year? Do you have any advice for small businesses devising a marketing plan for this season?
Social media is very important, especially for the younger generation. Exciting lectures on this topic were given at Messe Frankfurt’s Consumer Goods Digital Day. Lectures on “Understanding Social Media Content” or “How Influencer Marketing Works Even with a Small Budget” can be viewed on our website conzoom.solutions.
In all social media campaigns, it is important to stick to yourself and only present the core competencies. The proximity to the customer is possible through personal contact. Trend-oriented topics are particularly suitable here – this assumes that you are informed about the latest trends on the market and that you stay on the ball.
Positioning is also important: Who am I, who are my customers and how I want to be perceived. The channel that I choose for myself also depends on this – Facebook or Instagram.
Do not underestimate the amount of time that social media entails. The accounts have to be well maintained and the followers want to be well looked after. So if you want to build your community, you have to use manpower. Young employees or trainees who have a high affinity for social media can help here. Schoolchildren and students are also happy to have part-time jobs where they can turn their hobby into a career.
Do you predict that sustainability will be a key expectation for small retailers when it comes to Christmas packaging? How can companies show their customers that they care about the planet?
The topics of sustainability such as recycling, DIY, repair and second hand will be with us for a long time, as our trend experts from the style office bora.herke.palmisano say, who develop the Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld trends for us.
It is definitely worth starting with small steps. What is particularly noticeable in a positive way when you do without unnecessary packaging and plastic. Or if you offer packaging and tapes made from recycled materials and use them yourself. In addition, the range of products offered by regional manufacturers is a sign of sustainable action. This can also be advertised in the shop window. A bike stand in front of the shop is a statement. Look out for a selected range of sustainable products (paper, paints, stars, decorations, etc.). The topic is also becoming more and more visible at our trade fairs.
Thanks very much!