It is early October, and the holiday shopping season is already upon us. I originally wrote this column for our October issue on Sept. 26, and on my way to work that morning the reports on NPR’s Morning Edition had already dusted off their jingle bells and issued a report on seasonal employment at big box retailers.
Believe it or not, you are competing with Target and Wal-Mart this holiday season, so if you haven’t pulled your Santa suit out of moth balls, it’s time to pull Rudolph in from the pasture and get going on your holiday marketing plan!
Last holiday season, store design expert Jim Rasmus, the president of Retail Design Associates, complied a primer on competing with the big box chains for consumer Christmas cash. Click here to check out his entire article on How The Dealer Stole Christmas.
I wanted to share a few nuggets from his guide to kick start your marketing plans for the season ahead!
Store Review and Analysis: Take a hard look at your store — see where your store stands in the eyes of your customers in terms of appearance, selection of products and depth of products. Have you ordered enough merchandise to meet customers’ expectations and demands for this holiday season? Is your store up to the customer’s standards for a clean, comfortable shopping environment both inside and out?
Plan a Holiday Calendar: Take a look at the next two months to create your holiday merchandising and sales calendar. Planning for the holidays will help prepare you and your staff to ensure the probability of a successful event. If at all possible, have something going on every week leading up to Christmas, with no fewer than two to three promotional events per month. Check out Jim’s entire seasonal planning suggestions at s18390.p525.sites.pressdns.com today.
Need a little help ramping up your holiday marketing schedule? The team at the Motorcycle Industry Council has launched its Year-End Revive Your Ride Giveaway. It’s free for dealers to participate and for your customers to enter, they’ve got to come into your store. The best part? The MIC has a turnkey marketing program ready to go, so all you need to do is go to www.mic.org, sign up and take advantage of the program.