ARE YOU DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO MAXIMISE YOUR HOLIDAY RETAIL SALES? IF THE THOUGHT ALONE CAUSES YOU STRESS, CONSIDER THAT A FEW MINOR CHANGES COULD MAKE THIS FESTIVE SEASON YOUR MOST PROFITABLE YET.
The final three months of the year are a high stakes period in retail. Of all the money consumers are spending, you want some of it to end up in your tills. How are you increasing the possibility of new and returning customers popping into your store, Christmas bonuses and gift lists in hand? If you haven’t given it some thought yet, consider this:
DID YOU KNOW?
South African retail sales rose by 5.3% year-on-year in December 2017. Consumer confidence in South Africa hit a high in the first quarter of 2018, as positive political and economic developments made consumers much more willing to spend. Consumer confidence surged across all income and population groups in the period, according to data released by Statistics South Africa.
That’s why you should capitalise on the holiday shopping rush this year. But, as an independent business owner, you know that more sales are a result of more customers, so the more shoppers you attract to see or experience your quality product or service, the more sales you’ll make.
“With a little effort and some ingenuity, that’s not as hard as you think,” says award-winning small business expert Susan Ward, who has more than 18 years of experience in the field.
10 TRIED AND TESTED TACTICS TO MAXIMISE YOUR HOLIDAY SALES
If you’re looking for the secret sauce to maximise your store’s profits during the holiday season, the ingredients may vary depending on your specific business. However, implementing these proven approaches will steer you in the right direction:
- Amp up your social media activity
The rise of social media and social networks has made drawing customers to your business a lot easier than traditional methods. Social media can help you build strong customer relationships, brand awareness, and brand loyalty through customer engagement and interaction.
Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels to share photos, video content, run giveaways, contests and other promotional activities. Most importantly, you can use these platforms to target your specific target demographic by running affordable and easy-to-setup ads. It’s cheap, easy to use and relevant no matter what kind of business you're in.
- Ensure your customers know where to find you
Putting up attractive and visible store signs, stands and banners outside your business encourages customers to notice your store, especially if you’re located in a busy area.
Research has found that 50% of new customers learn about new small businesses thanks to signs that are located on the premises.
Visit your nearest print shop to have flyers, stickers, and signs made to help raise awareness in your community around your shop and your specials these holidays. Social media is a great way to drive traffic into your store and to communicate with your customers.
- Keep your shelves stocked up
You don’t want to run out of inventory in the middle of the busiest season in retail. Not only does this mean lost sales, but advertising products that you don’t have in stock could wreak havoc with your business’s credibility.
Studies have found that having a limited product quantity on display and poorly organised shelves can have negative effects on consumer purchases.
Experts advise having at least four times the amount of inventory you’d normally stock during the off-peak periods. This way, you’re prepared for shelf shortages and you’re fully-stocked for in-store displays.
- Prepare for the post-holiday spike
January may not be as festive as its predecessor, but the holiday rush continues beyond Christmas. To capitalise on any success you may achieve during the festive period, you need to ensure you’re keeping the momentum up until mid-January.
Not only is this a great time to clear excess inventory left over from the holidays, but you’re going to need a focused team to manage returns and exchanges with the best possible customer service to retain once-off shoppers.
- Tap into your customers’ sentiment
The festive period isn’t the time to appeal to holiday shoppers’ rational decision-making when it comes to sales and discounts. Mood, emotions and money are usually drivers for purchase decisions during this time, and your best tactic to attract customers is cashing in on nostalgia.
Research has shown that when people are feeling nostalgic, they tend to worry less about spending money and are willing to spend more.
As people have time off from work, they tend to reflect and to think about their family and friends. Evoke some of their best childhood memories through music played in-store and subtle pop culture references.
- Increase your attempts to upsell
Product pairing is one of the best ways to upsell during the festive season, so preparation is key. Ensure staff are able to make logical groupings of products for maximum effectiveness of this technique.
Train employees to suggest items that are more expensive, and of higher quality to customers who have already chosen an item, but continue to browse.
- Create a convenient (and profitable) option
Customers love convenience, especially during a time when every shop seems busy and shopping can be an inconvenience. Capitalise on this selling point by going the extra mile: pre-wrap some of your most popular items, or offer free gift wrapping for products bought in your store.
This is also a great idea to get some of your less popular items sold, as customers would prefer to buy something already wrapped than go home and do it themselves, or wait in a queue to have it done.
- Give the best possible service
As stressful as the holiday season may be on your employees, customers are also under strain to shop for everyone they know with some time to spare for relaxation. You want to minimise long lines at the tills and ensure you’re geared up to provide the high quality customer service.
If customers have a great shopping experience – whether it’s in-store, online or on the phone –they’re more likely to convert to regular customers and hopefully recommend your business to others.
- Establish and maintain a good loyalty programme
Healthy and enduring relationships between your business and its customers, and an increase in revenue, can be achieved to through launching a strong loyalty programme. Not only does belonging to a loyalty programme make customers feel like they’re part of the ‘family’, but they’ll feel generally happier to shop at your store, research has found.
A 2017 survey confirmed that more than 80% of customers buy more products from businesses who offer a loyalty programme to which they belong.
Remember to ensure that your rewards are easy to attain, as this will encourage participation in your programme.
- Use this time to gather vital information on customers
Connect with customers as better communication is key to them returning. Collecting names, numbers and other contact details during this time of high influx will be of great benefit to your conversion efforts beyond the holidays. Monitor buying trends and observe which products are most popular and which need to go.
DO YOU WANT TO FURTHER ENHANCE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND DRIVE LOYALTY?
Talk to Sureswipe about a cost-effective Loyalty Programme. We can provide the platform to help you communicate directly with customers through email and SMS, assisting in customer retention. Call 0860 200 111 or fill in your details here and we’ll call you back.