5 Extra Holiday Survival Tips for Retailers in December



JCK’s 2012 Holiday Survival Guide is chock-full of tips from experts in marketing, social media, publicity, sales, and other critical areas of operations to get your business in shape for seasonal success.

Our editors were so inundated with advice that we couldn’t fit it all into our Holiday Survival Guide. Here are five more tips for you and your business in December:

 

STAFF

Pick and Choose

“When you get that holiday rush in December, it’s like being at a trade show or any other [busy] event. You have to sort through and find the ones that are buying right now—those that have strong interest and the ability to pay. The first one in gets served first, but it might be the very next one who’s the high-end purchaser. Engaging more than just the current person is really an art.”
—Duane Sparks, chairman, The Sales Board

MARKETING

Simple Rules

“When writing marketing messages, the simpler the better. I look at direct-mail pieces with lots of paragraphs—no one is going to read them. Have a clear sense of what you want the customer to do, whether it’s come to your store for a certain event, buy a certain product, or just follow you on Facebook.”
—Bob Phibbs, founder, The Retail Doctor

VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Get Tech Smart

“One of biggest trends is using technology in the window—and it doesn’t need to be super complicated. Consider a slideshow of images of somebody’s courtship in a window—when they meet, date, the day of engagement, and the wedding—with an engagement ring in the window, and put it on a 30-second loop. Something like that could be entrancing. I am making this up, I haven’t actually seen it, but I would love to.”
—Linda Cahan, founder, Cahan & Co., author of 100 Displays Under $100

INVENTORY

Shake It Up

“Nothing energizes a sales staff quicker than rearranging the departments of your store. Smart retailers mix and rotate SKUs as often as possible. It keeps it fresh for salespeople and for regular customers. I’ve seen instances where a salesperson falls in love with a collection that’s been in the store for a while simply because it’s in a new place.”
—Bob Phibbs

PUBLICITY

Diamond Drive

“Santa makes a list every year, but not everyone gets the present they deserve. Ask customers to submit people in the community that deserve a new diamond this year. Maybe it’s a selfless teacher, or a person in poor health. Ask them to post videos to the store by emailing them. Put them up on the website and open it for voting to the most deserving. This is sure to drive unique visits to the website for the holiday season.”
—Nathan Davidson, luxury brand strategist, Facet Marketing Group