Shopping Crunch Time

by Kelsie Morrow, Merchandising Manager for Horny Toad Activewear

This year we have a week shorter selling season between Black Friday and Christmas Day than last year.  This means consumers have less time to plan for their holiday needs and may resort to online shopping when in a pinch.

Planning for the holiday season now could have a big impact on your holiday sales. Here are some creative marketing and merchandising ideas for your season:

1. Make a list and check it twice
This is a good time to refresh your memory on what you actually ordered all those months ago.
*Do you have enough giftable items?
*Do you need to place backup orders?
*Consider experimenting with some smaller accessories for holiday shoppers.

2. Plan for marketing and events
Send gift ideas weekly via Facebook and Instagram.  This keeps your customers engaged and reminds them of their shopping needs. For example, last Christmas the Lizard Lounge made good use of Instagram by adding themed gift ideas like “stocking stuffers for him” (see photo below),  and the Freeport Horny Toad store offered a gift guide curated by staff members (see photo above).

You could also plan an event to engage your staff and community around the holiday season.  Make it a “feel good” decision for your  customers to shop with you by offering a discount when they give donations.

Schedule a great window display and entry for the week before black Friday.  Don’t wait until after because you’ll be way too busy.  Plan for your entry to transition a few times so repeat customer always see something new.  Rock Creek had a great entry with this Christmas tree decorated with carabiners and gift cards.

And the Lizard Lounge loves to put lights everywhere during the holidays, which has become a favorite for the neighborhood to see.

3. Prepare items near your register
Placing small items near your register that make good gift purchases is so important. Lizard Lounge keeps wallets, chocolate and magazines stocked at the register for great add-on buys.

It’s also very important to have email sign-up at the register.  This gives customers something to do while you’re busy with their transaction. It also gives you the chance to discuss future events and promotions with them.

Lastly… think outside the box with your gift merchandising displays and marketing.  Our Freeport Horny Toad store has a master chalkboard artist that definitely gets customers’ attention (see photo at the top of this post).

Got a great holiday merchandizing tip? Share it with Kelsie at kmorrow at hornytoad dot com.


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