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Retailing, Small Business News and Notes

5 Holiday Plans Retailers Can Still Implement

 October 31, 2020

By  Jana Hassett

5 Holiday Plans Retailers Can Still Implement

Whether you’re an on-premises or online retailer, you need to put together a plan for the Holiday selling season.  There are still 5 things you can do to boost your sales

  1. Let your customers know you’re alive and well.
  2. Provide encouragement and support for your employees.
  3. Use November to emphasize your Gratitude for the positive things in your life.
  4. Identify your December offerings.
  5. Plant seed of Hope for 2021.

2020 has been a tough year for the world.  I’ve been working with a blogger in Australia and they’ve been on lock-down for 111 days.  And Boris Johnson just locked down the UK for the next 4 weeks.   It’s hard to be creative, positive, hopeful, and plan when we are still seeking some balance in our lives.

According to an article in USA Today, 1 in 4 Americans have finished their Holiday shopping.  That means three have not and there is still an opportunity to sell your goods.

Retail Dive predicts a longer holiday season, E-Commerce will be king, Store fulfillment will take center stage, shipping could be an issue, and buyers will consolidate store visits.

How can your position your store for success this holiday season?

#1.   First, get the word out that you are open for business and how shoppers can enjoy your offerings.  If on-premises retailing is your forte, figure out a special for each week between now and Christmas.  Make it available on-line as well as in-store.  Figure out a way to provide curbside pickup. And reward those customers that visit your in-person store with a special discount. 

Gratitude

Some ideas for instore discounts - gift wrap for free, an additional % off, a coupon for a purchase in the first quarter of 2021.  Give them a reason to like you and trust you’ll be there in 2021

#2   Second – Spend time with each of your employees, marketing vendors, social media gurus, whomever is a part of your team.  Listen to their story of where they are and find out if they plan on continuing to be part of your team.  What will it take to keep them?  (This is not the time to train new employees).

#3   Third – November is the time to express your Gratitude.

Offer key players on your team a Gratitude Journal.  Make sure they know how much you appreciate all they do, especially this year.  Use the time to write notes to special customers and send them in the mail.  Begin to wrap up your journals, financial books, and inventory for end of year work. 

Gratitude

Read back through your Business Journal and determine what worked and didn’t, what product sold the best, and which one is a close-out. Write notes to salespeople for the products that did well, tell them what a good year you had with their product and are looking forward to 2021.  If supply lines of merchandise get hung up again, they’ll remember you took the time to thank them and be sure you get product in 2021.

During your November summations, begin to think about what you’d like to do in 2021 and how you might go about making that happen.  Whether it’s a cash flow issue, staffing concerns, or how to market your business in 2021, now is the time to plan.  An overall plan for each quarter will get you started, along with a budget.  Somewhere along the line, either in person or virtual trade shows are going to happen .  Be ready with your budget so you know what is available for each segment of your offerings.

#4   Fourth – Identify your offerings in 3 price ranges for the Holiday Season.

If you can offer your customers three different price ranges, you’ll help them choose you for their purchase.  Make it by price range and have at least 3 special items in each range.  Impulse sales will suffer this year, but if you can show the benefits of each item in each level they’ll buy up if they can afford it.

Holiday Plan

#5   Lastly – Talk about upcoming shows – new product – how you’d like to hear what they would like to buy.  And be clear about your expectations for 2021.  Retail Dive talked about shoppers having fewer store visits but when they do go into a physical space they will purchase more – a much more purposeful visit. You want to be able to take advantage of those by listening to their on-line questions and following search queries.  Social Listening will be especially important in 2021.  If you want to know how to do that, schedule a 30-minute free zoom consultation so we can talk about it.

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