This year’s holiday shopping season is the shortest it can possibly be—a full six days shorter than last year thanks to a late Thanksgiving. Most retailers depend on these December weeks to account for 20% of their annual sales! With such a condensed shopping season, the pressure is on to make each day count in order to meet your sales goals. Partnering with Wish Local is a surefire way to get more shoppers into your retail store, but there are a few more key steps you can take to make sure the browsers become buyers. Read on to discover how to make the most of your Wish Local holiday foot traffic to boost sales at your retail store.
Understand holiday spending habits
Knowing exactly when your customers are most likely to be shopping within certain categories can help inform your merchandising, marketing, and inventory strategies. According to research done by digital knowledge management company Yext, retailers should anticipate a shopping boost in the following:
- Electronics: Searches for retail electronics stores peak December 22nd, so stock up for last-minute gadget lovers.
- Pharmacy Items: Flu season combined with air travel and rich holiday foods increase searches for pharmacies 95% above average in December. Convenience stores should have plenty of antacids and painkillers on hand.
- Grocery and Liquor: Shoppers are looking to stock up on food and beverages most often on December 24th. If you sell wine and beer, this is the time to have it front and center.
Give customers the magic touch
Research released by Cal Tech suggests that customers are willing to pay up to 50% more for items they can touch and interact with. This gives brick-and-mortar shops a distinct advantage over e-commerce. Use this to your benefit by displaying popular electronics, offering testers of beauty products, or feeding snack samples to hungry shoppers.
Think beyond gifts
There’s more to the holidays than just gifts. Travel, entertaining, and hosting out-of-town guests all influence consumer spending. Consider what hosts and travelers are likely to need and have them displayed at eye level. Batteries for toys, baby items, socks, and cell phone chargers all come to mind. Some Wish Local partners have received inventory of Consumable Packaged Goods (CPGs) like toiletries and cleaning products. Stocking personal care items saves your customers an errand, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
Provide exceptional service
Tensions run high right before Christmas. Shoppers can be frazzled, stressed, and occasionally rude. Diffuse tense situations and boost customer loyalty by showing grace under pressure. Consider these techniques:
- Training: Provide additional training, especially to seasonal staff. An efficient workflow to handle Wish Local pickups will enhance customer satisfaction and increase their likelihood to shop at your store. Keep Ship to Store package and Pickup Now inventory well organized. Less time hunting down packages means more time selling!
- Never be short-staffed: Stagger meals and breaks during peak shopping days. Consider extending your store hours to serve more customers.
- Be kind: Remember that the holidays are hard. Don’t take confrontations personally, and say thank you to your employees for their hard work.
Get in contact
Even if your small retail business has never tried email marketing before, now is the time to give it a shot! Marketing research from McKinsey & Company shows that email promotions lead to purchases three times more often than social media. Services like Constant Contact and MailChimp make reaching your customers a breeze. You can use email to:
- Create holiday gift guides: Inspire your customers who are shopping for the hard-to-shop-for.
- Promote your Wish Local referral code: Don’t sell frequently gifted products? Wish does! You can still get in on the holiday earnings by using your Wish promo code. Earn $5 for every new user!
- Capture last-minute shoppers: Take advantage of your retail advantage! Once mail delivery windows have come and gone, shoppers will want to know who has the goods they can take home today.
The most wonderful time of the year is coming at us at warp speed. During the rush, stay jolly, and don’t forget to breathe!