After-Christmas retail can be fun if you focus on making money instead of just giving it away through aggressive promotions and discounts.
After Christmas Day has come and gone, retailers of all sizes, from boutiques to department stores to big-box stores, may want to rest.
But you can't.
Every retailer should have one mission: to minimize returns to grow their retail holiday sales.
The final week of the month is frosting on the cake. By proactively deciding to grow sales, you will have a better mindset, keep your crew from feeling overwhelmed, and keep online retailers at bay.
7 Ways To Grow Your Retail Sales the Week After Christmas:
1.Greet at the door. Have someone greet people as soon as they enter your retail store to tell them what is on sale with, "Good morning. The whole store is 20 percent off." You want to interrupt them before they get to the counter wanting their money back. The goal is for them to "Look around." Even if they tell you that's what they want, you can counter with, "We can certainly do that for you as well; we just don't want you to have to stand in line twice."
2. Greet at the counter. Even if someone greeted them as they entered your brick-and-mortar store and you have signs everywhere saying 20 percent off, when customers head straight for your counter with their receipt and a return, greet them with something like, "Good morning. The whole store is 20 percent off. Would you like to look around first?"
Even if customers tell you they only want another size, still mention your sale. Look at this as an opportunity to get your customer spending on a second item, not to have your employee give them 20 percent off a return. You can tell the customer your sale "makes their gift go farther." It's like you've given them more disposable income for their spending.
3. Tag all returns. Make sure every return is immediately tagged. You don't want to lose sales because someone threw it into a big pile to "get to" at the end of the day. Price it and get it back on the sales floor with the rest of the items quickly. That way, out-of-stocks don't cripple your in-store sales.
4. No part-timers at the counter. Make sure everyone knows how to do all types of returns, sale items, closeouts, layaways, checks, etc. before you allow them to help customers at the register. Neither your employees nor customers want to wait for a manager. Patience is typically worn through at this time of year, and people are more focused on keeping interactions to a minimum.
5. Bend your policies. Don't get into it with someone doing a return against your return policies. It isn't worth the aggravation - give them a refund if there is any way possible. Remember, our goal is to BUILD in-store sales, not antagonize customers. Battling over a $20 sale item ruins your day more than the customer's - move on and build sales. And remember, they can always do a chargeback - and they know it too. Give the refund and be a hero.
6. Hustle. You want to touch as many people as possible and give a superior customer experience. Now is not the time to let someone lazily size a rack or lazily hang merchandise or lazily do a return if you want a sales increase. Now is the time to actively get onto the floor and minimize those returns. If employees are too slow, customers will give up, get angry at your brand, and just say, "give me my money."
7. Get their information. Get them on your email list, or check in with Facebook. Remember, discount shoppers are usually not your regulars, so explain how they can sign up for exclusive sales throughout the year.
Of course, the best thing once you've minimized returns is getting sales growth by delivering a branded shopping experience to your consumer. That means adding on, suggestively selling, and being aware of your marketing and social media posts to ensure higher conversion rates and average ticket.
Encouraging people to buy more is easy when you are already offering discounts, whether on clearance or store-wide.
Getting their information now will come in handy in the New Year as you fight to keep online bandits from stealing your loyal customers.