How to Get Retail-Ready for the Holidays

The holiday season is one of the busiest and most lucrative times of the year for businesses, both online and in-store. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, consumers are spending at record-breaking numbers.

The sex toy industry is no exception. Statistically, sales of pleasure products skyrocket during the North American winter months from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, as couples are engaging in more sexual activity during this time. The question is, are you prepared to take advantage of this increase and drive potential sales?

Add a Festive Flair

Get creative! Eye-catching seasonal displays and promotional pieces can draw shoppers in and let them know the store is carrying new products. Window-shopping is a great opportunity to connect with a passerby and bring in a customer who otherwise may not have stopped. Incorporating a holiday theme into your visuals will resonate with the buyer who is currently holiday shopping!

Prepare your store with visual merchandising, whether that is online or a brick-and-mortar shop. Ensure you have fully charged and functioning POS displays or testers for your core products. Unfortunately, theft is also at an all-time high during the holiday season, so take the necessary measures to ensure a security system is in place, including securing testers/displays.

Group Your Gifts

The placement of the products within your store is crucial. By putting like-minded products together, you can increase your sales and your customers’ experience. For example, placing a vibrator inside a lock box or toy chest along with a lube and toy cleaner can suggest to the customer a perfectly ready-made gift set.

Create a stocking-stuffer section by grouping items that are small, inexpensive, or novelties along with a “Stuff Your Stocking” sign, allowing your customers to put together a personalized stocking. Ideal stocking-stuffer items include rechargeable vibrating bullets, travel-sized massagers, vibrating rings, finger vibrators and more. Just be sure they have a travel lock so there’s no unexpected buzzing before the big day!

Prepare your store counter for impulse buys, those last-minute inexpensive items at the checkout when the customer has time to grab and go. These upsells can really add up!

Inventory is key during this peak season. Ensure you have a fully stocked store, in all categories. The bestsellers during this time tend to be gift sets, small stocking-stuffer items and pillow packs or foils of lubricant.

Gift Cards

While gift cards are usually placed at the counter and seen as a secondary purchase, gift card sales become a core earner during the holiday season. Studies by the National Retail Federation show that 63 percent of holiday shoppers will buy at least one gift card. Strategically place gift cards throughout your store and feature them in your window or promotional display. A Christmas tree decorated with gift cards is another fun display that is sure to draw attention!

Promotions and deals are another way of driving a transaction, as customers are scouring for sale items and trying to stay within their holiday budget. However, try not to overdo the discounts — you want to remain competitive, but if customers are purchasing then why lower your margins? Consider offering a coupon during holiday sales that can only be used in the New Year so your customers will be back for the Valentine’s Day rush.

All Wrapped Up

Prep your store staff for increased traffic. Be sure that your staff is trained or refreshed on how to load gift cards, that they are made aware of heightened theft, and that any new hires are well trained to handle the influx of customers.

Rather than price, convenience is one of the major aspects that determine buying decisions during the holidays. Customers appreciate a helpful, convenient experience during this hectic shopping period. Promising and following through on delivery dates can also drive online sales more than a discount! Brick-and-mortar shops have this advantage, as customers are able to take their parcel home ensuring they will have it Christmas morning.

One final touch that could heighten your customers’ experience is to consider offering a gift-wrapping service during this season. The last thing someone wants to worry about after shopping is having to wrap their gifts. Branded bows or packaging are not only convenient for the customer, but also create a memorable experience that will have customers returning to your store at a later date.

How to Get Retail-Ready for the Holidays by Erin Worgan originally appeared in XBIZ

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