Recently Jami asked me:
“Just wondering what are your thoughts on Christmas open house? How are you planning on adjusting to meet requirements?”
And of course – we are all about finding the opportunity in every obstacle, so here are the powerful strategies I shared with Jami:
#1 Start earlier
This year, we HAVE to start talking to our customers about the holidays earlier than usual. Why? Two reasons:
- Customers will feel a greater need to be prepared this year (because who knows what will happen in the next few months?) – which means they will start shopping earlier. You want to make sure they know they can shop with you!
- Do your customers wait outside your store when you are at capacity? This will become harder to accommodate as winter draws nearer.
You really need to start talking about the holidays by the mid October! Listen, I know that probably made you cringe – but you have to serve your customers well, and you do that by being ready for them early. Share from your heart, and be honest about why you are providing the opportunity to shop for the holidays a bit early this year.
#2 Give customers MORE opportunities to shop
The time for shorter events where we pack our store with as many customers as possible, is over. By giving customers more opportunities to shop we eliminate big crowds while still benefiting from the holiday shopping season:
- Host a VIP event for your very best customers (reach out if you’re unsure of how to find this information in your POS system)
- Expand your hours – Give customers a larger window to shop so your traffic will be more spread out
- Book appointments – Allow customers to shop by appointment outside regular store hours, they will love the personal attention!
#3 Extend the length of the Open House
Instead of your usual weekend event, feature specific types of your holiday inventory every week to stretch your Open House out over a longer period of time. Here are a few ideas of what types of inventory you can create a weekly focus around:
- Holiday home decor
- Gift ideas
- Food & drinks
# 4 Get social
If there is one thing this pandemic has forced us to do, it’s to become more social – online! So use Facebook Live to show off your amazing holiday displays and inventory during your open house. Give your raving fans a chance to shop from the comfort of their homes – they will love you for it! Use the schedule you developed in the last tip and just share that specific merchandise on the FB live!
There you have it! While we might have to approach our holiday open house event a bit differently this year – it can absolutely be just as (or maybe more…) successful as previous years.
Let these 4 effective holiday strategies inspire you!
You’ve got this!
Would you like more support in navigating the holiday season in a year like no other? Join our Facebook group with other retailers in the same spot you are in.