Holiday Planning: What You Need to Know

 In Be Calendar Relevant, Be The Leader, Marketing Plan, Planning

Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted a series of articles lauding the advantages of planning ahead for the Holiday season (in August and September, versus waiting until November) to avoid last-minute stress (or – eeks! – failure). With the right plan, the holiday season can be about you making or exceeding your sales numbers for the year.

Here are our top five tips for successful holiday planning:

1. Leverage the additional traffic the season brings.

This means you should be planning to host special events, run exciting promotions, sample and demonstrate your most exciting holiday goods, and build awareness of any new products or services.

Black_Friday_Shopping_Crowd

2. Surprise and delight your customers in relevant ways.

Holiday shopping can be a stressful time for shoppers and retailers alike. Why not stand out in a sea of competitors by offering your customers hot apple cider when they walk in? Or, you could offer to deliver packages to their nearby hotel, or simply assist them to their car with large purchases. Even something as simple as sharing an exclusive sample with a customer (for no reason) can make their experience in your store memorable.

3. Be sure to celebrate and decorate in ways that are most relevant to your customers.

Do most of your customers celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or some other special holiday? The key is to know your customer if you choose to exclusively decorate for Christmas or another holiday. Or, you can decorate with snowflakes, presents and other non-specific winter holiday icons to make sure to include everyone!

Compliments_of_the_Season

4. Be sure to properly prepare Operations – with a plan, inventory, equipment, and staffing.

What supplies do you need for the holidays? Gift bags, tissue, wrapping paper, ribbons, gift card or certificate holders, decorations, salt for the sidewalk outside… the list goes on and on. Make sure to order these items early so you don’t run out until after the New Year! Also, make sure you have the staff necessary to support your upcoming busy season.

5. Be sure to properly prepare your Marketing approach with programs, decor, sampling and other Surprise & Delight activities.

Check out the community calendar for your neighborhood, city or shopping center. Are there any events going on that you can build promotions around? Additionally, make sure you have all the supplies (and staff) needed to fulfill your marketing plan wishes!

Have you started your holiday planning? Let us know in the comments section below!

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