17 Oct 5 Critical Boutique Tips for Holiday Retail Success
The countdown to Christmas has begun and Black Friday will be here before you know it. Are you ready #BoutiqueBoss?!? We’ve got 5 critical tips for your holiday sales to help you make it your best year yet!
Plus, we included a free guide, 15 essential Holiday Retail Tips inside of this post to get you an extra jumpstart!
Back In Black
Do you know how Black Friday got its name?
A sad reality really, but unfortunately one that so many business owners face. The name is evidenced to come from early retailers operating at a loss most of the year, until the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers began to make Christmas purchases, thus bringing the retailers financials into the black from the red.
On the other hand, there is also evidence of Black Friday in Philadelphia having such crowds of shoppers the day after Thanksgiving in the late 1800’s, making the streets black with overcoats of pedestrians walking to market.
Either way, the weekend brings one thing for retail….opportunity.
Let’s make sure that you are first, not operating at a loss all year (join The Boutique Hub and use the Training Library to avoid that!), but this time of year let’s maximize that opportunity for growth to end the year strong.
How can you maximize the season? Here are 5 critical tips for Holiday retail success in your boutique.
Critical Holiday Tips:
1. TRAIN YOUR STAFF
I get it, you are probably just thankful for the help…..calling anyone….everyone…
But think about this whether you are online or brick and mortar. What if your lowest performing staff person could perform at the rate of your highest achiever?
What is the financial difference in what they each are able to bring to the business?
For most of you, there is a wide gap that when filled could mean the difference in a good season with a record year. So the question remains, are you really training your staff or throwing them to the wolves?
Training Program Essentials:
The Container Store notably trains their staff for 167 hours before turning them loose. So let’s start there, what is your training program?
Make sure it covers;
- Daily duties
- How you measure of success
- Weekly product knowledge
- How to serve the customer by asking the RIGHT questions. No more ‘can I help you find something today?” Nope.
Does your team know the ultimate end goal and how to get there?
Weekly Team Meetings
Your weekly team meetings can bring your team up to speed on what’s new this week, how they are contributing to the goal, and what’s new this week that they need to know to be successful.
Your weekly meetings can also educate your team on new ways to sell this season:
– What key gift ideas do you have in store? Does your staff know about them or how to suggest them? Have they been running your social media to highlight gift ideas and make decisions easy for your customers?
– What are your layaway policies, return policies, gift wrap, shipping, or specials? Keep your . team up to date weekly on what’ happening in the store.
– Are they empowered to also come up with ideas? As they demonstrate leadership, how are they rewarded with new responsibility? Build them up!
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Your customer has less than one second to decide if she will read further in what you are posting or saying. That’s not enough time for you to list out a handful of offers spread across 4 days.
What are your biggest offers and how can you make them the clearest to consumers?
Whether it’s your offers or even the simple gift ideas you have pre-planned for them, the less your customer really has to think about her purchases, the more you’ll be able to move.
Having pre-packaged teacher gifts, babysitter gifts and gifts for administrative staff ready to go so they are an easy add-on or an email you send to community locals to have delivered to other places of business.
Pre-set bundle ideas for the men in your customer’s lives also make it simple to rack up big sales. Give them three options, the $75 bundle, $150 bundle and $300 bundle. Give them an option of what will be included, and then fulfill them as they come through with similar products that are still in stock so your inventory can be flexible.
The easier, the better for you and your customer.
3. PROFIT vs SALES - Grow what Matters!
We each have a choice when it comes to promotions. Are we most concerned with growing our gross sales and turn...or are we concerned with being most profitable with the great turn?
I hope for your bank account’s sake, it’s building long-term profitability in your business. So as you promote your Holiday seasonal events and promotions, make sure you are offering the carrot that brings in traffic and turns merchandise but doesn’t give away the entire farm in the process
Blanket sales across your whole store take unnecessary discounts on merchandise that would otherwise move on its own.
While featuring specific categories or brands with big offers will generate interest and excitement driving traffic and sales, while your full price merchandise sells as an add-on.
Taking discounts at checkout for one item, or offering greater discounts with a higher total sales volume helps ensure that you are creating promotions that drive multiple products per transaction instead of cherry-picking your best pieces only.
The great part about the 4th quarter is that your customer is ready to buy and that big offer isn’t always what makes the decision.
4. IT'S ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
Holidays are the perfect time to serve two special customers.
- Existing customers who already trust you, to give them extra value and support this season that they deserve. You may already know what they need ahead of time and can suggest it to them. This is also your chance to reward them as VIPs and make them feel special. Remember, 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your list.
- New Customers who are just trying you out for the first time to fill their Holiday needs, but also see if you are the right fit. This is the prime time to WOW them with an experience they will not forget in January when they are ready to shop again.
Customers don’t remember the products they buy, they remember the experiences they had.
How did you make them feel?
What was your follow up like?
Did you have a return policy that supported them or angered them?
Did you provide an experience that made gift giving easy?
How will they compare their time shopping with you to other retail experiences they've had?
What will they remember about you?
5. GET PERSONAL.
We feel the most sentimental during the Holiday season. Customers could be feeling gratitude, thankfulness and joyful memories from childhood.
Or for some, the Holidays are a difficult time. A season of loneliness and loss.
No matter where your customers are on the spectrum, this is the season for human connection. Your opportunity to assure them that they are doing business with a real person who understands them, not just an online clothing store.
Here is your chance to be real.
Invite them to a charity event.
Host a recipe exchange.
Run an ugly sweater contest.
Share family photos and remember loved ones no longer with us.
Remember, sales are great and keep us in business, but how we make our customers feel is what matters most at the end of the day and keeps them coming back for more!
How will you maximize your Holiday Season?
Holiday Marketing Masterclass
Ready to double your Holiday Sales this year with a proven strategy? Already the Holiday Marketing Masterclass by The Boutique Hub has helped over 400 retailers over two seasons double and triple their sales while growing their customer base and building positive interactions with customers. Join us inside of the Masterclass - www.holidaymarketingmasterclass.com
Are you a member of The Boutique Hub?
Check out more of our Holiday tips weekly in our Member’s Support Group and in our extensive boutique owner training library! Join us here.