10 Things A Brick And Mortar Retailer Should
1. Get the low hanging fruit. The low hanging
fruit for any brick and mortar retail business
is getting those folks that have purchased from
you in the past to come back during the holiday
season and purchase again. Email blasts
(if you have their emails) and direct mail (if
you have their names and addresses) are
both gold-level marketing tools for your retail
business. And if you’re not collecting emails
and mailing addresses– then shame on you!
2. Plan your marketing. Shooting from the
hip marketing isn’t your best friend when it
comes to having the most profitable holiday
season you can. Plan… Plan… Plan. Set your
budget and at least have a rough idea of what
to stress in each ad.
3. Plenty of inventory. Gaping holes on the
sales floor on Dec. 20th is going to cost you
lots of sales before Jan 1st.
4. Thumbs up for inventory that will sell.
The difference between inventory customers
want and inventory that is ho-hum is
staggering now a days with the consumer
having so many options when it comes to
buying gifts. Bad inventory will sit through
the holidays collecting dust.
5. Upsells & cross-sells. Where possible put
upsell and cross-sell merchandise nearby so
that it’s easy for customers to upsell
themselves or find complimentary products.
6. Train, train, train. Weekly training sessions
for sales people and customer service people
are a must. When traffic gets heavy,
fewer “Uhs” and “Ahs” the better.
7. Suppliers are your best friends. Constant
contact with your suppliers will keep a smooth
flow of goods from them to your during the
month of December. Also you can tap their
knowledge to bring in products that are
showing surprising strength at other stores.
8. Up to date website. Even if your website
doesn’t allow for ecommerce (and by rights
it should today) it better have a full listing
of categories and manufacturers you’re
carrying. Hours of operation, a map and
full contact information needs to be updated.
9. Answer emails. One of the biggest gripes
I hear from people is the general lack of
response by local retailers to email inquiries.
Emails are just as important to a retailer as
a customer calling on a phone. Every email
should be responded to within 1 business day.
10. Clean up! Every part of the store, both
inside and out should be spotless. Signage
should be fresh, dog-eared brochures and
pamphlets should be tossed out. I would
move things around (if possible) to give
a different look from the rest of the year.
For many brick and mortar retailers, the
holiday season is make or break. And the
pressures from Internet retailers are huge
so there are no missed-steps and no second
chances. A lazy or non-chalant approach
to the holiday season will cost you big $.
Michael Winicki is the President of
Big Noise Marketing and helps
“Main St” businesses make more money.
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