The three weeks before Christmas are when all hands are on deck, preparing for the holiday shopping season in a retail store.
Even with lower occupancy, you must keep in front of your customers.
Results from all of your buying trips, meetings with vendors, and early buys mean merchandise will arrive several times daily.
Your remaining calm, positive, and encouraging skills will be needed to get the most out of this critical time of the year.
All of your efforts to get people into your database, to like you on Facebook, or to follow your updates now can help come to your rescue and make up for store closures or slower traffic times.
And whether you are the one responsible for the store emails or you are a luxury retailer with your own customer file...
Here are 7 Tips for Higher Retail Holiday Sales Using your Email List and Social Media:
1. We’ve Got It. During this busy time of year, you must market to those who know you. Your holiday messaging has to one-up Amazon. Your emails and social posts have to say, ”We have this product in-store right now, and you can take it home today!” Customers want it now; therefore, market what you have in stock.
2. Don’t Be a Stranger. I don’t care if you don’t like to get more than one email per month, but major retailers know out of sight is out of mind. The more impressions you can consistently make with your existing customers and social media fans at this time of the year, the more you will reinforce their beliefs about why they liked you in the first place. In my blog post, Email Marketing to Increase Retail Sales in December, I offer topics for week-by-week holiday emails.
3. More Pictures, Less Text. When someone takes the time to open your email to them, please don’t confuse them with too many messages, or they won’t figure out what you want them to do. Use pictures and spare the lengthy text. That doesn’t mean just prices and discounts either. Your goal, especially in the early part of the season, is to get them to have ideas of all you offer. Don't forget to use Facebook Live and Instagram videos, too.
4. Have one Call to Action. Tell them to come to your store to enter their name in a giveaway. Or tell them to bring in the email for a gift. Or they can even go to your online store, but the marketing strategy here is to make sure you tell them to respond somehow and then reward them.
5. Think Like a Customer. If you were a father looking for ideas for a hockey-loving teen, what should he consider? You don't want to throw a product in his face; you want him to see how several items in-store might work together to make his holiday gift even better. Especially if Dad has to pick it up curbside, he won't be open to browsing. If you own a baby store, what ideas would help a grandparent buy for the parents of a newborn?
6. Tell Them How To Give It. I worked with a great jeweler this year. They always tell a guy who buys a gift, “Look at her face when you give it, not at the (ring, pendant, etc.) because you want to see her reaction.” What tips could you give your toy store shoppers for creative ways to gift a toy? Be creative, and your readers will start thinking of their own presentations. You could even ask your Facebook fans to contribute their ideas!
7. Help Them Be Selfish. Let's face it, it is always supposed to be better to give than receive, but when you're a shopper, it is hard not to indulge. You don't have to be a department store to offer a small-scale registry or wish list. If you are a chocolate shop, instruct your salespeople when the customer has selected all their gifts, “Now what’s for you?” You could use the same thing if you sold tablets or smartphones. If you sell sewing machines, you could work a new machine into a conversation about holiday shopping and, when the time is right, offer, “So while you’re still shopping for others, let me show you the perfect gift for yourself.” Don’t pitch it with many features; show the best and brightest and let them imagine what a new machine would be like.
You’ve completed over 300 days this year, 240 of which have been filled with more anxiety and creativity than you thought possible. Especially during these crazy times, now is the time to make your store shine.
Complaining about inflation or online retailers won't do anything to make you money.
As you do every year, you have a choice during the holidays – settle for whoever comes to your shop asking for something or strategically use all of your email and social media toolkits to remind those who already know and love all that you have to offer.