Black Friday and Cyber-Monday are weeks in the rearview mirror. How did you do? Hopefully, hot new products like the Taurus Curve and Springfield XD Mod.2 had your cash register and website breaking into choruses of carols.
Chances are you prepped and planned to take advantage of those traditional biggest sales days of the year, but how much thought have you put into maximizing sales between now and Christmas and during that week leading up to New Years? Good news is you can still make the next few weeks lead to an even merrier Christmas and happier New Year for both you and your customers!
So what’s not selling this season that you really thought would? Take a pad and pencil and go look at the rack still full of whatever it is. How can you sell these out between now and the end of the year? Write “Sell Out X-Y-Z” at the top of the paper. This is your goal, and you’re not going to let yourself and your team off the hook.
Step 1: Create the Promotion
Either on your own, or with your sales team (depending on how you do your best creative work) start jotting down ideas below the heading; the more the better, and nothing’s off limits. When you’ve exhausted your creative resources, set the list aside for an hour, then go back and start crossing off ideas that would lose you money or are just too complicated to happen fast.
If your creative juices aren’t flowing, here are a couple of freebies to break the logjam:
What if, for each purchase of $100 or more, that includes your slow-moving item, you offered the customer 20% off the additional purchase of a gift card up to $100.00? You will sell the items comprising the purchase at your regular seasonal pricing; you will convince some customers to add the slow moving item to their purchase to get the discount; and you’d get the additional sale of a gift card on which there’s significant chance of “breakage” if the card is never redeemed! (You do know the breakage rate on your gift card sales, right?)
Of course, you’ll adjust the numbers based on your margins and the price of the slow-moving product, but give it some thought. Could a promotion of this sort work for you?
Need something simpler?
Okay, what if you offered free giftwrapping for the entire purchase when it includes the slow-moving item? Are there hours of the day you wish you had more traffic during the holiday season? Then offer free gift-wrapping specifically during those hours!
Step 2: Spread the Word
With a plan in place, the most important step in making any last minute holiday promotion work is getting the word out … FAST! The good news here is today, much of this can be done for the cost of your time … or, better yet, the time of that squirrelly high-school kid you hired part-time to help with the holiday rush!
First, create in-store signage to alert customers to the deal. In the kind of promotion outlined above, this will likely be your biggest driver of additional sales.
Your website and social media are next. Post your promotion. Like your promotion. Share your promotion. Get it out there for as many eyeballs as possible. Post it on other’s sites and pages including the manufacturer of X-Y-Z. Ask your most faithful social media followers to share the promotion with their friends, and come up with a way to incentivize them. (This should already be part of your ongoing social media plan, so kick it up a notch for the holiday to thank them.)
Have the squirrelly kid make a quick 1-minute or shorter video explaining the promotion and post it on YouTube. Attach that video to your site and all your social media outlets.
In a way, this kind of promotion constitutes a “flash sale.” There are websites and email distributors out there who specialize in getting the word out to local customers about “flash sales.” Usually, these services are inexpensive and the results on a well-crafted promotion can be outrageous. If you don’t know of these in your area, talk to fellow members of your chamber of commerce and ask what they’ve done successfully in the past. (You are a member of your chamber, aren’t you?)
If the margin your goal of “Sell Out X-Y-Z” supports it, consider last minute advertising in traditional media. The best for legitimate “breaking deals” like this are newspaper and radio. Call up your sales rep, explain your goal and promotion, and ask what kind of fire sale holiday deal they can give you!
Step 3: Close the Loop, Make the Sale
Gather your sales team for a quick meeting. Tell them about the goal and the promotion. Be sure to include everyone and give them a stake in the effort … maybe it is a real steak dinner when the goal is achieved.
Make sure everyone who works the register or serves customers in any way fully understands the promotion and offers it personally to every customer with whom they come in contact. Give them a script: “Hey Ms. Smith, you have about $80.00 in merchandise here. Did you know that if you buy an X-Y-Z and it takes the total to $100.00 we can give you 20% off a gift card? Here, let me show you where the X-Y-Z’s are.”
Also, think about how you could make this deal work to sell customers who never even come into the store. Is there some way you could post this promotion in a GunBroker.com auction or sale to incentivize customers around the globe? (Think of the breakage rate on gift cards issued to India!)
You can draw greater attention to your GunBroker.com listings highlighting your promotion by using optional services. “Showcasing” randomly shows the listing on the GunBroker.com home page. “Featuring” runs the listing ahead of non-featured auctions in lists. “Highlighting” adds a color to the background of the listing title in auction lists. All are inexpensive and will help draw attention to your posts.
Hopefully, FFL Unleashed has just given you a Christmas present wrapped up in U.S. Treasury-green paper with a big red bow.