We’re down to the wire! You continue to fight the effect COVID-19 has had on you, your business, your customers and your staff. You have closed your store, reopened, pivoted 27 times, and have figured out new ways to grow sales and to get product to your customers. You deserve a break.
But not just yet.
We have assembled five strategic actions you can take right now to help you get a bigger share of the holiday sales pie. So, why did we wait until now? Because we know that October and November were incredibly busy months, but we also know that the last 24 days of shopping before Christmas is time to kick it into high gear. Again. Each of these five easy to implement ideas will help you entice hurried, uncertain of what to do, customers to buy.
1. Begin at the front door
You want your sales floor to scream Christmas when shoppers enter and the perfect place to set the tone is on your Speed Bumps; the displays that stop shoppers and give them a taste of what they can expect to find merchandise-wise as they shop your store. Try these on your speed bump displays:
Cross-merchandised product that can be worn or used together
Items at the same price point
Gift suggestions by gender and age
Themed display of related items
Remember to re-merchandise key parts of your sales floor, including the impulse items at the cashwrap, frequently. When the product remains stagnant – especially during the holidays – frequent shoppers think “I have seen this before” and keep on walking. So move around new goods and things that have been with you for a while. If you have to do pre-Christmas markdowns do it while the sales floor continues to be busy with shoppers. The first markdown you take is the always the most important and the cheapest.
Markdowns allow you to maximize your invested dollars. When you get those dollars back you can reinvest into newer items that will yield higher margins and better inventory turn. Packing product away for next year isn’t the answer because it never looks as fresh as it looked when it was initially received. Customers know.
2. Set the tone
Decorate the windows and the store for the holidays and put a Christmas spin on your dress code. And even if you hate holiday music, play it anyway because Christmas carols set the tone for the season. They also remind shoppers of the task at hand and put them in gift giving mode.
3. Sell gift cards
This is the exact time to focus on gift card sales. Statistics show that 61 percent of customers spend more than the amount of their gift card, 75 percent spend more than the value of their card, and 55 percent of gift card recipients require more than one shopping trip to the store to spend the balance of their card. This is great news for you because the more trips a customer makes to your store the more they are likely to spend while they are there. Make selling e-giftcards for those who prefer to stay at home, and last minute shoppers, a priority too.
Want to increase gift card sales? Throw in a “What’s in it for me?” bonus card, as in “Buy $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 gift card for free” or similar bonus card promotion. Don’t make the bonus cards valid until January 1, 2021 so they can’t be used to purchase holiday gifts.
4. Sign the store like never before
70 percent of purchase decisions are made in-store so signing helps shoppers make the decision to buy. Add signs to displays that read: New Arrivals, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, and add price points where applicable. On big ticket items such as sewing machines or bicycles, add the item’s features.
5. Meet daily with your team
Make sure that all associates are on board to provide excellent service. Meet with everyone for a couple of minutes in the morning and at shift changes. Share what’s new, changes on the sales floor, talk about what’s happening on social media, and what was sent to customers via email and direct mail. Talk up gift cards and gift ideas, do a Q&A – share whatever is important that particular day.
Work just a little harder the month of December because your competitors’ will. We wish you a safe, wonderful, and prosperous holiday season. And remember, we are always here if we can help!