While a lot of press is focused on e-commerce sales around the holidays, in-store sales accounted for about 80% of holiday shopping purchases in 2018. If you’re a brick-and-mortar retail business, you may not be surprised at that stat.
Because this “Golden Quarter” (Q4) is full of prime shopping weeks, it’s a good idea to start planning now to see huge success through the holiday shopping season and well into the new year.
Start with a holiday merchandising plan
The majority of retailers have noticed that there’s a direct connection between good merchandising and a boost in sales. So you shouldn’t head into this crazy shopping season without a solid plan that you write down and stick to. With the right approach, you can even use this plan all year long and recycle some of the merchandising displays. Having a plan can also keep everyone on the same page, even when things hit peak chaos.
Include all your shoppers in your merchandising plan
If you think that the only holiday you need to consider is Christmas, you could be missing out on connecting with a huge audience. The truth is that there are several shopping events happening throughout the season. Of course, there’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday — these are great opportunities to make conversions. Here is a list of holidays in December that you need to include in your merchandising plan:
- Cyber Monday 12/2
- Hanukkah 12/22–12/30
- Christmas Eve and Christmas 12/24–12/25
- Kwanzaa 12/26–1/1
- New Year’s Eve 12/31
Consider your store layout
When harried holiday shoppers are in a rush to find the perfect gift, they want to find it fast. Optimize the space you have by placing the best-selling items where customers will see them the easiest. This is also a great time to make the most of your point-of-sale merchandising displays to boost impulse buys.
Think about the bigger picture
Sure, merchandising can help increase overall sales, but what will it take to implement your plan? Don’t overlook the extra payroll cost that may come up as a result of scheduling more employees to help make your plan work. Get your entire team on the same page and keep them informed every step of the way. Communication is key!
Take offline merchandising online
It may seem counterintuitive to share your in-store merchandising efforts online, but doing so can help create a “buzz” about your store that shoppers won’t be able to resist sharing on social media. Think about creating displays that look amazing on Instagram, develop a custom hashtag, and share calls-to-action in your digital marketing that invites traffic in to see your hard work.
Remember the customers!
Fabulous merchandising that helps grow revenue is great, but your customers always come first. Think beyond just highlighting products with your displays; you can also use them to educate, inform, and redirect shoppers that visit your store, adding to the overall customer experience that keeps them coming back even after the holidays are over.
Refresh holiday merchandising displays frequently
Even with the best plan of action, merchandising doesn’t always help sell a product. If you notice that certain items are slow-moving, change them out. The last thing you want is your store merchandising to get stale, or have unpopular items taking up prime real estate. Think about refreshing every Monday, after you’ve taken a look at the previous week’s sales.
Provide customers with convenience
Holiday shoppers are laser-focused on their mission when they enter your store, and they often have little time to complete that mission. Keep similar items merchandised together or even bundle like items so customers can get in, get what they need, and get out with little frustration. Don’t make displays too overwhelming or confusing, or even too distracting for people to understand exactly what it is you’re selling.
Appeal to emotions
Everyone is pretty emotional during the holidays, whether it’s stress, excitement, or nostalgia. Target all of these emotions with your merchandising! Pulling at your customers’ heartstrings could be an easy way to make a connection — and make a sale. Tell a story with your merchandising!
Once you develop your holiday merchandising plan, it’s time to work with a partner that has the experience to help you make the most of this hugely lucrative Golden Quarter.
Relentless attention to quality within and throughout our manufacturing processes, innovative merchandising designs and concepts, and a firm commitment to our customers sets us apart. From short run to high volume, we handle everything from award-winning design to complete packaged fulfillment and logistics solutions — get in touch!