The winter holiday season is starting to creep up on retailers and consumers alike. Many e-commerce businesses will begin kicking off their efforts on Columbus Day, with brick-and-mortar stores following shortly afterward. The march of the holiday season earlier into the year has been a contentious point for many. However, whether or not businesses start their holiday advertising and visual merchandising activities now or later, they need to have some positive differentiators in place to help their stores stand out from the competition. These unique factors can involve major displays and sales, but can also be as simple as offering gift-wrapping services and subtle decorations throughout the space.
Here are three simple changes retailers can consider to get into the holiday spirit and make their stores stand out:
- Gift wrapping: This basic service will certainly be appreciated by customers – especially the ones who don't know how to wrap presents themselves. Gift wrap is relatively inexpensive, as are associated items like ribbon for bows and tissue paper. Businesses that offer this complimentary service can turn a small cost outlay into a service that attracts customers and makes them feel appreciated. Another option for busier stores is to offer gift bags that can be quickly filled and passed along to the buyer. Gift wrap and associated items can also be used in visual merchandising efforts to quickly create an identifiable holiday theme.
- Seasonal accessories: A modest investment into accessories with a holiday theme, like snowmen, reindeer and pine trees, helps set the atmosphere inside a business. Good visual merchandising is especially important during the holiday season because so many merchants ramp up their efforts to attract customers. Having an eye-catching display is a direct way to combine your products with the mood of the holidays and connect with customers. The high quality of these holiday accessories means they can be reused year after year, adding value and leaving retailers prepared for the next holiday season.
- Signage: There are plenty of different signage options for retailers, including those with winter motifs that emphasize the holidays as well as season-neutral ones. Retailers can pick and choose among the available options to find the signs that work best for their stores. The important thing is to make sure signs are used to raise visibility and let potential customers know in clear language about the potential deals to be found inside.