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Home > SI Blog > retail tips
Thu 2nd Feb 2017

TIPS for last minute Valentine's Day Sales

TIPS for last minute Valentine's Day Sales

Out of all the holiday dates, Valentine's Day (similar to Christmas Eve) is one where most shoppers will wait until the very last minute to purchase. This is mainly due to the male population realising the date of the following day and rushing to buy their sweetheart a gift before they suddenly find themselves in the bad books.

Here are some tips to cash in on the rush and make this celebration, a day to fall in love with.

1. Are you selling product relative to Valentine's Day?
Don’t bother creating a Valentine's Day display if your products aren’t ones that will be purchased for this special day. You don’t want to waste time and energy if your store just doesn’t offer any suitable products for this date.

2. Construct a Valentine's Display.
Overall, customers don’t want to have to sift through multiple products to find a gift. They want something easily accessible and will wander to an area that has a beautiful feature display dedicated to satisfying their needs. So make sure you have all of your Valentine's Day products displayed neatly and that this area stands out leading up to the 14th February.

3. Do it for Mr. Lazy!
Some men want everything done for them and don’t want to have to spend any time in preparing their gift (or they are just terrible at preparing gifts). This means, the best way to obtain sales is to make it easy for the customer to not only find the products which suit the occasion, but to ensure your items are packaged in a way that the male customer doesn’t have to do anything after purchasing the item. More commonly, retailers are offering a free gift-wrapping service to entice customers to purchase from their store. By making life easier for your customers during this time, they will remember your store the next time they require a quick and easy gift (without the hassle of worrying about scissors, tapes, bows or wrapping).
 
4. Be smarter this Valentine's Day and make it too easy.
Everyone hates facing the crowds in a busy retail store. The best way to gain attention from time-conscious customers is to promote a Valentine's Day section right outside your front door, where the customer can purchase their gifts and cards straight away without going into the store, searching all over, only to then face the long waiting lines at the checkouts.

5. Create a grab-and-go gift pack.
Try combining several related products together to form a gift pack. Men will appreciate this as it makes life easier for them and a pre-packaged gift will be chosen over a standalone product any day. Don’t pack all of your expensive items though; everyone has a certain limit in their mind on how much they wish to spend. Make a few packs that vary in price to attract customers from all socio-economic backgrounds and appeal to every gift-giver. Don’t forget to include the additional costs of creating these gift packs. Items such as gift baskets, wrapping, tape, flowers or bows all need to be accounted for and bundled into the price when advertising your gift packs.

6. Be creative.
Prepare your sales staff with some fabulous gift ideas to help consumers who are seeking something more unique or personal for their loved one. They may not know what they want, so think outside of the box with your product offerings to come up with some funky and creative ideas.

7. Stock up!
Ensure you have ordered enough products in the lead up to this occasion and that your shelves are continuously re-stocked. No one wants to sift through a small selection of leftovers.

8. Gift Cards.
As thoughtless as it may seem, some customers will opt for gift cards this Valentine's Day. Make certain you are promoting and offering your gift cards to every customer prior to this occasion. By doing so, you are portraying your store as being very helpful by either triggering the customers’ memory about Valentine's Day or by offering a quick and easy way for the customer to ensure their gift is sorted. This will also enable you to gain market share before they buy a present elsewhere. Whether you obtain that extra sale or not, the customer will remember your thoughtfulness and this will impact on their perception and word of mouth advertising every time they think of your store.

9. Promote your store.
You may have the best Valentine's Day display of any retailers in your area but if no one knows about it then you are unlikely to benefit from such a wonderful display. Send emails to your database, hand out flyers in the centre or advertise on the radio to inform customers that your store is the GO TO place this Valentine's Day.

10. Don’t forget your online customers!
Keep your social media pages up to date by adding beautiful pictures of your Valentine's Day displays and gift ideas. Run a poll or shopping event on Facebook and Twitter (or even promote late night trading prior to Valentine's Day), advertise a promotional campaign (spend a certain amount to receive a free Valentine's Day card, chocolate or teddy bear), otherwise offer handy services (like free gift-wrapping) to entice customers to pick your store over your competitors.

You are only limited by your imagination. So this year, utilise the above tips, show your store some love and capitalise on the potential sales.

Mon 1st Jul 2013

The 6th Pillar of Retail

Internet Map by Curious Lee

Internet Map by Curious Lee

Product-Promotion-Price-Place-People-Pixel

It started out with 4 pillars (or 4P's): Product, Promotion, Price and Place. People did not count for much back then. In early 1980's with the revolution in management fuelled by such publications as "In Search of Excellence", "Re-inventing the Corporation" and many others, suddenly people woke up to the importance of people and added that to the retail arsenal. We're now able to talk about the 5th pillar of Retail; People.

I believe a strong contribution from all pillars of Retail is necessary to achieve the success that any retailer strives for. I have seen many examples of failed businesses when they neglect to keep an eye on all the pillars or prefer to focus on one more so than the others.

Pixel

The objective of this short article is not to get into the nitty gritty of how we should be looking after all the pillars. What I want to do, though, is to announce yet another and very powerful pillar of Retail. We call it the "Pixel" to remain in compliance with the "P" convention. It stands for technology. Now, we talk about 6P's of Retail.

Increasingly, technology is playing ever more influential role in retail success. Information Systems, starting with customer records, inventory control, loss prevention, supply chain, workforce management and business intelligence changing the efficiency and effectiveness of retail operations to a point where retailers who do not embrace the technology move to the forefront of businesses that are doomed to fail. Please acknowledge and embrace technology as one of the pillars of retail and view it as something that will help your profitability and overall success of your business.

Balancing the pillars

Too much attention focused on one pillar creates an imbalance. Think of the three-legged chair - remove one of those legs and the chair falls over. Retail businesses must have a balanced approach to all areas of their business. Failure to focus on all pillars with a balanced approach causes the business to 'fall over' or fail to reach its potential.

Increase sales and decrease costs

To conclude, technology today is an essential part of the retail strategy because it helps not only to increase sales but also to decrease costs. Technology is a new tool for retailers to create better customer experiences, develop pools of customer data and better manage stock. Though all 6 pillars should be cared for, technology is the one bringing headaches to retailers. Technology is embedded in our life in such a way that using it is inevitable. Take Facebook for example, I have a friend that is still resisting the Facebook movement. So many times he was in a situation of disadvantage, whether at university or now at work, did he miss out on certain information or could not participate in the conversation. Well technology in retail is essentially the same. You can resist the changes and miss out on opportunities or you can slowly integrate it in your strategy.

Monitor regularly

You do not have to learn about all the technology available today but you must start monitoring it in the same way that a sport store monitors games, and would have bought more football jerseys in preparation for the State of Origin.

A recent retail chains study by Retail Technologies Inc., found that 52% of mid-sized retailers stated that one of their biggest challenges was keeping up with changing new technology; 46% of larger retailers also faced issues trying to keep up with technology changes. OK, so technology is essential to stay competitive but how do you find places on your "to do list" to add yet another chore? How do retailers keep up to date with new retail technology? This is the subject of another article; it will explain the strategies that can be used and the resources available to help you monitor technology. Click here to read it.

Matt Parmaks is a senior consultant and EVP with DMSRetail ( http://www.dmsretail.com). He is the author of numerous management and retail related books and articles. You can reach him atΒ  [mailto:mparmaks@dmsretail.com]mparmaks@dmsretail.com

Article source: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/future-of-retail-lies-beyond-the-clouds-20130103-2c6j6.html#ixzz2XCcVg3wx

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