The 12 Days of Christmas Retail
The holiday season is a fun and exciting time for most people. For many retailers, of course, it’s much, much more than that. It is the decisive moment for the whole year. With all the pressure, it can be challenging for retailers to step back and find effective ways to make the most of their vacation sales opportunities.
To help, AllBusiness.com has developed a kind of business advent calendar for the 12 days of Christmas. Instead of a piece of candy (or a partridge in a pear tree), each day brings a sweet glimpse or a business tip for holiday traders:
On Christmas Day (December 14th)
Use Facebook and Twitter to promote 12 last minute gift ideas – one per day. Starting today, offer a great gift with a discount. Maybe it’s something you have extra inventory of or something you carry as a standard item. Also, tell your fans and followers to check out the latest last minute gift ideas every day.
On Boxing Day (December 15th)
Call a business-wide meeting with all of your employees and gather up any creative ideas on how you can get through the next two weeks – both to maximize sales and to keep everyone healthy. Let each employee choose a product, brand, or gift that they will focus on each day and introduce it to each customer. Make sure each person chooses something new every day. Track your results and give a prize to the person who sells the most by Christmas Eve.
On Boxing Day (December 16)
Set up a table of Christmas cookies for customers to nibble at while shopping. Send out a representative to distribute flyers throughout the mall or shopping district promoting your Snack While You Shop event. You may attract customers who have never noticed your shop.
On Boxing Day (December 17th)
Pre-wrap, label, and display your top 10 sellers so that buyers can snap them up and get started. Make sure to advertise your business by using branded paper or even a simple sticker with your business name on it. And don’t forget to stick the price tag on the wrapping paper – not the product inside.
On Boxing Day (December 18th)
Set up a packing station to help customers. Invite local scout troops or elementary schools to do the wrapping for a donation to their cause. Everyone wins!
Other items from AllBusiness.com:
On Christmas Day (December 19th)
The last week before Christmas means it’s going to be a big day. Make it extraordinary for your team by offering free lunch and dinner when the store hits certain sales targets by 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM
On Boxing Day (December 20th)
Rinse out your inventory. Make sure every item is on the sales floor. You can’t sell it if it’s in the back room. You also want your store to be full and inviting to buyers.
On Christmas Day (December 21)
Offer discounts on goods that should be gone by Christmas. Don’t be afraid to use deep discounts to move excess inventory. Promote the in-store signage offers and ask your employees to let customers know about the new discounts. Another clever approach is to offer an early bird special to shoppers who arrive before noon: give them an extra 10-15% off their purchases. Even those who miss the sale will notice your story.
On Boxing Day (December 22nd)
Ask a massage therapist to provide chair massages and / or foot massages on site. Everyone gets stressed out at this point and needs some relief for those tired muscles and sore arches. For those who don’t like massages, a free glass of sparkling wine (champagne or cider) might be nice.
On Christmas Day (December 23rd)
It’s time now – or past time – to open earlier and / or stay open later to accommodate any buyers who have a lot of work to do on their list. Promote the event on social media, with an email campaign, and offer free coffee to give those early birds and night owls a boost.
On Christmas Day (December 24th – Christmas Eve!)
It is getting hectic for many buyers. Help them by searching the store for any small items under $ 10 and creating a large “Gift Item” display table conveniently next to your gift wrap queue for customers to read while waiting in line.
On Christmas Day (December 25th – Christmas Day!)
You’re done! This is the day to relax with your family and friends and reflect on all of your hard work over the holiday season.
RELATED: Small Businesses: 6 Digital Marketing Strategies for a Successful Holiday Season
Fredric Paul, David Gaule and Mike Kraus contributed to this story.