It’s the prime time of our world. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and for those 26-35, Chrismukkah.
Everyone is spending money and hopefully it’s with you. We’ve written plenty of content about how to prep for the holidays with inventory preparation, but what about after the holidays have passed?
There are two parts to the holidays, one you already know and the other, we hope to remind you:
- Sell, sell sell.
- Get them back in the doors.
Sell, sell, sell:
This one’s obvious. Over 25% of your revenue likely comes during a one month time period. This means that every day might as well be a week during any other time of year. Have fun but take this serious. This means you need to be on your “A Game” all season long. Keep shelves stocked, make sure your process it perfect, and that your associates have a plan. Make sure you take some time to plan our your promotions to get people in your doors and onto your website and, most importantly, to make sure those people are buying. Here are a few things we’ve seen successful retailers do to increase holiday revenue.
- Use discounts, but discount particular items or categories rather than discounting the entire store. The goal is to use these discounts to drive in store traffic while ensuring your margin stays high.
- Offer incentives to spend more money. Generally, look at your average ticket size and add 15-25% as the baseline and start giveaways. This could be a free gift item, a gift card to be used later (see below), or a coupon code for your online store.
- Make the gift-buying process easier. Have a curated list of “this season’s hottest gifts” or “gifts he’ll love” and present these as easy grab and go.
Get them back in your doors
But there’s a second part that’s easy to forget: The goal of holiday sales is not just revenue but marketing. If you gain revenue but do nothing to increase future sales then you’ve wasted your best marketing opportunity. We want customers returning to your store. First, the person shopping for a friend may have seen some things she loved while gift shopping but didn’t want to take the time to try stuff on herself, we want that customer back! Additionally, a gift receiver may never know where the cute items came from and we want that customer coming back in!
There are a few things you can do to help increase your Q1 revenue. I know it’s easy to get so wrapped up in holiday traffic only, but we don’t want to waste this rare marketing opportunity. Here are a few things we know will increase your Q1 traffic and revenue:
- During the holidays, offer free gift cards upon spending certain dollar amounts. Specify that these gift cards can only be used after January 1 and you’ll want to ensure they aren’t used on sale items. To determine when and how much to give, as with the giveaways mentioned before, start at around 15-25% higher than your average ticket size and give proportional gift cards from there (consider around 8-10% of the ticket size).
- Invest in custom boxes, gift wrapping accessories, or (at least) and an imprint stamp for boxes you giveaway with purchasing during November and December. We want the gift-receiver to know that cute top came from your store. Additionally, it will leave a positive impression for the gift giver.
- As we’ve mentioned in previous post, adjust your return policy for gifts received. Yes, having a 14 day return window makes sense during every other time of the year but if someone planned early and finished their shopping on small business saturday, there’s no reason to penalize the gift receiver. Even worse, you’ll give a negative impression to the gift giver and receiver. Be willing to take exchanges for a set period of time following christmas and communicate this on the gift receipt. In a way, that exchange is like a gift card drawing the gift receiver back into the store and you now have a second chance to increase revenue.
We’re huge fans of what you’re doing and hope this holiday season and first quarter are your best yet. Need a little help navigating through retail operations, inventory control, or converting web traffic? check out our site and shoot us a note… we’d love to chat.