Christmas comes but once a year, which means that you only get one opportunity every 12 months to get it right as a retailer/online merchant. The first step is to ensure you're prepared. Many retailers consider the stock as the be all and end all of proper preparation, but there are many more areas which will also benefit from some extra added attention.
Effective in store displays make the difference between a customer who is purely browsing and one who buys. Remember that when customer enters a shop they tend to turn right, so the right wall or display needs to be eye catching and informative.
If creating unique and creative display isn't your strong point, then you don't need to worry as the Christmas period provides you with an instant theme! Use festive accessories to draw attention to your display to your displays and remember, although red, green and gold will always be a traditional Christmas theme, every year a new trend is created. For this year, there will be a strong move towards rich and deep hues; purple is set to be the popular colour for this year, so invest in some striking decorations and accessories with copper, olive green and metallic grey.
Many brands offer their own display stands that have been created with the key purpose of effectively selling the stock you have instore. From tables and 'spinner' stands to shelving and whole units, whatever the size of your shop there will often be a display option for you. Utilising these will ensure your stock will have prominence instore, and with your additional Christmas decorations you can create really effective displays.
Correct lighting in your store is essential and with the most popular season for fairy lights on your doorstep, the opportunities are fantastic. Use subtle fairy lights to decorate displays, highlight key-sellers and draw attention to your Christmas products. The cash and wrap area is also a great place to highlight, also allowing you to draw attention to ad-on sales.
Try and stay away from framing your window displays with fairy lights, this technique isn't effective for highlighting the products you're actually meant to be drawing attention to. Instead, simply drape the lights around the products in your window, or hang icicle lighting above the products.
Many brands actually offer advice on how to effectively display their products to maximise sales and this advice often changes around Christmas, influenced by a shift in customer buying habits. You may have a product which sells all year round, but during the festive period a particular colour, style or fragrance may outsell all others. These brand will have invested heavily in research to provide you with essential information, so making full use of it will bring you plenty of return.
During the Christmas period you will have a higher amount of customers through your shop than any other period in the year, providing you with an excellent opportunity to market yourself to your key target customer. Create flyers to include in all shopping bags at the point of purchase. This can be advertising your website, January sale or simply promoting ranges you have instore and online.
Finally, remember that Christmas present shopping for customers isn't always the first thing they would choose to do with their spare time, so make the experience enjoyable. A friendly and knowledgeable face in a shop is rare during the festive season, so offer your customers something your competitors may not.