Seven accessory merchandising and holiday gift-giving tips

Most retailers know that accessories present huge opportunities for add-on sales during the holiday season, especially when strong gift groupings are created.  The closer we get to the big day, the more frantic shoppers tend to get, so positioning product strategically also provides a higher level of customer service by making it easier to find just the right gift.

The outdoor retail industry in particular has the potential to pack a powerful punch and drive sales.  Outdoor retail consumers are on the look out for gifts that provide greater enjoyment to their families, friends and significant others.  How can you help?

Here are seven simple steps to help your shoppers snag the perfect gift:

Consider logistics and fixtures:  Will you set a table, utilize an endcap, use mannequins, or position your grouping at the register to create your gift grouping vignette?  Spend some time finding the perfect location for this fixture.  For example:  if you are a tackle shop, perhaps you set a table of accessories that round out the perfect fishing experience near a larger purchase like rods.

Limit the selection of product in your vignette so that you can have an ample amount of merchandise on the table for each item and so that you do not overwhelm customers with crazy-making assortments.  Keep it simple and make sense.

Choose your grouping with price point in mind:  If you have three products you are featuring, perhaps one item is $15, another $20 and the final one $25 or $30.  This way you provide options for different price points.  A holiday table could feature one style ornament, a holiday cookbook, and a set of candles.  A backpacking story could feature a pack cover, compass and hiking book, and so on.

Make your tables attractive and appealing by keeping them organized, dressed with a table cloth, and adding elements of height with risers, etc.  Instead of signage that announces “Gift Selection,” create that impulse with visual cues, like bows, gift boxes, and other holiday imagery. 

Put yourself into the equation:  What are the things you would like someone else to buy for you as a snowboarder, skier, hiker, cyclist, yogi, or paddler?  What are the things that are a bit unique and special that not everyone is aware of? 

Layer your departments:  If your table features a travel vignette, have a selection of luggage nearby.  Cross merchandise and add your portable solar products to travel; patterned socks could be grouped with hats and gloves; and slippers or cozy clothing near skis to suggest apres ski.  The key is to think of the entire experience!

Keep things replenished and shake up your groupings from time to time.  Closer to Christmas, consider putting your gift groupings inside gift bags tied with a ribbon and gift card to make the process effortless for your customers. 

Gift groupings can and should be an enormous part of your holiday sales.  Gift tables can simplify holiday decision making.  If you do a good enough job, you might even catch your customers humming along to your Christmas music while they shop. 

Break a leg and have fun out there!

Need help?  Contact for a store visit or phone consult to make the best of your holiday sales!

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