The holiday season can be stressful for almost all retailers. However, by having a plan, staying on schedule, and preparing as much as possible in advance, you can skip the holiday headache and spend more time enjoying the cheer. That’s why we’ve authored a series of blogs with tips for retail success during this often-trying time. Each month, we’ll let you know what you should be accomplishing and how to creatively and effectively accomplish it in order to stay ahead of schedule. We’ll help make your store stand out, your stress go down and your sales go up.
This month you should plan your holiday displays, strategize seasonal social media campaigns, and assign tasks and deadlines to key members of your staff.
Refer back to our August blog if you need help gathering inspiration or setting goals for your holiday displays.
Begin by determining a budget to spend on this year’s holiday displays. Then, get together with your merchandising staff and make a list of key focal point displays in your store. This includes displays for special merchandise that you might only offer during the holiday season (think gift baskets, stocking stuffers, gift cards). What kind of theme will each display have? How will you tie your displays together so your store retains its consistency? Make a list of things you’ll need to purchase, create, or dig out of storage from last year, including risers, backdrops, props, graphics and signage.
If there’s no one on your team with an eye for visual merchandising or if your display budget is extremely tight, consider striking up a partnership with a local artist. Perhaps they could arrange your displays and incorporate some of their work as props, in turn gaining exposure for their art.
Display designed by Retailworks, Inc. for Kesslers Diamonds.
Before planning your holiday social media campaigns, you’ll need to decide what kind of sales or promotions you’ll be running during the season. Will you have any two-for-one specials? Can you tweak any of your products or services to add a holiday-related element?
It’s helpful to print off a calendar to use solely for social media. Mark the times you’ll be running your planned deals or sales on the calendar, and then determine what type and how many social media posts will be needed to promote them. How far in advance will you start informing followers about the sale? Could you offer an online discount or coupon for people who “like” your Facebook page?
Next, figure out if there are any special events you’d like to promote. Whether you’re hosting a holiday open house or extending your hours during peak shopping weeks, you should note on your calendar when to post these events to garner attention at the appropriate time.
Once you’ve filled your calendar with major Holiday dates, sales and promotions, you can start creating funny or emotional holiday content that promotes your brand. Developing as many ideas for holiday content as you can now will save you from panicking when the holiday season is in full swing. You’ll do a better job of promoting your business – and your sales will reflect this effort.
Hold a meeting with your staff to discuss preparations for the upcoming holidays. Assigning tasks to pertinent team members and developing deadlines will take some of the work off your plate and ensure that everything will be completed on time. Who will be ordering materials for displays? Which team member will write and schedule social media posts? Establish who is taking holiday vacation time and whether you’ll need to hire additional help for the season to fill in any gaps.
Window display designed by Retailworks, Inc. for Kesslers Diamonds.