Beneath all of the merriment and holiday cheer, we in the retail biz know that holiday sales are a pivotal time to make yearly sales goals. In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates that holiday revenue can account for 20 to 30 percent of a retailer’s annual profits. Since how your store performs over the holiday season can make or break your year, a bit of preparation is in order to prep your store and staff for the impending influx of folly jolly consumers. This means that while you’re putting up the tinsel and pinecones, you also want to hunker down and draw up a strategy to knock it out of the ballpark this holiday season.
The first days of December are your opportunity to plan smarter than the competition and to get your holiday preparations in order before the last minute shopping rush begins. These three strategies will help you lock down consumer interest and make the most (money) out of your in-store traffic. To help, consider the following three tips.
Spend Downtime on Social Sharing
Holiday retail traffic is funny. Within fifteen minutes your store can go from being packed to the brim to tumbleweed-level deserted. This means that no matter how much data you utilize in scheduling holiday staff, there will be times when they run out of customers to help and cleaning tasks to complete. These are the times when your hourly employees can don their marketing hats and help promote your store on social media.
Teach employees to spend their downtime being brand ambassadors for your store. From taking pictures of new inventory to buffing up your store’s presence on Pinterest and Instagram to posting holiday promotions in short videos on Snapchat, there is plenty of promotional work to be done on social media in service of your store. Create a list of actions your employees can take on social media during slow times in-store to make the most out of their billable hours.
Train Employees on Cross-Sells and Pairings
In retail, we talk a lot about cross-selling. However (and this is a big however), most cross-selling opportunities fall by the wayside the moment an associate is in a one-on-one verbal exchange with a potential customer. If you want your employees to confidently recommend additional items to go with each customer’s holiday purchase, you’re going to have to do a bit of the legwork for them. This means training your associates on which specific add-on items to suggest for particular inventory.
Hold a short seminar with your employees where you go over your holiday inventory items and which direct upsells that go with each purchase. Also invite your associates to practice suggesting different items to one another in mock selling scenarios. This way, when the opportunity to upsell arises they’ll be able to do so naturally and with absolute confidence.
Implement Environmentally Friendly Initiatives
Saving the environment can also help you save on unnecessary packaging costs when gift-wrapping your holiday inventory. In addition, sustainability sells. According to a recent study by Unilever, one-third of customers prefer sustainable brands. So putting some basic eco-friendly initiatives into play in your business can help your bottom line as well as helping you appeal to forward thinking customers.
You can cut down on packaging costs by texting or emailing customers their receipts instead of using receipt paper. And while gift wrapping is still an important option for many customers, consider doing so with recycled wrapping paper and using a stamp with your brand logo — instead of adorning packages with unnecessary plastic bows and stickers.
Maximize your employees’ billable hours and cut down on expensive packaging to make the most out of your seasonal yield. With a little strategic thinking, you can streamline your store operations for your most profitable holiday season to date!
Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this March 11-14, 2018 in Las Vegas.
By Jasmine Glasheen, RetailMinded.com