It is safe to say that Christmas is coming and going fast! As a retailer, it is important that you are well equipped to take full advantage of the marketing opportunities that arise during the holiday season.
We realize that not all small business owners have a marketing-driven mindset, so we’ve put together these tips to help.
It is important to remember that a marketing plan does not need to be very technical. You just need to have simple but strategic ways to connect with your customers in a genuine way during the holidays.
The first step in formulating a simple plan is to take note of upcoming dates. Start with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.
Do not try to chase every holiday if it does not make sense for your business. Choose the ones that resonate with you and your customers and then plan what you are going to do to make the most of each of them.
The stakes are high and there is a lot of money waiting to be made if you are in the retail business. That’s why you should do everything possible to make sure you do not leave any money on the table and make the most of Christmas shopping this year.
Here are 10 verified and safe tips that should be able to help each retail store increase sales and have a very successful holiday season.
1. Use Christmas Decorations To Highlight
The holidays are not exactly the time to be conservative about the look of your store. Want to stand out and want everyone who walks within 100 feet of your store to see it!
However, going with the traditional green and red color scheme might not be the best solution. You know that everyone is going to do that, so why not do something different?
If your store or business already has a recognizable color scheme, stay with it and accentuate it. Use more lighting in and around your store to make it more visible both day and night.
Place some stalls outside, advertise some of your most popular products, go crazy on the window screen: do whatever you can to make your store more attractive and visually intriguing.
Do not stop and let your creativity fly.
2. Focus On Customer Service
We know that the holiday shopping season can be stressful for you and your employees, but it can be a burden on your customers.
Lines are long in the registry, stores are full and things can get tense for both the business and the buyer. That’s why you need to make sure that you and your employees are ready to provide the best possible customer service during this time of year.
If you are offering an excellent shopping experience to your customers, you have a better chance of turning them into regular customers and an excellent opportunity to have them recommend your business to their friends and family.
Make sure your staff members are cordial, informed and educated, whether in the store, online or by phone.
Putting in the extra effort to offer exemplary customer service during the holiday season will not hesitate to pay dividends for you in the new year and beyond.
3. Don’t Neglect Social Media
If you already have a presence on a social media platform, there is a lot of value in reserving some time to plan some publications before the important dates, for example, “3 days until Thanksgiving” or “5 sleeps until Christmas”.
If you are not on social media, this period of time could be your best chance to take advantage of exaggerations and trends and establish a follow-up by publishing eye-catching images.
You could use trend hashtags next to them to gain more exposure.
4. Consider offering Home Delivery Services
People who shop during the holiday season tend to visit more than one store during the same trip.
Sometimes, people find it difficult to carry tons of bags through numerous stores. Why not offer them options so they do not have to go with whatever they buy?
Give your customers the convenient delivery option to make the decision to buy much easier because they can buy what they want and know that they do not have to carry that item, but will be delivered directly to their door.
Defining delivery options will require a larger and more personal budget, but it is definitely worth considering, as you can benefit from both your online and in-store sales.
5. Focus on your Floor Plan
Your store may look fantastic and very attractive from the outside, but that will not help you make sales if the interior of your retail store is a disaster.
People like to shop at stores that are easy to buy. They do not like narrow aisles and have to push and push to get to their products. They want to be able to easily find what they need and see clearly what you are selling.
First, make sure your store is logically organized and group the items that make sense together.
Use the signage here as well so that your customers easily know which part of your store they need to go to find what they need.
Concentrate on making it easier for people to shop in your store making sure there is enough space between products and that they have enough space to get close to certain products, stay in that section for a while and interact with the products.
6. Educate your Staff
As the business owner, one of your top priorities is to make sure that all your salespeople know your products inside and out.
Be sure to develop some kind of employee training system that can help you educate staff about what you are selling and why your customers should buy these items.
It is important to have a system that helps you facilitate the training process, as you will probably hire seasonal employees who need a fast and effective education.
Not only is it important for your staff to know what they are selling, make sure they understand why someone would want to buy these products.
Demonstrate the features and benefits of your products and make sure your sales staff understands the needs of your customers.
7. Up-Sell When Possible
One of the best tips when it comes to increasing sales of techniques that really work in retail is to make sure you think a lot about matching products in advance.
Your employees must know what products can be grouped logically so they can sell effectively when they see that a customer has already picked something up and is still walking through the aisles of their stores.
Another good tactic to increase sales is to recommend more expensive high-end counterparts for a product that they have already chosen to buy. For example, if you already know that you want to buy a television, why not try to launch them to convince them to spend a little more on a really elegant and avant-garde television?
8. Offer Free Seasonal Themed Wrapping Paper
This is another incredible benefit you can offer if you have enough people to make this happen. Comfort is an excellent point of sale during the Christmas season and customers always appreciate it when they are willing to do some of the work for them.
It is also not a bad idea to pre-wrap some of your most popular items. The wrapped gifts are not only great accessories to make your store look more festive, but they can also influence your customers to buy those items simply because they will not have to wrap them alone when they get home.
9. Support a charity during this vacation
The holiday season represents the perfect time of year to give back to your community by supporting a local charity.
While donating money to a cause is always good, the team’s efforts are always better. Find a cause that you and your entire team can help and be sure to document the event as well.
Your customers will appreciate it more and the difference your business is making in your community and will likely attract new customers as a result of your philanthropic efforts.
Not only that, but your employees will also be proud to work for a company that truly cares about their community, which can also help build a positive work culture and improve their retention rates.
10. Show your Appreciation
Do not forget to thank your best customers, the people who do everything possible for you and your business.
If you have a mailing list of your best and most loyal customers (which you obviously should), take the time to send them personal “thank you notes”.
Whether you’re sending small gifts, coupons or just taking the time to let them know you’re grateful for them, a small token of appreciation can do a lot so that your business and your ability not only maintain but also create your base.
From loyal and satisfied customers.