So far your Holiday Things to Do List includes Planning your holiday in-store events, hiring seasonal staff, and covering the basics. Let's continue.
4. Choose a holiday theme. What’ll it be this year? Home for the Holidays? Victorian Christmas? It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, or The Nutcracker? Whatever store décor theme you choose, go for it! These over the top displays have a job to do: put customers in a happy mood to spend. So, set your windows to sell, play holiday music, and holiday-ize your dress code. Serve Christmas cookies and cocoa on weekends. Set a schedule of what needs to happen and when and stick to it.
We’re here to help with holiday themed, print-ready poster packs created specifically for small retailers. Visit JingleBellsChristmasSells.com to order.
5. Set your sales floor to encourage holiday sales. Make a list of these key areas and check them daily:
q The Decompression Zone is the first 5’ to 10’ just inside your store’s front door. This is where shoppers refocus and collect themselves for the shopping ahead. They will miss anything you place here, so put your DZ to work by leaving it empty. Just beyond the Decompression Zone is where the shopping begins.
q Speed Bump Displays are small tables loaded with irresistible product that are placed front and center, just beyond your Decompression Zone. Their job is to stop busy shoppers in their tracks and redirect their focus to your merchandise. Change your Speed Bump displays at least once a week, whether they need it or not.
q Keep shoppers hands-free! Customers who shop with a cart or a basket spend 25 percent more in dollars and up to 15 minutes longer in the store. Place your carts and/or baskets just past the Decompression Zone and throughout the store. Keep an eye open for customers carrying product; you’ll want to get them a basket ASAP. We tend to tend to stop shopping when our hands are full. The Good-L Corporation makes shopping carts for even the smallest of stores. Visit BigBasketCo.com and take a look at their “basket carts.”
q Cross-Merchandise by displaying complementary product together, you’ll save shoppers time and sell more stuff! Bundle items on tables; create kits, cross-merchandise with clip-strips and j-hooks everywhere you can. You’ll encourage add-on purchases and increase your average sale. SouthernImperial.com has a wide selection of cross-merchandising accessories to choose from.
q Impulse buying at the cash wrap. Women are infamous for making purchases on impulse, that’s why your cash wrap should be loaded with product she just can’t pass up. Set a fab display of gifts on the wall behind your cash wrap so customers never stop thinking about your merchandise. And be sure to place displays of cool product within reach of the cash wrap, so customers can continue to shop while they wait on line to pay for their purchases.
q Encourage gift card/certificate sales: Studies show that 80 percent of customers spend more than the face value of the gift card, and 40 percent of customers spend more than twice the face value of the card. Push them this holiday – you can’t lose!
A gift card stuffed in an envelope doesn’t look like much, even if it’s for a high dollar amount, but a gift card that’s placed in tissue paper and wrapped in a pretty gift box or a hand-quilted pouch is something special. Your gift card packaging builds a perception about your store in the customer’s mind when she opens it. Don’t skip this important step!
6. Work your social medias. Social networking builds word of mouth, the number one thing that brings new customers to your store. Give it some extra oomph this holiday season.
q Increase your number of e-mail blasts from one to two a month, to three to four a month. Customers expect extra offers during the holidays. And remember, not every one has to include a deal. Offer gift suggestions, holiday décor ideas, and more.
q The photos you choose to represent your store need to stand out on a busy news feed. Choose photos that are easily identifiable and add a holiday twist.
q Talk about product and services that make great holiday gifts. Always include a photo, and pepper your posts with the words Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday. Gift certificates are strong sellers during the holidays, so promote them weekly. Use Facebook’s Post Promoter to draw attention to posts you don’t want fans to miss.
q Offer coupons and inside deals that are only available via your social medias – if someone is not a friend or follower they miss out. Encourage customers to join you online via your social medias, website, e-mail blasts, newsletters, and signing in your store.
q Use the Facebook Events tab to help you organize and promote your holiday happenings. Invite friends and fans, and encourage them to invite their friends as well. You can see who RSVPs, comments, and more.
q On Twitter, holiday related hashtags – #Christmas, #Hanukkah #holiday, #gifts, #coupons, #Santa, etc. – at the end of your tweets will help you connect with an audience that reaches far beyond your current followers.
And when Holiday 2012 is over, after you take that well deserved, week-long vacation in Hawaii – BACK TO REALITY! When the holiday dust settles, make notes about what worked and what didn’t, and what you wish you would have done differently. Your notes will be important when it’s time to plan Holiday 2013. Yep, retail is in the details. If you get stuck for ideas, give us a call. We’ll always happy to help!
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