It’s that time of year again. Where we all scramble to prepare for the onslaught of shoppers bound to hit the stores after thanksgiving, and giving most retail coffers the 70% annual revenue, they depend on to make it for the year. This year’s holiday shopping season will be compressed into 3 very short weeks thanks to the calendar so we thought we’d take the opportunity at GST Retail to make sure you have your head in the game this year. Cause ya know, we’re just here to help. So, kick back and catch up your retail presence to prepare for an awesome 2019 Christmas season!
Plan your holiday displays
Make sure your displays (i.e., window and in-store display, shop layouts) can grab attention and entice people to buy. Start planning what you’ll showcase in your store and craft the stories that you’ll tell through your displays. From a logistical standpoint, see to it that you have the materials to set up stunning displays. These include:
Lights – Invest in good lighting that makes your displays pop. If possible, use white lights to generate interest.
Props – Do away with generic props and get yourself something holiday-specific. As we all know, if your store looks the same on December 15th as it did on September 15th, you’ll probably settle for crumbs when you could’ve had the entire season.
Signage – “Sale” signs are pretty standard, and you should definitely have them in your signage mix. But be sure to throw in unique messages and signs to get the attention of holiday shoppers.
Create an experience
With the increase in online and mobile shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers need to find ways of creating an unmissable experience to drive footfall in-store. One of the easiest ways to do this, especially during the Christmas rush, is with your shop windows.
To do this, you need to offer customers a glimpse of what they can expect to buy from you. Show them exclusive deals, special offers, and even ways to wear the latest trends. Use creative an keep up the theme of your windows. By adding to the experience that first captured their attention, you can help boost dwell time and drive purchases – whether planned or impulse. At Christmas especially, it’s more important than ever to dress your stores in a continuous theme.
As we mentioned before, customer experience really is everything. A consistent and recognizable theme and a store littered with great experiences will capture attention during the festive season and improve your festive outlook.
Share the Cheer If you can’t get a little creative at Christmas, when can you?!
While your store window displays shouldn’t all be about Christmas trees and faux snow; you shouldn’t forgo the festive cheer altogether. Consumers will expect – and love – to see your take on Christmas window dressing, so you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. For retailers across all sectors, there are a whole host of ways you can spread a little Christmas cheer with your windows.
At a busy time like Christmas, you need to interrupt the customer’s journey and convince them to take the time to shop with you. That’s why a well-dressed window is so important; it has the power to boost interactivity with your store.
Don’t Neglect Social Media
Social media and social networks make it incredibly easy to attract customers to your business. You can use Facebook to target exactly the demographic you want to attract, and best of all, running ads on Facebook these days is neither very difficult nor expensive.
Social media is also the perfect platform for engaging and interacting with your customers in order to build strong customer relationships, brand awareness, and brand loyalty. Creating video content, giveaways, contests and other promotional activities that have been proven to work well on social media is easier and cheaper than ever – all it takes is creativity. Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels make it easy for you to not only interact and attract customers, but it also gives you the opportunity to build your brand and show potential customers what you’re all about through clever and creative content such as photos, videos, etc.
Focus on Customer Service
We know that the holiday shopping season can be stressful for you and your employees, but it can be equally taxing on your customers. The lines are long at the register, the stores are crowded and things can get tense for both the business and the buyer. That’s why you need to make sure that you and your employees are ready to provide the best customer service possible during this time of the year.
If you’re offering a great shopping experience to your customers, you have a better chance of converting them into regular customers and an excellent chance of getting them to recommend your business to their friends and family.
Make sure that your staff members are cordial, knowledgeable and polite, whether it’s in-store, online or on the phone. Putting in the extra effort to offer exemplary customer service over the holiday season will no doubt pay dividends for you into the new year and beyond.
In conclusion, the holiday shopping season is your time to be your best in what you offer your customers. An increase in foot traffic means you need to be at the top of your game on all fronts. For help in your retail display needs, look no further than GST Retail. We focus on turn-key metal retail merchandising units, kiosks, wayfinding directories, pop-up retail fixtures, point-of-sale displays, and charging stations. To learn more visit us at www.gstretail.com or call us at 817-520-2320.