Holiday Retail Tips For 2020

Holiday Retail Tips For 2020

Holiday Retail Tips

Gifting season in your retail stores may look a little different this year. The WWIN team has asked some of the top professionals from the industry
to share their best tips for you to tackle this holiday season with confidence!
1. I think this year will focus on the idea of sentiment — I'd suggest retailers prep for the holidays by focusing on that and thinking about how pieces will resonate with their customers, and the memories they'll partake in, beyond the sheer beauty of each piece. To me, that brings to mind anything that feels like a modern heirloom or other pieces that create a new narrative for the wearer.  

- Dale Arden Chong, Fashion Editor & Writer
Company: Freelance for The Zoe Report and Who What Wear
Instagram: @dalearden
Be especially intentional and authentic with your messaging and product assortment.  Customers' buying habits have changed and they are more sensitive to how much they are spending and on what.  Every time you make a product or marketing decision, ask yourself, "In the current climate, how will this resonate?  Will this draw emotion from the customer, enticing them to buy?  Or will this be looked at as a "nice to have" and get lost in the sea of holiday promotions. Name: DeAnna McIntosh Company: Retailing Evolved Title: Global Retail Consultant Company Website URL: Instagram: @retailingevolved

3. This holiday season, e-commerce and social selling will be critical. And fashion retailers need to focus on creating a vibe on their virtual channels—and in their marketing —that lures shoppers on an emotional level by firing up those deep "I need to be a part of this" feelings. When enough consumers emotionally align themselves with a store or brand's ethos  (think of REI, Glossier, and Peloton devotees), revenue is poised to go through the roof.

- Emili Vesilind, Senior Editor & Social Media Director
Company: JCK Magazine -
Instagram: @jckmagazine

Make a statement in satin.

5.  Go Live - Offer customers a sneak peek at your special holiday inventory on IGTV or Facebook Live. If using IGTV, you can place a link in your post (even without 10K followers) to guide viewers to a custom landing page or collection page. If you want, offer a limited-time discount. Make sure to tag the products featured in your IGTV/story if you have shoppable posts set up. Need help setting these up? Contact me!
Show Spirit - Host an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party! Encourage customers to visit your store in their TACKIEST garb to receive a storewide discount and a complimentary holiday cocktail liked spiked cider or champagne. Be sure to share the fun event on Facebook and in an email newsletter. 
Wrap it Up - Offer customers free holiday gift wrapping for online and in-person purchases if they order within a certain timeframe 

- Shayne McCoy​, Owner
Company: Straight Up Social -
Instagram: @StraightUpSocial

Don’t be afraid to take a risk, stand out and think outside the box. What makes you different from the store down the street? Why should I come into your store vs theirs? Stick to your branding, but go big or go home! A dress on a mannequin made of your brand color, with a top of all bows and skirt of tissue and a belt of small boxes. A funny window of your employees favorite outfits styled on mannequins with their image taped on the faces. An interactive window where your customer can come in and style themselves and then take a photo in the window display (also great social media marketing with them posting and tagging!) Name: Anna Samsonova Company: Samsonova Consulting Title:CEO Company Website URL: Instagram:@samsonovaconsulting

7. Plan out the balance & flow of inventory AND your inventory mix! Historically, retailers have planned their future based off of their past.  This no longer is supported in driving profitable sales and growth.  Do you have enough merchandise to keep up with your customer demand based on what is selling NOW?  Did you develop an open-to-buy budget that is realistic and in line with your breakeven point to ensure maximizing cashing out at the end of the year?  Measuring your current successes by class is key to a retailer's success.  Vendors come and go.  Trends happen on the class level.  Focus on what is selling, not what you want to sell and plan accordingly.  We are at the mercy of our vendors shipping on time, shipping companies delivering on time...there has been a disruption to the supply chain and the delivery of goods, so you must plan ahead and order goods earlier in the event of delays.

- Margo Kopman, President
Company: Project Retail -

Instagram: @theprojectretail
Show your customers new products though Instagram Live or Facebook Live! I have seen so many success stories where brands utilize live videos on social media to show customers new products. It’s a great way to engage shoppers and make that personalized experience that everyone is looking for now. Name: Krystina Morgan Company: Sumner Communications Title: Managing Editor Company Website URL:  Instagram: @indretailer
9. Now is the time to refresh your website and make it very shoppable. In the same way you visually merchandise your store to increase sales, you need to merchandise and optimize your website. Increase your customer’s experience online by adding more images, videos and more detailed product descriptions for each of the products on your site. Use models/real people in photos so your customers can visualize scale and fit of your merchandise. Make sure there are best selling product styles on the homepage and multiple ways to search for products by collection, category, style and price. If you are offering free shipping, curbside pickups and other special features share that on the homepage. Capture emails on your website so you can retarget interested customers. Make sure customers can reach you easily for questions - adding a chatbot plug-in to your website is a tool that allows customers to connect with you quickly and efficiently.

- Jen Cullen Williams, Founder 
Company: Jen Cullen Williams Communications -
Instagram: @jencwilliams
If we aren't diligent about pre-planning our content strategy for the holidays, it can eat up all of our precious time and leave us scrambling to get noticed in a busy crowd of retailers.  Start by laying out your calendar by counting down the weeks until Christmas Day. Work backwards starting with your biggest launches, events, promotions and key shipping cut off days. Then map out emails, texts, paid ads, photoshoots, social media cover graphics and key messages.  Once you have a plan outlined, layout your key social media messages, engagement posts and behind the scenes content and pre-schedule as much as you can on all mediums. This puts you on offense this season, not reacting daily and playing defense. Name: Ashley Alderson Company: The Boutique Hub Title: CEO Company Website URL: Instagram:
11. There is no one-size-fits-all scenario for boosting sales during the holiday seasons.  Consumers are buying for themselves and online more than ever and the key is to find opportunities to promote all year round with a high focus during Q4 and peak selling times like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Graduation. Utilize CRM to capture your customer's/ potential customer's information to send customized emails/ promotions for their special occasions (eg: customer's Birthday, Anniversaries, Children/ Spouse's Birthdays. etc...).

If you are a brick & mortar retailer, consider selecting a few "key items" from your store and feature it with a special pricing.  You can play with your margins here by selling large quantities at a "Everyday" price for Q4. Be sure bulk up on your best sellers (by items and by brands/ designers) and traditional classifications/ silhouettes such as sweaters, cardigans, cosy accessories, and LOUNGEWEAR. Targeted pricing for easy purchases for self, spouses and family to pick up.  Align your buy with your marketing/ department to streamline advertising and in-store visual display.

If you are a smaller brand/ designer, start communicating your holiday campaign/ message early (around late Q3) via your social media and direct marketing.  Update your landing page, create a "Gift Ideas" on your website, and utilize Google Analytics to maximize opportunities.  Build inventory that you know are consistent key sellers

- Nan Lung Palmer, Owner & Managing Director
Company: FACETs Jewelry Consulting -
Instagram: @facets_jewelry_consulting
The best thing retailers can focus on right now to prepare for the Holiday season is to get a strong handle on their inventory and supply chain. Retailers should go through buys with a fine-toothed comb, forecasting sales and price points at a weekly level in order to make sure there is enough inventory to satisfy demand, but not enough to carry excess into Q1 as consumers are buying more strategically and meaningfully this year. Also, having up front conversations about manufacturing and delivery dates will ensure your inventory is protected should we see another rise in COVID this winter. Name: Stefanie Schoen Company: Schoen Retail Consulting Title: Founder and Consultant Company Website URL: Instagram: @SchoenRetailConsulting

13. It's more important than ever before to deepen your connection with your customer this holiday season. Go above and beyond to show your appreciation by providing personal touches like handwritten notes, increasing the amount and quality of clienteling, adding customer-specific personalization on your website, and ensuring you have enticing loyalty programs.  Customers are craving human connection, so make your brand personality come alive and be a sense of comfort and delight.

- DeAnna McIntosh, Global Retail Consultant
Company: Retailing Evolved -
Instagram: @retailingevolved and @theaffinitygroup
Omnichannel Retail!  The world as we knew it has changed.  It is now up to us, as retailers, to build and maintain an Omnichannel brand.  Omnichannel customers are 20 times more valuable than an ecommerce or brick & mortar customer alone.  Even with a worldwide pandemic, brick & mortar retail is alive and thriving because consumers crave connection.  The safety and convenience of browsing and shopping online creates traffic to your brick & mortar store.  The experience in both is what will develop a loyal customer and keep them coming back - to both!!!  Make sure your brand translates across all social media platforms you are actively engaging on that drive traffic to your website and store.  Now is the time to build an omnichannel brand - it's our future! Name:  Margo Kopman Company:  Project Retail Title: President  Company Website URL: Instagram: