If you own a retail business and think you can relax after the holiday rush, you might need to reconsider. With these 8 ways to profit from the post-holiday retail rush, you’ll discover that cash remains a perennial gift, and gift cards are gaining in popularity.
Consequently, you’re likely to have just as many people hitting your store after Christmas, seeking to spend their gift money, as you did before the holidays looking for the perfect presents.
Additionally, there will be customers looking to return that not-so-perfect gift and treat themselves to something they genuinely desire.
So, how can you make the most of the busy post-holiday season and maintain both your sanity and profits?
Benefits of Sales: Before vs. After Holidays
Should a small business host a sale before the holidays or wait until after? Here’s a side-by-side comparison to guide your decision:
|Before Holidays||After Holidays|
|Capitalizes on gift buying||Capitalizes on gift card and cash spending|
|Greater foot traffic due to holiday shoppers||Opportunity to clear out seasonal stock|
|Can charge premium prices due to high demand||Discounts attract more budget-conscious shoppers|
|Build brand loyalty before major shopping season||Foster goodwill with post-holiday deals and marketing|
|Sales driven more by emotion/urgency||Cater to "self-gifters" and reward mentality|
How to Profit From the Post-Holiday Retail Rush
In the bustling aftermath of the festive season, while many employees are longing for a well-deserved break, it’s vital to ensure business continuity.
You should anticipate the influx of shoppers and those coming in for returns, necessitating a well-staffed store.
One effective strategy to motivate your team might involve offering compensatory off days later in January.
Alternatively, think about bonuses or other incentives. These can be particularly enticing for those employees who step up to work during what are often seen as less preferred shifts.
Make it fun
While the initial charm of the holidays might be waning, it’s essential to ensure that the post-holiday shopping ambiance isn’t devoid of warmth and cheer.
Given the sometimes chaotic nature of post-holiday shopping, maintaining a fun atmosphere can mitigate stress. Streaming uplifting music or curating a playlist can be a great start.
Also, consider setting up a refreshment station stocked with beverages and snacks to cater to weary shoppers. Moreover, a mini makeover for your store with fresh, lively décor can work wonders.
This prevents shoppers from being constantly reminded of the holiday season that just ended and uplifts their mood.
Speed up wait times
The post-holiday period often sees a surge in product returns, which can result in longer waiting times if not managed effectively.
One pragmatic solution is to have dedicated counters or point-of-sale stations solely for returns and exchanges, distinct from regular purchase counters. Such separation can enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction.
It’s not uncommon for customers to be visibly irked when stuck behind a lengthy return, especially if they have a quick purchase to make. Streamlined processes can ensure smooth operations and happier customers.
Engage and upsell
Returns are inevitable, but how they’re handled can make all the difference. It’s not just about processing a return; it’s an opportunity to engage and potentially make another sale.
When a customer approaches with a return, train your salespeople to approach the situation as a conversation starter.
While being courteous, they can suggest alternative products or even introduce ongoing sales or promotions.
It’s about demonstrating that even if the original purchase wasn’t perfect, there are numerous other items that might better fit their needs.
Using modern technology can dramatically improve the shopping experience. If your store uses mobile point-of-sale systems like card readers compatible with smartphones or tablets, you can truly revolutionize how transactions are handled.
This tech enables salespeople to process returns or showcase alternative products anywhere within the store, providing a seamless and personal shopping journey.
By meeting the customer where they are, it reduces the need for them to queue, enhancing their overall shopping experience.
Discount, but don’t go crazy
Post-holiday shoppers, armed with gift cards or cash gifts, are often more liberal in their spending habits. It’s tempting to think that slashing prices dramatically will lure them in, but it’s a delicate balancing act.
While discounts can be an effective way to clear out leftover seasonal stock, it’s essential to maintain profitability.
Reflect on the kind of deals you provided during the peak holiday season, and offer post-holiday discounts that are attractive but still ensure good profit margins.
It’s OK to be selfish
After the whirlwind of the holidays, where people often buy gifts for others, there’s a distinct shift in consumer mindset.
They are now ready to indulge themselves a bit. This is where your marketing should pivot. Craft messages that resonate with this sentiment, urging them to splurge a little on themselves.
Phrases like “Indulge Yourself” or “You’ve Earned This” can resonate deeply with those looking to use their gift money.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to remain on your customers’ radar. Employ digital tools like email marketing and leverage the power of social media to ensure continuous engagement.
Perhaps offer exclusive deals to loyal customers or those who made significant holiday purchases. Social media contests, like prompting customers to share their best holiday gift, can foster engagement and increase visibility.
Remember, it’s about building a relationship, showing appreciation, and ensuring they see value every time they think of your store.
Key Takeaways for Profiting From the Post-Holiday Retail Rush:
- Be prepared: Ensure you’ve adequately scheduled staff.
- Make it fun: Uplift the store’s atmosphere with cheerful tunes and post-holiday decor.
- Speed up wait times: Implement separate stations for sales and returns.
- Engage and upsell: Always aim to exchange rather than merely accept returns.
- Get mobile: Embrace flexible point-of-sale technology for a seamless shopping experience.
- Discount, but with caution: Provide post-holiday offers without over-discounting.
- It’s OK to be selfish: Encourage customers to treat themselves.
- Reach out: Engage your audience via email and social platforms.
Shopping Bags image via Shutterstock
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