Sleigh Bells Ring. Are You Listening?
by Angie Ash, Executive Vice President
Engage the Five Senses in Your Store This Holiday Season
As the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” For many people, though, possibly you included, it’s also the most stressful time of the year. Will the end of the year sales you’re anticipating happen again this year? Before you start the holiday #hustle, make sure the in-store holiday experience for your customers is as relaxing and festive as it can be by engaging all their senses.
Sight: Everyone likes some Christmas cheer. Have fun determining a color scheme or theme to dress up your store for the holidays. This doesn’t mean you have to “dreck” the halls by covering every square inch with tinsel, but you can be festive in smaller, simpler ways. Decorate a tree with garlands that look like pearls. Place some holiday decorations tastefully in your cases. Add some holiday trimmings to your wrapped packages. Does your store location generate plenty of walk-by traffic? Decorate those windows! Garner oohs, aahs, and a reason to have those strolling by on the sidewalks to open your door. Lots of kids in the neighborhood? Develop a coloring contest and give the winner a special gift. The possibilities are endless with a little imagination and creativity!
Sound: Invite a local high school with a great band, or a community church choir, to sing in front of your doors on the weekends to share some holiday spirit! Create a holiday playlist (or several) of tunes old and new to make your customers smile. A lot of variety and a wealth of songs will keep it fun for your employees, too. And avoid holiday burnout.
Smell: You may not want to light holiday candles, but some lightly scented potpourri in crowd-pleasing fragrances, like vanilla, is comforting and encourages lingering. Peppermint is energizing and cinnamon tends to make people hungry. You may want to stay away from fragrances that tend to be cloying like pine and gingerbread, which some people love and others loathe.
Taste: We’ve never met a holiday cookie we didn’t like. Whether they’re store-bought, locally made or baked by employees, share the calories, and the recipes, with your customers! Mulled cider and hot cocoa to warm the chill? Check! Have bowls of wrapped holiday candies and chocolates on counters or place some in each customer’s bag.
Touch: You’ve got this one covered already. There isn’t a better time of year to post a sign that encourages customers to touch the merchandise, try it on, and delight in the idea of giving a truly special and lasting memento to someone they love.
An extra thought:
It feels good to give to those in need. This holiday season, consider adopting a local family who has fallen under hard times and invite employees and customers to help give them a Christmas to remember. Hang tags with the family members’ first names and an item from their wish list on a tree in your store. Instruct customers to take a tag with an item they’re willing to purchase and return with the wrapped gift. Give everyone who participates a special thank you gift or bounceback for spreading some holiday cheer. Make it an experience the family will never forget by giving them a special invitation to come in on a Sunday when the store is closed to unwrap their gifts in a beautiful setting.
With planning completed and everything in place, you truly can start off the season in a relaxed state of mind. Then you really can enjoy the sound of those sleigh bells ringing!
Need more holiday help? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for holiday inspiration!