The week between Christmas and New Year can be a great opportunity to increase the profitability of your business. If you do it right, you can net more from this week than any other week in the year. Here are some tips to help you to have a profitable week.
Creating a Customer Experience – More than likely you will have customers in your store to spend those gift cards that they got for Christmas. Many will be regulars but many of them will be visiting your store for the first time and you need to WOW them so that they will come back. Think of little extras that you can offer to enhance their experience.
Christmas is over, so freshen up your store. Take down Christmas decorations and promotional signage and change the music. For those customers who came in before Christmas a change of atmosphere may energize them to buy.
Sales and Incentives – Have your markdowns ready for the 26th of December. The faster that you move this merchandise the sooner you can freshen up your store. Some retailers believe in having a January sale instead, but this means that you will not be ordering new stock until February and your store will not have a new look until March. Stuff bags with coupons to give customers incentives to return.
Full Price Merchandising - Part of freshening up the store is putting new full priced merchandise out on the floor. As many people are using gift cards, they might be more likely to buy new full priced items rather than those left over from the holiday season, giving you a greater profit margin.
Reduce your spending on Advertising – As it is after Christmas everyone is having sales. So instead of spending money on advertising use that money to motivate your staff to give exceptional customer service or use it on incentives for your customers.
Refocusing Staff - The focus has changed from selling stuff, to keeping it sold. Instead of having staff just concentrate on returns encourage them to focus on converting returns into exchanges and new sales. Train them on suggestive selling techniques to use when they are processing a return. If you sell a lot of gift cards before Christmas ready your staff to sell prospective new customers. This is also a good time to update your customer data base and to encourage customers to join your loyalty program.
Show Appreciation to Your Staff – They have just gone through the most hectic four weeks of the year and you are now asking them to do more. This is a good time to show them that you care, coffee runs, catered lunches or even the services of a masseuse are ways to show your appreciation for their efforts.
Remember most customers are just coasting until New Year and they don’t expect to find much in stores except sales on leftover Christmas items. If you have made your target it can be tempting to sit back as well, but this is a great opportunity to create a good impression with customers by giving them new and interesting things to buy.
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