Hopefully your store is filled with customers as we head into the home stretch of the holiday season. It’s ironic that for many of us, the busiest time of the year is followed by one of the slowest times – so it’s essential that you take a bit of time now to think about how you’re going to bring shoppers in during the early months of the new year.

Repeat customers are essential to long-term success for most retailers – and it’s important that you give those shoppers a reason to come back in January.

Here are a few ways to do this:

1. Give shoppers a “bounce-back” coupon that offering a discount on a future purchase.  Make it valid for a very specific time period, such as the month of January. You might offer a percentage off on the customer’s first purchase for 2019.

2. Find out who your top customers are through your rewards program’s records, and mail a $10 gift card to the top 50 with a personal New Year’s greeting. Be sure to let them know that you appreciate the fact that they shop local.

3. Have new merchandise in stock to make your store look fresh and inviting. It may be too late to make this happen this year, but it’s a goal for the future. Even if you don’t have any new lines, plan to clean and rearrange your displays to “reset” the store after the holidays. And don’t try to transition from Christmas to Valentine’s Day – it’s over a month and a half away.

4. Come up enticing promotions or special offers other than just a continued clearance sale on leftover Christmas goods.

Bringing in new customers is very important for growing your business. Try these techniques:

1. Promote gift cards during the holiday season. They will bring new customers into the store, and these shoppers will often peruse your entire selection before deciding how to use their card.

2. Be sure that your store name is on your gift packaging so that anyone receiving something from your shop will know where to find more.

I hope you have a successful holiday season, and that these ideas help you get next year off to a great start.

Happy Retailing,
Carol “Orange” Schroeder

Note: there will not be a Specialty Shop Retailing blog on December 24 or December 31 due to the holidays.