Many OTC stores struggle during the holiday season. There could be a number of reasons for this, but many of these instances can be avoided. If store owners practice a few basic principles, they can guarantee to see an uptick in sales. Here are three surefire ways to make the most of this holiday season.
Throughout my career, I have visited countless beauty supply stores during the holidays, from Easter to Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and even Christmas. Throughout those visits, I rarely, if ever, saw those stores decorate in any way to bring in more customers. I never saw any lights, banners, or bling of any sort. The big box stores are the opposite, decorating their brick and mortars as a call-to-action to capture those holiday sales and opportunities to not only get more sales but to increase customer loyalty (more on that later). If you drive down the street and see a store that is decorated, no matter what that store is, you’re likely to look twice – as you should. Decorations are meant to be noticed. With very little work, you can put up these items several times a year and even reuse them for the next year. The time investment will be well worth the increase in foot traffic.
Aside from interior and exterior decorating, stores can bundle older and new items to greatly increase sales, get rid of slow-moving merchandise which in turn will allow room to order newer items. How can they do this? Go to a dollar store and purchase several small baskets and put in two shampoos, a conditioner, a gel, and an edge control. If these items would normally come up to $35 total, discount the package down to 29.99. This way, you’ll get rid of older items and gain a higher sales average per customer. You can do this with new items, as well. For example, you can combine a package of small tools such as a group of three nail colors, polish remover, two files and a small clipper. If the total would be $30 for that, mark the entire package down to $24.99. After the holidays, if these items did not sell, you can always break them down and resell them individually. Baskets look great for this time of year and are a wonderful gift for customers to give to friends or family.
Another way to increase sales during the holidays whether you have one store or 10 locations, is to offer in-store coupons valid at any of your locations. If you have 5, 10, or 15 percent off or a cash discount for when you spend $20 or more, you will for sure attract customers, who will spend more money than they normally would. There is tremendous competition in every city with some cities having stores on the same block. What are you doing to compete or beat the other store owner? An in-store card that is stamped every time a customer comes in, whether that’s for five visits or 10 visits, can earn a shopper an extra discount or free items. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts built their customer loyalty on this concept. Customers love discounts and free items. By doing this, it keeps your customers coming back to your stores and building their loyalty. If they bring or refer a friend, give them another small discount or future coupon. This is how you build your business.
Store owners need to be more creative and think outside the box to compete. The holidays bring in more traffic so while you have an increased number of customers at holiday time why not give them a reason to visit your store more often?
Meet Scott Zangwill
Scott Zangwill is the merchandising specialist behind Merchandise Brand Specialist, Inc., a full-service merchandising group for the multicultural beauty industry serving brands nationwide. The company is based in the Northeast and has nine merchandisers that cover 17 cities across the country. Self-employed for 28 years with five years in the beauty industry, Scott currently works with top brands such as Clairol/Wella, House of Cheatham, I.C. Fantasia, Imperial Dax, and Softee. He has also worked with Sunny Isle, Okay, Gonesh and Dr. Miracle.