This time of year it is as inevitable as ugly sweaters and fruitcake. There WILL be last minute shoppers running around right up until closing on December 24th. Whether due to weather, work schedules, or good ole procrastination it is estimated that 15% of all holiday shoppers in 2014 waited until the very last minute to finish off their gift lists. In fact, 9 out of 10 top sending days in 2014 occurred in the month of December! The smaller brick & mortar retailers should rejoice and embrace this rush of last minute holiday traffic. Late shoppers have money to spend and are looking for help in doing so. Why not be the answer to their problems and increase your bottom line at the same time?
Prepare to succeed by putting some thought into what last minute shoppers in your store will be looking for. What will they expect? What will they need? What can you do to meet or exceed those expectations and encourage more spending? Cater to the last minute shopper by making your store inviting, fun, & festive.
Provide Solutions and They Will Come – 10 Tips
1. Extend your hours to accommodate late shoppers
2. Hold a themed event or offer refreshments
3. Consider adding staff tasked with providing shopping assistance & ideas
4. Place stocking stuffers and other smaller impulse gifts near the check-out
5. Offer gift wrapping
6. Promote gift cards as an easy & convenient option for any recipient
7. Provide gift ideas grouped by age, gender, & interests
8. Display your gift ideas together in one location
9. Consider creating your display with only a few of each item visible and then wrapping the rest for easy “grab & go” shopping
10. Be a resource of helpful information (Where is the best parking? Where is a good place for dinner? What are the USPS holiday shipping deadlines?)
Be sure to post updates on your social media channels with information on your holiday hours, events and other helpful information to encourage shoppers to visit your store throughout the holiday season.
Don’t Stop Now
It might be tempting to close your doors on Christmas Eve and settle down for a long winters nap, but that would be a mistake! 5% or more of holiday spending occurs after December 25th. Continue your holiday marketing plans through New Year’s Day as a new crowd of shoppers heads out during their holiday break to handle returns, spend gift cards, and look for bargains. Parlay this holiday traffic into repeat business for 2016 by providing information on any sales or events planned for early in the year. Ask for email addresses at register and consider a special January/February discount for holiday shoppers who return in the New Year.
(Sources: Retale, First Data)