As a continuation of the August cover story in Picture Business magazine, we wanted to provide imaging retailers with additional perspective on the holiday selling season. In the coming weeks we’ll offer up several pieces that detail steps retailers can take to make their all-important holiday Q4 the best it can be.
We’ll play a little Blackjack for openers as Doug Fleener has provided us with “21 Tips to Brighten the Holiday Selling Season” for retailers.
21 Holiday Selling Tips for Imaging Retail
1. Send all of your customers a personalized Christmas card with either a picture of the store or the staff. You need to do this now!
2. Send your top customers a gift card or gift certificate wrapped in an attractive box. Give higher amounts to your best customers. If your staff is good, when your customers come in to spend their gift cards they will end up making purchases for far more than the face value of the gift.
3. Email your customers and tell them about the top 20 gifts available in your store this season. Include a printable wish list for them to use either as a shopping list for others or to give to someone else.
4. Put the same list into a press release and send it to the local paper, radio station, etc.
5. Run one-day sales on the slowest days of the week.
6. Give a gift card with purchases over a certain amount. The card will inevitably result in a sale that will reduce the overall cost to you.
7. Drop small thank-you cards in customer’s shopping bags with their purchases but don’t let them see you do it. You can either have the staff fill them out in advance with the words “Thank You” and their name or have a seasonal person fill them out without signing a name. While it may not be practical for most of you to do this on all of your sales, you can definitely do this for the large sales.
8. Hire a musician to play Christmas music in the store during peak times. The live performance will differentiate your store and l keep the customer there longer. The longer they shop, the more your opportunity to sell them more.
9. Post your top 20 gifts on a large sign in the store and then sign each product on the list with the corresponding number. Include on the product sign why it is a unique gift and who would enjoy receiving it. Are you thinking you don’t have time to do these sorts of ideas? If it adds to your overall sales then why wouldn’t you make the time? Read on!
10. Remind your staff to keep showing additional products until the customer says he/she is done. Retailers miss many sales during the holiday because they’re too quick to ring the customer up.
11. Fifteen percent of all purchases made during the holiday are not given as gifts but are for the person shopping. Ask all of your customers “And how about treating yourself to something today?”
12. Bundle products. As I wrote a few weeks ago, we did this quite successfully at Bose with the $500 Wave Radio, offering a second one at a reduced price. One thing we learned doing these bundles is we sold more when we told the customer how much the price was on the second one versus stating it as a percentage of savings. Don’t make the customer do the math, tell them the price and how much they are saving.
13. Set some daily stretch goals with prizes for the staff if the goal is hit. Stock up on things like gift cards from Starbucks, Target, etc. and award them to the staff for making goal. Keep the staff focused on sales one day at a time.
14. Be extremely methodical about what impulse products you put at the counter. First, pick an item with the right price point. If you put too expensive an item at the counter it won’t sell, and if the item is too inexpensive it will sell but add little to your overall sales. Make sure the item is something that is both unique and something the customer will want to pick up. Have a bunch of the impulse items gift wrapped so the customer sees how simple it is to give that extra gift. Finally, consider bundle pricing with your impulse items.
15. Have the staff dressed seasonally. Consider Santa hats, red or green aprons or sweaters, or anything else that helps the staff appear more festive.
16. Put a big sign on the backdoor that reminds your staff to smile. It is pretty easy to let the smile droop after being on your feet for eight hours and working with crowds of customers. Here is a link if you’d like to use the one I made.
17. Create “Best Gift For” signs. First pick out a top seller, or a product you want to be a top seller, that is under $20. Next to that product put a sign that reads “Best Gift for Under $20.” Now do the same for $50, $75, $100, etc. Do the same for different people. How about a “Best Gift for your Hairdresser” or maybe a “Best Gift for the Babysitter?”
18. Create a daily “Hot Buy”. It gives the staff something to tell the customer about and it might help you sell a product that either isn’t selling well or is a hot seller that you want to get hotter. Remember, the special doesn’t always have to be a discount.
19. Give out candy canes and other goodies with each purchase or to all customers.
20. Invite your top customers in for an early morning event that includes gifts, refreshments and special pricing. Have the staff call the customers on the phone and invite them to bring their friends. Keep the event going after the doors open so those customers who come into the store feel special as well.
21. Keep having fun. Fun sells and makes working and shopping in your store a wonderful and enjoyable holiday experience. Isn’t that what it is all about?
— Check out www.dynamicexperiencesgroup.com for more from Doug.