Tis the Season for a Winning Holiday Retail Strategy
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for sales. Regardless of how big or small your operation, the holidays are a huge opportunity to maximize sales and attract new clients to your business. According to the National Retail Association, 20-40% of yearly sales for small to medium sized retailers take place during November and December. If you’re not doing everything you can to take advantage of this you could be missing out on not just sales, but new customers.
Your holiday retail strategy need not be complicated to be effective. There are a number of easy to implement tactics that will go a long way to maximize your holiday sales and keep your customers coming back well into the new year.
Holiday Retail Strategy Tip 1: Focus on the customer experience
It’s no secret that despite all the decorations and good cheer, the holidays can be a super stressful time for shoppers so make their shopping experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Be fast & friendly
When you’re with a customer, stop whatever you’re doing and give them your undivided attention. Listen to them and ask open-ended questions so you can help them find something perfect, fast.
Help, don’t sell
We repeat: this is a stressful time of year. Don’t exacerbate the issue by being pushy. This customer came to you to accomplish something not for you to make a sale. Help them accomplish their goal and they will remember the excellent service they received.
Be extra patient
Emotions run especially high during the holidays, if your customer snaps at you – don’t take it personally. Just let it roll right off you and plough ahead. Be nice to everyone – no exceptions and absolutely no excuses!
Say Thank You
Obvious? Yes, but you would be surprised how effective a little appreciation can be. A simple “Thank you for your business, hope to see you again soon” when closing a face to face transaction will go a long way to ending their shopping experience in a positive way. If you don’t interact with your customers face to face, send a thank you note or email.
Don’t forget to have fun
Despite everything, this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year so try to have fun. Maintain a positive mood and smile, it will be infectious and your customers (even the Grinchy ones) will remember you and your business positively.
Holiday Retail Strategy Tip #2: Get social
Display your holiday wares on social media
Displaying your products on your business’ social pages for the holidays is an easy and effective way to show shoppers you’re a great gift destination. According to Crowdtap 67% of people say they have purchased a gift they saw on social media and 65% say they actively use social media to find the perfect gift. Help your customers by displaying easy gift selections “for him”, “for her”, “teacher’s gifts”, or “gift’s for your boss”, etc. Don’t forget to dress up your social pages for the holidays with festive cover photos and profile images. It’s a simple and effective way to let people know you are a potential holiday shopping destination.
Create a share-worthy social media offer, promotion or contest
Package a simple offer like BOGO or a contest and encourage people to share it on social media. These are really simple to put together and even easier to publish thanks to social media. Get your team together and brainstorm! It should tie into your business, be good enough to share, and drive people to act – buy something online or come into your store. Creativity and cleverness can go a long way to promote your business.
Support a local charity this holiday season
Tis better to give than to receive! This is a really great tactic because it’s win-win. Your charity of choice will benefit directly and customers will feel good knowing that their business will help support local charitable efforts. Depending on what’s close to you personally or available locally, you can do a food drive or support a local animal shelter by pledging a % of holiday sales. Often overlooked as a holiday charity, animal shelters consistently see an influx of animals given as gifts after the holidays.
Holiday Retail Strategy Tip #3: Keep them coming back
Continue to reap the benefits of your holiday retail strategy all year round by implementing a loyalty program. Holiday sales and attracting new clients are all well and good, but it’s loyal customers buying a variety of your products/services consistently all year round that will keep your business going strong.
Loyalty programs can range from the super simple to the very sophisticated.
Examples of simple loyalty strategies
- Refer a friend discounts and promotions
- VIP customer events and discounts and promotions
- Loyalty punch cards
Costs will depend on how complex the program and what you want to offer as an incentive so there will be some sort of investment required to get your loyalty program off the ground. Trust us when we say that if executed properly, the business from loyal customers coming back time and time again will far outweigh the costs of running the program. To get yourself started, you can look into financing options that don’t restrict the use of your funds like a merchant cash advance or business loan from Evolocity.
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