The holiday season provides an enormous opportunity for retailers to develop lasting relationships with their customers and encourage foot traffic. Done well, many retailers will make the majority of their annual sales in under six weeks!
How can you make your environment the one customers flock to? Here are five simple holiday retail tips to put you at the front of the pack:
Seating: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—Holiday shopping can feel like a marathon, and shoppers get tired. Have somewhere for them to take a breather and you can be fairly certain that they will spent more time in your store and be happier while there. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how that might add up to greater sales.
Elements of ambiance: When you invite guests to your home for a party, I am willing to bet you spend some time thinking about their comfort. Treat your customers the same way. Mindfully add store greeters (authenticity is necessary for this to be effective), music (consider your audience), scent, (vanilla or cinnamon are popular scents), etc. Generate enthusiasm for the holidays. This is a special time of year—make sure your store reflects the specialness of the occasion.
Bring back the magic: Have fun with your visual merchandising and engage your customers! Be sure your store reflects this magical time of year with windows and displays that excite and engage and are perhaps a tiny bit over the top! Magic will always generate optimism, and optimism will always be good for holiday shopping.
Tolerate nothing but fantastic customer service: Reward your customers with your best employees. Provide your sales staff with lunch or snacks during your busiest periods, notice their hard work, and reward them accordingly. Thank them. Thank them again.
Be even a little more customer service oriented: Maybe you provide help carrying packages out to the car, add entertainment for little ones, or offer small bottles of water or mulled cider. Instead of just pointing towards something a customer has asked for, why not walk them to the location? Give more than you have to and show your customers how much they mean to you. Thank them. Remember that without them, you do not have a business.
Remember that if you enjoy the holiday retail season, your customers just might as well!