Your 5-Step Plan for Holiday Success
by Angie Ash, EVP
Yes, you, meaning even though we’re not quite halfway into September, your store needs to be thinking about the holidays NOW. To save you from overwhelm, I made a list and you can check it twice. It’s a 5-Step Plan you can incorporate into your next staff meeting. You have those, right? RIGHT??!
Step 1: Analyze Your Inventory
Hopefully, last year you kept good tabs on your top holiday sellers. When we talk to most of our retail jewelers, these usually are what we consider “diamond essentials”, meaning diamond studs, diamond pendants, and diamond bracelets. If you didn’t, it’s not too late to put this into practice this year. Pro Tip: At the end of the week after Christmas, before the beginning of 2023, run your sales report and analyze the categories while the data is still fresh.
This year, you may want to supplement your inventory with a few trending pieces, such as substantial chains and diamond tennis bracelets, which are both popular again! Have your sales staff get involved in the discussion, and make sure you’re well-stocked for the holidays. And don’t forget to have your staff wear some of the in-demand styles on the sales floor, too.
Step 2: Let’s Talk Atmosphere
Consumers love a cheerful, comfortable, and fun holiday shopping experience, so seize the opportunity to make your store sparkle. Setting the holiday scene is also a perfect way to get your staff involved. Divide up the tasks so everyone feels like they’re taking part in them.
- Decorating a tree and any windows, being in charge of menorah candles, picking out special gift wrap, etc.
- Deciding on store music and playlists. So your employees don’t get too tired of holiday tunes, consider alternating genres, and keeping holiday music playlists to Thursdays through Saturdays or evenings only.
- Pick out any refreshments to serve, and when. Cookies and cocoa are great but do you want them out every day or just during weekends? Beyond supporting a local bakery, you can also discuss having employees take turns bringing in cookies, whether they’re store-bought or homemade. Due to the ever-persistent Covid situation, consider individually wrapped cookies instead of leaving them out on a platter. Providing cookie recipes to customers is also a fun way to share the holiday spirit.
Step 3: Customer Mailings and Clienteling
Your store may not be large enough for a holiday party. Or, it could be that you’re just not quite ready to have a larger public celebration in your store again. However, every retail jeweler should plan to send out a holiday mailer to preferred customers. The mailer should provide some type of special offer to the customer, and also thank them for their patronage. Keep in mind that not everyone buys jewelry as a holiday gift every single year, so you’ll want to go back 3-5 years to cull your list. We always recommend mailings be sent as presort first class with a stamp. If you want to save money by mailing bulk, keep in mind that you’ll likely need a much longer lead time for mail delivery.
In addition to a mailing, let your sales staff know that they should be making personal calls this year, inviting them to the store to fill out a wish list, or to review a few products that the sales associate picked out just for them. These should not be scripted calls: think natural conversation instead! Also, if your store uses Podium, a texting campaign is a great way to communicate with customers and also promote any special pricing you’re offering for the holidays.
Step 4: A Party for Your Associates
Whether you want to wait until the holiday hustle and bustle is in the rearview mirror, or want to kick off the holiday season instead, a holiday gathering to acknowledge your sales staff is a great way to thank them for all of their hard work during the year’s busiest sales season. If you’re having your staff party before the start of the selling season, you can use this time to announce sales incentives, recognize certain sales associates, and just celebrate before the craziness begins. If you choose to wait until after the holidays wind down, you can use the time to acknowledge hard work, recognize a top-selling associate, celebrate the success of the year, and just unwind a bit. The one thing you can be assured of is that a party for your staff will be greatly appreciated no matter how and when it’s done.
Step 5: Adopt a Charity
The holidays are tough for a lot of families, and this year perhaps a bit more so than others. Many nonprofits are also feeling the pinch. There’s nothing better you can do during the holidays than pass your blessings on to others in need. Trust me, your customers will also take note! Use a staff meeting to pinpoint a family in need or a cause you want to support and brainstorm what you’ll do, from a food drive to coats for kids, to giving a percentage of sales to the nonprofit. You’ll be so glad you did, and it’s a great way to wrap up 2022.
Are you struggling to come up with a holiday plan? Ready to strategize at a higher level in 2023? Now is the time to start the convo. Reach out to us at email@example.com.