How to charm the Christmas crowd to your store
It’s that time of year again, and for retailers, Christmas undeniably represents the most important period in the calendar. With 74% of UK and US retailers saying it’s when they get at least 20% of their annual sales, your business needs to do everything possible to capitalise on the public’s festive spending spree. From holding events to harnessing the power of social media, this piece will look at how exactly you can encourage festive footfall for your store.
Create visual merchandising that wows
To attract visitors to your store in droves, your visual merchandising must be special. A bit of tinsel and a Christmas tree won’t cut the mustard anymore – you need to think much further outside the box if you want to get people talking. Enticing visual merchandising will create a unique shopping experience that will wow customers, encourage repeat visits and keep your store bustling.
First off, as the first point of visual contact customers will have with your store, an alluring window display is imperative. Making the difference between whether or not pedestrians become customers, there are so many ways you can create an eye-catching display. For instance, incorporating motion can really stimulate the senses and help draw a crowd – Harrods thrilled passers-by with striking animatronic puppets in their disco-themed Christmas 2017 window display. Telling an engaging story can also set you apart and get shoppers captivated – something Selfridges achieved with their 2014 fairytale themed Christmas window display.
Once you’ve got people into your store, you need to ensure you have an interior that is just as spellbinding as the window display that beckoned customers in. One surefire way to attract footfall is through intriguing installations, something Hyundai’s South Korean department store made the most of in 2017. Designed by retail design agency Prop Studios, the in-store design featured an installation depicting festive scenes of family and friendship to tie in with the brand’s ‘Embrace Togetherness’ tagline. Through a visually appealing concept that told its own story, Hyundai created a truly memorable shopping experience. Make sure you do everything you can to expose your stock to customers, from using hangers, baskets and shelves to display products at different heights to simply using signage to highlight key items. This will help customers better navigate the store, and increase the possibility of sales.
Hold Christmas-themed events
Another effective method of tempting customers to your store is to hold Christmas-themed events. A classic way to do this is to install your own Santa’s Grotto, perfect for marketing your brand to parents, who will relish an opportunity to keep their children entertained during busy Christmas shopping days. Selfridges gave concept their own spin with their now annual Breakfast with Santa events, where families get the chance to sit down with the main in the red suit and devour some luxurious food and drink together. This is a great way to make their customers feel special and attract them to the store.
Sampler events are also popular at Christmas, and by thinking outside the box you can again entice significant foot traffic. A fantastic example was Carlsberg’s beer-dispensing Christmas tree, which garnered significant media attention in December 2015. In the same month, Tesco ran various Christmas Food Festivals, giving the public the chance to try the supermarket’s range of festive food, whilst Coca-Cola’s truck tour is now a seasonal staple.
Harness the power of social media
Social media makes it simpler than ever to attract people to your store, so don’t neglect its power. For instance, you can use Facebook to easily and affordably advertise to your target demographic. Alternatively, Twitter and Instagram are perfect for promotional content, from Christmas-themed videos and product recommendations to festive giveaway contests. This enables you to easily interact with customers and build up a rapport with them, which should encourage them to visit your store.
Never overlook the power of customer recommendations via social media. It’s crucial that you encourage shoppers to share content from your store. Maybe create a branded hashtag as part of your window display which customers can use when sharing photos of it online. You may also want to offer rewards for posting this content, such as loyalty points or entry into a competition.
Don’t let your business get left out in the cold during the crucial Christmas period. By creating alluring visual merchandising schemes, holding unique events and making the most of your social media presence, you can make the most of the public’s extra willingness to splash the cash during the holiday season.
The editorial unit