How to merchandise your store for Christmas November 16, 2015 0 comments Christmas is unique in the sense that people are buying many different products in a condensed period of time through multiple channels. The festive season can attribute 20 to 40% of retailers overall annual revenue and thus it’s critical to get it right. Over this period many brands place importance on selling as many products as possible, whilst few place importance on high quality customer experience. Yes, of course sales are important but an exceptional in-store experience not only generates these sales it creates customer loyalty, which in turn produces future sales. If customers have a poor experience at such a critical time of year, it is definitely likely to jeopardise future purchases. Here’s five ways to ensure your customers have a joyful in-store experience over this year’s festive period: Hire the right people Whether you’re an independent retailer or a larger retailer, you’re likely to need an extra pair of hands this Christmas. Many retailers hire temporary staff, who can sometimes be inexperienced and unaware of the brand ethos. No matter how many members of temporary staff you hire, make sure they’re adequately trained and clear on your brand values. After all, these are the people who interact directly with your customers – your staff are the face of your brand. Poor customer service can not only loose the sale but future sales! Don’t overdo it! It’s easy to get lost in the Christmas spirit and go overboard with merchandising displays, remember your displays should facilitate the overall shopping experience not disturb it. Stores are busy enough at Christmas time without customers having to navigate around tight walkways due to an overload of displays and high density merchandising. Highlight your festive best-sellers at the front of the store, for example 3 for 2 gifts or stocking fillers using the relevant POS to catch the attention of your visitors. Again try not to go over the top by identifying too many potential gifts throughout your store. Many customers find it difficult picking the perfect present for their loved ones, presenting your customer with too many options can often confuse them even more, which can result in them leaving your store empty handed Keep Point of Sale signage consistent When it comes to Christmas advertising, keep the imagery and theme across your POS consistent to avoid it looking messy and unprofessional. It can be tempting to high-density merchandise during the Christmas period. By putting as much stock on the shelves and rails as possible it allows you to avoid sell-through and thus keep back stock to a minimum. This can often look messy and off putting to customers, to relieve your shelves and add to your potential space we would recommend purchasing a flexible FSDU or customisable Dump Bin. You can then highlight specific product separately, creating a sense of importance as well as creating some extra space! Be mindful of markdowns During the run-up to Christmas try to position any discounts as 3 for 2 or as buy one get one half price. Keep your large percentage off discounts until after Christmas (or for Black Friday) when it’s time to shift large amounts of stock. If you discount items heavily across the entire season, it will lower the perceived value of your goods and thus possibly damage your after Christmas sales. Stay on brand With all the festivities it can be easy to go off on a tangent! It is important that your store window and Christmas decorations represent your brand to ensure you don’t alienate your current customer base. If you took your brand name away and covered your store sign, would your customers recognise the store as yours based on the display? The answer should be yes!