5 things to do when the tinsel comes down

…that don’t involve bargain baskets!

It takes months of preparation and in what feels like mere hours, the holiday season comes to an end and a New Year comes into focus. January is not just about clearing stock, it has all to do with planning for the months ahead.

So here is your New Year to do list…

Product and category revision

Category revision is an essential January job for any retailer. Removing ‘low hanging fruit’ and strengthening high margin product lines is key to maximising a healthy business in the New Year.

Within each category there should be a sufficient number of entry, mid-tier and luxury products on offer. Having a clean, healthy mix of products at different price points is step one for building your business for the New Year, and means you are covering all types of customers.

Shop layout and space planning

space planning in store

Your store layout makes all the difference, not just to loyal customers but to potential new ones too. Just like online websites that often have 50% bounce rates, high street shops are not excluded from that problem. How many people do you see walking into the store, glancing around and walking straight back out?

Making sure your store is seasonal, laid out for maximum exposure and attention is key. Grouping categories of products or ‘cross polarisation’ can help to influence a fresh clientele. A good example of this might be a “detox” display in January that includes smoothies, granola and a bouquet of super-foods, all positioned together near the entrance of a food business. Or a powerful and eye-catching window display to ensure any high street footfall is directed straight through your door!

A timely planned layout will effectively provide solutions to your audience who have pledged New Year’s resolutions. The new space will also show customers that your business is in tune with their shopping habits, helping to build their loyalty and trust.

copper & grey gift packaging

Packaging

Packaging in retail is essential. Be it a gift box, a gift bag or a bow and ribbon – how you pack your products is increasingly important as consumers look for new ways to personalise their purchases. Having a cohesive range of packaging which enables you to capture seasonal opportunities needs to be functional yet thoughtful. And do not forget about the next two big seasonal events ahead; Valentine’s Day and Easter!

Flat-packed card trays might be just the ticket for shops with small footprints, whereas Bags for Life might be the right idea for a community, and raises the environmental flag. Knowing your customers, how they shop as well as your products on offer will help to ensure your packaging is right for the year.

Business strategy

Sounds very corporate, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing what you want to achieve in a twelve-month period and the levers required to getting there is all you need to do.

By building a ‘road map’, you will help create the structure required to achieving your goals. It could be growth to the business, but it could also be an internal process as well that can in turn, make the business stronger. An example of this might be improving staff training within your business by sending someone on a Retail School training course. In doing so, your business strategy of improving your business from within, will have a direct impact with your customers and result in a better shopping experience and potential sales increase.

Social Media Marketing

social media

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now an intrinsic tool for businesses, and dominated by social media, blogs, database marketing and of course websites, a clear and comprehensive strategy at the beginning of the year will help position your business in a very competitive environment.

We live in a time where businesses can effectively engage with customers in a whole new way. Understanding how this medium works alongside an investment at the start of the year can take your business to a whole new level, and attract brand new customers whilst building loyalty .

Some practical steps: 

  1. Make sure the products you have are profitable. Remove the products that are not.
  2. Make sure your shop layout is smart, effective and relevant.
  3. Look at packaging solutions across the business and ensure you have what you need to deliver your experience this year.
  4. Look at your business as a whole and devise a plan or strategy for improvements.
  5. Get to know your customer & use marketing effectively to engage with your target audience and build your business in new ways.

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