It’s that time of year again. Time to go the extra mile for your customers and get all the sales you can before the year is over. In layman’s terms…holiday season.
This is the time of year when shoppers are expecting that little extra. They know this time of year means ending in the black or red for many companies. Many think it’s all about the “deals” this time of year, but for many shoppers it’s the overall experience that can make or break a sale. People will typically spend more on a gift for someone they care about than they will on themselves.
So here we go. Here’s your quick reference guide to creating the ultimate holiday experience for your customers.
SAY HELLO WITH STYLE
The tone is set the moment the shopper walks into your store. Now is not the time to make your sales staff do double duty as salesman and door greeter. They need to focus their energy on the customers that appear this time of year.
Hire one or two door greeters. A greeter can help you in multiple ways beyond freeing up your sales staff. They make sure each shopper that walks through the door is acknowledged, preferably in a warm and inviting manner. They can ask preliminary questions to help direct the customer to the proper person or area within the store. They also can alert shoppers to areas of interest such as new products, sales products, demos or events you may have going on in your store.
INVOKE THE SENSES
Ever noticed how boutiques and high-end stores are not only visually appealing, but also have a combination of music, fragrance and refreshments available? They do this because they know engaging a shopper’s senses increases sales.
Sight- make sure your store is clean. Group and organize merchandise in a way that’s easy to shop. Keep displays in good condition with no chips or cracks. Make sure signage is displayed to help direct customers, inform them and set the mood. Now is a great time to have more festive signage created. Break out the decorations to add interest to window fronts and place decorations around the store. Just keep it tasteful. Don’t go overboard and clutter your store. Less is more.
Sound- play holiday music to get shoppers in the gift buying mood. If holiday music isn’t your thing, find some light jazz, classical or other easy listening music that will put your shoppers in a calm, relaxed state. Once again, keep it classy. Your personal taste in music may not be as exciting to others. Go with something neutral that can appeal to a wide range of listeners.
Smell- you don’t need to invest in a fancy aromatherapy system to pull this off. It’s as easy as heading to your nearest wholesale retailer and buying a bulk supply of air fresheners. There are an assortment of options from plugins, automatic misters, candles, table top canisters and more. Chose the option that’s best for your store. Try to hide them out of sight if possible and choose a festive scent.
Touch- this one is easy. If you don’t already, encourage your sales people to get the product into the customer’s hands. Have customers touch the product. Press or turn buttons. If a demo is possible encourage them to demo the product. Don’t just tell them the features and benefits of a product, show them and have them interact with it.
Taste- this is the perfect way to give your customers a little something extra. Bake fresh cookies or pastries to give out to customers. Have coffee, tea, cider or other beverages available and offer them to customers when they walk in. If you’re equipped to do so, organize cooking events and invite your customers to attend.
DON’T RUN OUT
This is a busy time of year. Make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need ordered before the peak season hits. Order plenty of register tape, bags, top selling merchandise, etc. Make sure you have enough of the things you need to keep your business running smoothly. This not only keeps customers happy, it makes your employees very happy too.
Your customers could’ve bought their items anywhere. They chose you. Show them you appreciate them. Thank them verbally for stopping by whether they bought anything or not. Make sure your greeter thanks everyone who leaves the store.
Do a little extra. When a shopper buys from you, give them a little something special. This could be as simple as a pre-printed thank you card that you give them with their receipt. The card can do double duty if you include a discount offer for the next time they shop with you, tell them more about your after sales services or include other messages you’d like shoppers to know about.
If you don’t want to do a card, many fun promotional items can be branded with your logo. We’ve seen clients give away branded coasters, cooking spatulas, cutting boards, cake servers and more. There’s a promotional product to fit any budget.
NOW GO SELL! With the above tips you should be setup to make a memorable impression on your customers and have an amazing holiday sales season. If you’re not sure how to implement some of the above tips or need help with your holiday sales strategy or promotional items, we’re here to help, so just contact us.