Continue Your Sales Momentum this Holiday Season

Well by now you’ve now survived Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Hopefully you were able to capitalize on these shopping days and also learn from both the big and small retailers. While these days were smart marketing tactics, we wanted to give you a few other ways to keep the momentum going this holiday season. The great thing is that December is here and you have the month to garner some great sales and finish the year off strong.

Screen shot 2011 12 07 at PM 06.10.43
Image Credit: The New York Times

First, lets discuss the some shopping stats. Here are a couple of key lessons about the holiday retail landscape according to the National Retail Federation:

  • Consumers have already begun their shopping and it’s estimated that 20% will be done in December
  • Nearly 50% of holiday purchases will be made online
  • Clothing and accessories are the number two gift, second to gift cards
  • Self-gifting is popular this season with roughly 60% or six in ten customers buying items for themselves or for their families
  • Price discounts and customer service are key to driving sales

So how do you apply these insights and excite your target?

My retail experience includes five years of sales at Pottery Barn. During the holidays, I’ve learned that people simply want turn-key solutions. Meaning, they want the gift idea, the packaging, an easy way to ship, and a price point their budget can handle. Here’s a few ways to market your brand to your customer:

Tell them your picks: People love to see what the designer recommends versus simply having to shop for a product. This is especially important during the holiday season because consumers want to make purchases and if you can share what inspires you and even better, tell them the back story on a product or the company, it’s an even better way to help secure a sale.

Give them a Countdown: One month, two weeks or even fives days left for holiday shopping are timeframes that help put your customer in perspective. No matter what the timeframe, ask yourself what you’re going to do for them as an added-value benefit. Is it guaranteed shipping, free shipping (almost 95% of retailers are doing this) or even offering complimentary gift wrap? If you are going to alert them by letting them know they have a few days left to shop, make sure you are offering a compelling solution.

Quantify it: Have you ever checked out Refinery29? They’re known for stories that highlight a specific number of ideas, like 25 ways to accessorize or 12 best ways to wear this dress. It’s a way for people to get a handle on a story and a strategy that you can apply when you reach out to your target. A message or headline like “Check out our top 5 gift ideas” or “7 items to put under the tree” is something easy for a customer to get and also get excited about! When you do this, don’t forget that holiday gifts are better as a package so if you can merchandise a necklace and a pair of earrings together, that means a higher dollar transaction.

What’s your selling handle?

There’s a lot of clutter out there this season and even harder to break though. As with any sale, you want to remember to promote your brand’s unique selling point (USP). There’s also tapping into the insight that consumers are looking for value and excellent customer service. So how can you assure that you cater to their needs? Well, we’re not saying lower your prices, but if you know your pricing sweet spot, then you can market some great gift suggestions at a few price points (e.g. Gifts under $50) then you may be more likely to drive sales and stand out.

Remember, customers need help during the holidays for themselves and others, and a couple of tactics can help you end 2011 with success.


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