The Biggest Sales of the Year & How to Prep for Them
Did you know that retail sales during the holiday season rose 5.5% in 2017 to $691.9 billion? Exceeding the NRF 2017 forecast of a 3.6%-to-4%increase! The final total represents “the strongest gain since the Great Recession,” the NRF 2017 group stated, according to Market Watch. With statistics like this, are you ready to gear up for the biggest sales of the year? Are you seeking retail sales tips for THE best holiday sales? Our experts at InStore Design Display along with Tim Parker, author of “16 Quick Tips for Boosting Sales on Black Friday”, have put together some ideas to kick-off your best holiday sales events such as Black Friday, Memorial Day, Back-to-school, President’s Day & more!
Retail Sales Tips for the Biggest Sales of the Year:
#1: Go the Extra Mile for the Best Holiday Sales
Don’t be discouraged in a world of big box stores and online competitors like Amazon and Walmart. Its impossible to compete, and that is OK. According to the NRF 2017 “78% of consumers are shopping in stores either about the same or more than they were a year ago.” So try to be known for going the extra mile for your customers.
- Train employees to have superb gift wrapping skills. Nothing is more pleasing to the eye than a perfectly wrapped gift under the tree.
- Provide refreshments such water or coffee with small snacks during the biggest sales of the year. This will be a breath of fresh air compared to the traditional
big box stores.
- Provide a coat check during those chilly winter months. Nothing’s worse than dragging a bulky coat around while you shop.
- Send handwritten thank you cards to show your gratitude a week or two after a customer makes a purchase. In a digitally crazy world, this will help you stand out to your customers.
Lastly, don’t forget to promote your super fancy VIP services all over your business’ social media accounts. Your customers won’t likely come if they don’t know!
#2: Ramp Up for the Biggest Sales of the Year
To be honest, the days of retailers having simple doorbusters on one day are gone. More often than not, it feels as if single-day shopping events have evolved into month-long shopping extravaganzas! Start small towards the beginning of your sales period and plan on ramping up to the climactic main sales event!
- DOORBUSTERS: If you’re planning to offer doorbusters, only pick one or two days to have them. Too many days of doorbusters can become confusing and hard to keep track of for the shopper. Be sure to let your customers know “while supplies last”, or “only for the first 50 customers”, in your advertising plans… You want a clear call-to-action that motivates customers to come in first-thing.
- HOST EVENTS: Its smart to bring people to your store leading up to the best holiday sales. Show your customers you appreciate them by hosting a parking lot BBQ. If you sell apparel, you could sponsor a fashion show in the days leading up to the biggest sales of the year. Hardware stores could offer home-improvement DIY sessions for their customers. Be sure to offer some sort coupon or discount for customers at these events. Be sure not to exceed your best holiday sales offers!
#3 Go Hard with Advertising for the Best Holiday Sales!
- Spruce up your website for the best holiday sales with events. Include new product, gift guides, and great deals on merchandise.
- Stay active with all social media outlets. “Facebook offers some of the most robust options when it comes to advertising options & specific audience targeting”, Post Planner explains.
- Send announcement and reminder emails to your customers leading up to your biggest sales of the year.
- In a massively digital world, it’s important not to forget about traditional marketing strategies such as product mailers with coupon cut-outs.
#4 Extra Employee Training
Learning builds confidence. And confidence builds careers. Set up your employees for success by providing extra on or off-site training. After all, happy employees mean happy customers! On a large scale, the NRF 2017 created their RISE Up program – a powerful new program offering training and credentials that help entry-level job seekers develop meaningful careers.
On a much smaller scale, try holding a meeting before each shift to go over promotions, sales, and special events. All associates need to know details about doorbusters, their fine print, and featured products. To add to our list of retail sales tips, it is important to hire a combination of full-time, part-time, and temporary employees for the biggest sales of the year. All the while offering frequent customer service and loss prevention training alike.
#5 Communication is KEY
For the extra biggest sales of the year, it’s important to have a plan in place for communication between team members when things really get crazy. Common ways to enhance communication between team members when the going gets rough are:
- Overhead Paging Systems
- Tin Cans with string in between (Just kidding…)
Any way that you can enhance communication through the craziness will help you and your employees to stay on the same page throughout the best holiday sales.
#6 Keep all registers manned! (& “Wo-manned”)
Long lines are expected on the biggest sales of the year, but seeing registers closed and not being used shows poor planning on the owner’s fault. The quicker customers can make a purchase happier they will be and might just remember the positive experience from your store.
#7 The best holiday sales include gift cards!
Who doesn’t enjoy getting a gift card to your favorite store for the holidays? Keep this in mind as you’re merchandising your checkout areas. Its common to forget a person or two off your list and where better is there to purchase a last minute gift other than while waiting in line?! If inventory allows, it could benefit offering a “free” gift card with purchase incentive. Just be sure to train cashiers on how to quickly execute the issuing process before the biggest sales of the year. 😉
#8 Offer price matches!
If you offer product from common vendors, it’s smart to offer price matching services. ESPECIALLY, during the best holiday sales. Chances are, your competitors will be doing the same thing so its smart to do your research regarding pricing during the best holiday sales. If for some reason you don’t beat the competition, the price match could save you from losing a sale! Be sure to set clear expectations for your customers and employees on how to verify another company’s price. Be careful not to agree to price-matching certain online specials. Sometimes those digital offers could break the bank!
The biggest sales of the year can be stressful or exciting for small and large business owners alike. With plenty of preparation and these retail sales tips, hopefully, you’re ready to reap the monetary benefits of the best holiday sales.
Furthermore, if you’d like more retail sales tips on merchandising and planning for the biggest sales of the year, feel free to contact our experts here at InStore Design Display! We’re more than happy to hold your hand on how to merchandise and help plan your best holiday sales yet! Call or email us today! 1.800.821.5748