In spite of all hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, retailers could have a strong finish to 2020. According to forecasts, a strong stock market, rising home values, and record personal savings rates can boost spending during the holiday. Thus, it’s high time retailers prepared themselves thoroughly to utilize this great opportunity. In today’s article, we’ll present you with the 8 best tips to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail this Christmas.
Prepare your inventory
This time of the year is when people are spending heavily on merchandise like toys as Christmas presents to give their loved ones. Thus, the demand for those types of products increases significantly. It’s normal for retailers to stock up their inventory. However, when stocking too much merchandise, especially time-sensitive items like Christmas cards or ornaments, you’re also putting your business at risk. The risk is having deadstock loaded up in your warehouses and forgotten by both you and your customers. As deadly as its name, deadstock not only takes up your storage space but also drags down your ROI.
So, the tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail here is to review reports of the previous same period. Accordingly, you know which products are likely to sell the most and which ones sell the least. With that in mind, you can predict the consumption and make better inventory plans. Besides, adopting a POS system with a robust inventory management feature is also a decent and handy option.
Get your sales team ready
The National Retail Federation expects 2020 holiday sales to rise between 3.6% and 5.2% year over year. This corresponds to between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. It’s good news to retailers, yet, also a huge pressure put on your sales team. Obviously, as retailers, you don’t want your physical store or website congested and lagged during the holiday season. Thus, with such heavy traffic flowing in and out, your sales assistants need to be fully prepared and trained.
You can do that by either getting a professional trainer for proper training. If you don’t want to invest too much in hiring a coach, then you can totally find material to train staff yourself. Nowadays, there are tons of documents that are available online and completely free. For instance, you can take a look at the Comprehensive Training Guide For Cashiers by ConnectPOS for your reference.
Use psychological triggers
Psychology always sounds like something so tricky and high-class that retailers don’t usually realize that it appears every moment in daily life. And leveraging psychological tricks is a great tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail. Here are some suggestions for your business success:
- Place the pricier items at eye level. It’s simple like this: Anything you want your customers to buy, you place it at their eye level. So that it’s prominent and highlighted enough to make buyers notice.
- Set up sample stations. This trick slows passers down and gets them to spend more time in the store. More importantly, it makes people feel more obligated to buy the product as they tried it. Particularly over the holiday season, you should try to bait passers with samples of irresistible sweets and chocolates.
- Strategically place ultra-expensive items next to slightly cheaper ones. This is called the “compromise price effect”. By placing much more expensive items next to slightly more reasonable ones, you make customers think they’re getting a good deal on the latter item. And you can get them to buy the item that they might not have planned to spend.
- Price things at $0.99. Seeing a product with $0.99 causes consumers to automatically round down. If an item is priced at $1.99, people tend to think of the product as $1 rather than $2. That increases the likelihood of buying it.
- Fill up the check-out aisle with tempting products. You don’t have to be a marketer to realize that the check-out line is the most profitable area. Especially, over the holidays, the check-out line tends to be crowded and slow-moving. Thus, you can leverage that by stocking stuffers and holiday candy to successfully temp customers while waiting.
Everyone loves having fun, don’t they? Although shopping itself is already fun, taking it to the next level by offering gamification can really help increase conversions.
RetailDive defines the practice as combining “elements of play and common game mechanics such as points, badges, and other incentives in nontraditional contexts in order to affect behavior”. If done right, gamification is not only fun but also a solid way to engage customers and boost business performance.
There are many benefits of bringing moments of play to your store. Before we get into the details, here’s the broad list of benefits:
- Boost customer engagement
- Increase dwell time
- Create interaction leading to retention
- Gather valuable data
- Create positive experiences
- Encourage loyalty by rewards
- Enhance brand awareness
Gaming retailer GameStop deems one of the best practices of gamification in retail. Their innovative desktop “Monster Hunt” promotion which they partner with Google Maps and Warner Brothers Interactive has created a buzz among gamers. Players can register to hunt monsters on city streets around the world to win 1 of 100 $50 gift cards. You can take this as a reference for a great tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail.
Abandon calls for urgency
This tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail sounds a little strange, doesn't it? “The typical retail play is that urgency really drives traffic when in fact it’s the opposite,” said Deutsch, senior vice president of global customer success at Persado. “Urgency is an emotion: It’s an emotional response that people have to marketers, but it’s an emotion that has the least response from consumers.”
According to research, the emotional language itself really benefits marketing campaigns as it accounted for 64.17% of performance in comparison with 19.05% for descriptive language. However, research also showed that during back-to-school, the best-performing emotions were anxiety, achievement, and gratification. Meanwhile, the lowest-ranking elements were challenge, excitement, and urgency.
That’s why it’s high time merchants stopped involving calls for urgency in their marketing messages. Not only do they not bring any significant benefit, but they can also, in fact, be countereffects.
Give buyers more control over their shopping experience
Customers now are demanding more and more control and independence while shopping. Additionally, being tech-savvy and tech native, Millennials and Generation Z are inclined to browse on the internet for product information rather than asking in-store staff. With that being so, as merchants, you need to fulfill that preference. Not only does it make your customers at ease while browsing around the store, but you, as retailers, can also save your human resources and reduce the burden on your staff’s shoulder. This is a seemingly small but powerful tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail.
There are many ways that you can empower your buyers to have more independence with a touch of technology. For example, price checkers installed right among aisles, or a mobile consumer app with features like price checking, product recommendations, and self check-out, are all great options.
Create a Christmas-themed ambiance
The holidays are a heartwarming and special time of the year. Retailers should be aware of this and tug on their customers’ emotions even more with a Christmas-themed atmosphere. You can do that by investing in charming decorations, relaxing and cheerful holiday music, warm scents, and eye-catching displays. Additionally, people tend to forget about money during this time of the year. Thus, with just a small touch of emotion created by a Christmas-like ambiance, you can get your customers to spend more.
Another tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail during the holiday season in terms of decoration is to pay more attention to color schemes. Retail stores draw customers in with warm hues like reds, oranges, and yellows. But once inside, cool colors like blues and greens encourage spending.
Offer seasonal promotions
Offering holiday promotions is a classic, yet still, an effective method to get your buyers to buy more during such a profitable season. Other than things like “up to 70% off all-store”, another surprisingly effective strategy is to offer free shipping when you’re out of stock or low on inventory of a particular item. Especially when the holiday is the busiest time of the year and stock shortage is likely to happen, this really helps get buyers to make the purchase that day. You can also offer more reward points for purchases made during the holiday.
A side tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail this Christmas is to put a big, prominent “SALE” sign in the window. Even if you don’t offer discounts for all of the items in your stores, you still can ‘lure’ your customers to walk into the store. That’s when they'll likely buy non-sale items. This is a surprisingly effective tip to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail this Christmas!
Are you ready for Christmas?
Christmas is already around the corner, are you and your retail business fully prepared and equipped to seize every opportunity to thrive? We do hope that you all are, especially with the 8 best tips to boost sales for toys, hobbies & gifts retail this Christmas. However, if you’re still seeking an extra helping hand, we’re also here for you!
ConnectPOS, leading POS software for omnichannel retailers, is proud to offer merchants like you a pyramid of well-functioning, handy POS features and advanced technologies. With our POS’s robustness, you can run your businesses smoothly and successfully every day. Book your 14-day free trial below to experience our world-class product! Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!