Five Ways to Create a Holiday Rush

The weeks leading up to Christmas can make or break many retailers. If there is one time of year when you want to have plenty of foot traffic it’s right now. So we look at five ways to get people stampeding into your store.

Have a Stand Out Sale

“Well duh,” I hear you say. Of course we’re going to have a holiday sale. Everyone has a sale at this time of year.

When absolutely everyone is having a sale, the secret is to have a sale that really stands out from the competition.   Every retailer will have different opportunities, but here are a couple of “stand out” ideas.

Daily Big Bargain – each day for a period leading up to Christmas offer a big discount off one popular item. This will draw people into your store, and the one-day-only aspect gives a sense of urgency.

Use Gift Cards Creatively – consider offering a free gift card with every purchase instead of a straight discount. For example, for every $100 worth of merchandise you purchase, get a $50 gift card. This is not only an attractive offer, but ensures that your holiday traffic will reap rewards in the new year.

Join Forces with Other Retailers – consider joining forces with other retailers to promote collectively. For example you might hold a “12 Days of Christmas” giveaway where 12 retailers give away a prize a day for 12 days. Purchase from any of the retailers to enter.

Be sure to advertise your sale in social media, print or radio. No matter how good your offer, it’s not going to work if no one knows about it.

Hold an Event

Christmas shopping can be a drag…but with a little theatre you can make your customers shopping experience fun. A happy customer is more likely to hang around and be inspired to purchase.

The key is to ensure that your event ties in with the products and services you offer. Here are some examples:

How to Make the Perfect Gingerbread House class – a great event for a kitchen store.

Create Your Own Christmas Cards workshop – a good event for a stationary or a photographic supply store.

Designer Shopping Night – a fashion boutique might choose one night to stay open two hours late, offering egg nog, cookies and free gift wrapping.

Put your thinking cap on. There will be an event idea that’s right for your business.

Run Personalised Email Campaigns

Most of your holiday sales are probably going to come from customers who have shopped with you before. If you’ve been building a database over time then email marketing is a great way to reach out to all those past shoppers and lure them into your store.

Make sure you personalise the email – ideally using the customer’s first name right in the subject line. Consider sending out special offers for “our favourite customers”. The offer might be an extra discount just for them, or a buy-one-get-one-free offer not available to the general public.

The main message here is, “You’re special.”   People find that pretty difficult to resist.

Go All Out with Your Window Display

At this time of year there is more foot traffic than in other months. That means that an eye-catching window can be just that much more valuable.

You don’t need to spend a fortune, you just need to use some imagination to create a colourful window that attracts the eye and stops the feet. Below are some shop windows we spotted on Google, all of which cost less that $20 to create.





Stock Up and Staff Up

Christmas shoppers usually represent a one-time opportunity. If you are out of stock on the item they are looking for or so short staffed that they can’t get served then you’ve lost the sale. They won’t be coming back later.

Obviously there is some risk associated with increasing inventory levels and putting more staff on the floor. You need to consider your cash flow carefully and be judicious about what you choose to purchase. Talk to your suppliers in advance so you are clear about how quickly you can top up if you under order.

But the bottom line is you need to have stock on the floor and well-trained staff to provide information, advice, service, tips and inspiration if you want to ensure that your holiday rush is profitable!



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