Christmas is around the corner and a rush to buy gifts gets hectic. Retailers start preparing their retail shops for the upcoming Christmas sales.
Well, November sounds early? It is said that the earlier you get ready for Christmas, the more stocks you’re able to sell when customers have the purchasing power, and the more prepared you will be to handle your inventories, supplies and mitigate delivery issues.
Let’s explore more about the 5 tips to improve your retail sales this Christmas:
Every retail shop has its own unique way of running business. It is not possible for all retailers to give a 40% discount at the same time, especially when you have to take care of the branding as well – selling your items at a low price may hurt your brand perception.
Other than discounts, other sales methods can include: Buy 2 Get 1 Free, Buy 2nd Item At 20% Discount, or even more complex bundle deals like Buy X Get Y Free, Buy X to get 10% Off For Y or a combination of other promotions.
Bundled deals will be a good option for brands who would like to offer something sweet for your customers, yet do not want to give a low discount that affects the branding of the company. Hence bundle deals like a mini set of assorted tea bags, a duo pack of lipsticks, a small Christmassy free gift with a certain amount of purchase, a bundle of different products put together at a good value etc., are attractive enough to entice people to spend in your shop.
So, before Christmas arrives, plan the type of promotions that you would want to run for your retail shop. If you feel that discounts are the most suitable, then apply discounts throughout your store or on selected items only.
You can also choose to run multiple promotions simultaneously for different products, to get the most out of their respective product categories – e.g. 15% off on shoes but buy pants and get 30% off for a belt.
If you want to automate your Christmas sales this year, try using Ari retail management system to run Christmas promotions smoothly. You can set the timeline to apply and run those promotions, and stop automatically after Christmas is over. Moreover, Ari has ready-made templates to help you immediately set and deploy your Christmas deals – you can even run multiple promotions at the same time!
Duh! You may think – Christmas sales has got to do with Christmas, right? But what I meant is that offering festive discounts and decorate your store with Santa may not be enough to make it feel like a Christmas festival – you need to bring in supplies that are related to Christmas.
Many retail brands are selling Christmas themed products. Big brands like Precious Moments has already introduced their Christmas figurines; while individual e-commerce stores are also producing Christmas-related items such as Two Pineapples Co and Creations By M, who have their Christmas Disney pins coming in stock.
So, for your retail shop, you can consider asking your suppliers or manufacturers to provide you with Christmas goods to sell, e.g. making snowman earrings for shops that sell accessories, or having Christmas scented candles (by Yankee Candle).
People who celebrate festivals are in the mood of enjoying it, so they will also spend more on festive-related items. Sales for Christmas festivals are all time high (see Economics of Christmas).
If you are worried that specific-themed inventories might cause you to have leftover stocks which are hard to sell after the festival, then alternatively, you can invest in the packaging of the products, such as the casings, the carrier bags, the wrapping paper, the cardboard boxes etc.
It is worth considering changing your packaging as research shows that product packaging can influence buyer’s decision and in turn, retail sales. So, get involved in the Christmas mood and attract customers with your Christmassy packaging.
To get ready for more sales this Christmas, you’ll definitely need to promote your shop through various marketing channels. The first is to prepare marketing creatives which you will use across different marketing platforms – the thing to note is that due to differences on various platforms, you will need different forms of marketing materials.
For example, an Instagram post needs to be different from an email newsletter. Hence differentiate your marketing materials so that they fit their respective platforms perfectly.
One idea is to encourage people to look out for your email. Email marketing is quite a useful targeting tool where your messages appear in front of your target audience, as compared to social media where you are targeting the masses.
Hence brands like Grape Soda Club encourages people to sign up for their email subscription to receive exclusive deals, such as secret discount code like FREESHIPPING or 10%OFF where such codes can only be received through emails.
This way, consumers are more willing to sign up for your newsletter to receive updates and will actively look out for your email for secret discount code or secret deals. Although there’s no membership program in place, yet the feeling of being in an exclusive club is there. Plus, this is a good tactic to collect emails from consumers for future marketing purposes.
Another useful marketing tactic is to provide a preview or teaser about what’s coming up next. Humans are naturally curious, especially when they have to wait for something attractive to be announced. An example will be Dispinland, who let out some news before announcing the real thing. Such previews and teasers create hype which will in turn attract more eyeballs when the final product is being shown.
Mystery bundles are getting popular. In case you are not aware, mystery bundles refer to a box of mysterious goods where customers do not know what they are getting. It’s usually something that’s randomly put together and randomly sold to customers.
Though mystery bundles are not exclusive to Christmas only – as you can have them all year round – but since Christmas is about a season to gift (pun intended), it will be a good idea to entice customers to get a mysterious “gift” for themselves.
However, the items in your mystery bundles should be something good and attractive, instead of throwing in leftover stocks that makes your customers feel like you just want to clear your bad-selling inventories. Even if you want to make use of mystery bundles to clear slow-moving items, you need to manage the expectations of your customers especially at the price point.
Lower price indicates that the items in the mystery bundle will not be high-value items. You can employ differentiated pricing such as Premium Mystery Box ($20) vs. Standard Mystery Box ($10), so that higher value items at a higher cost can be sold at a higher price and vice versa.
The only downside of this strategy is to manage your stocks and costing. Because each bundle contains different items, you need to make sure that the cost of the items will not exceed the retail price of the mystery bundle. For this issue, you can make use of Ari to help you manage your costing, profit, revenue and inventories.
Let’s admit it – not all of us are good shoppers – we rush to the stores last minute to see if there are any more goodies left for sale. Some shoppers may also deliberately hold on their purchase so that the nearer the date to Christmas, the more discounts retail stores might give in order to clear stocks for fear of having too many unsellable leftovers.
Hence we expect last minute sales may rise up and get prepared for it. What’s crucial here will be fast check-out and swift delivery service. It will be more efficient for customers to purchase the items online, and then collect from the shop or arrange same day delivery. You can also offer free shipping for a limited time period to entice customers to buy more from your online store.
Efficiency and speed to purchase is key. To get the most out of last minute shoppers, we need to clear out all the barriers for them which might limit their speed to buy what they want. This even includes setting up a special landing page just to sell Christmas special items, or create an advertising banner on top of your web page to quickly redirect customers to what they want.
For in-store purchases, you need to look at how inventories can be organized so that stocks are placed at a prominent position to catch shoppers’ eyes. Or to put out signages to inform last minute shoppers to come in to see if there are anything else that they want.
Throughout this process, you may realize that some stocks are selling fast while some stocks are not moving as fast as you want. You can try to bundle them together and provide a greater value for last minute shoppers so that they can get as many things they want in a single purchase.
Even though it’s not yet Christmas, getting ready early is always a good thing. In summary, the 5 tips to improve your retail sales for this Christmas are: