Are you thinking of Christmas yet? As a retailer you should be. With the Christmas and summer peak-trade season on the horizon, customers have become savvier than ever. The retail market is crowded and noisy, meaning that shoppers are good at filtering out the things they don’t want to hear. This can make communication to your customers tricky. With peak periods making up around 36% of a retailer’s annual profit, it is important that retailers make this season count.
To make sure your trade is bigger, more profitable and successful this season, use these tips to get ahead:
- Plan – This is something that can’t be stressed enough. If you haven’t already started planning for Christmas, now is the time to catch up. The first step into successful planning is identifying the strengths and weaknesses from last season’s campaign, and work out a plan that ensures you are bringing all the things that worked into this season, and improving on those that didn’t. Retailing is an extremely competitive landscape and you need to take notice of what works for you in order to stay ahead.
- Build Your List Now – It is important that you build a list of loyal customers throughout the year – nurturing them along until they are ready to buy. A customer who is given value during the year will be 85% more likely to choose you in peak periods – especially at Christmas when competition is fierce.
- Marketing – having a marketing strategy in place long before the pressure mounts, ensuring that the crucial steps aren’t missed. It also guarantees that your key messages are going directly to your customers.
- Spot the Trend– trends rapidly change and evolve, so it’s important that you’re constantly your researching and staying ahead of the game. It’s important to keep on considering what fits with your brand and expertise. Also, ensure that you keep your customer’s budget in mind during Christmas. Check that you’re able to get products to your store in time, not before or after a trend, and check that you can re-order when needed. Most importantly, think about whether or not the product is something your customers are actually going to want.
- Get the Right Staff–Your staff are your most important asset no matter the time of year. It’s important that you’re hiring staff that are the right fit for your business – after all, they are the first point of contact with your customers. Staff are in charge of first impressions, which is something you only get one shot at with each interaction being a new opportunity for you. Ensure your staff are taken care of, by investing and training them well.
Want to see how retailers peformed last Christmas? Download the FREE full #StateOfXmas2016 report by ARA and Temando here.
The Retail Quarter Sydney
You can learn more about the Business of Christmas by heading to the newly designed education sessions happening at The Retail Quarter – Reed Gift Fairs’ modern and exhilarating re-launch of their September event, by visiting, www.reedgiftfairs.com.au/education