The holidays are upon us, too quickly for some. Black Friday – known to the tanning community as Bronze Friday – has come and gone, but shopping season is far from over.
Luckily for retailers, procrastination is a growing trend among gift seekers. With Hanukkah running through Dec. 5, Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, Christmas on Dec. 25 and Kwanzaa on Dec. 26, the entire month has the potential to boost sales if salons make the right moves. And once you factor in shoppers who buy gifts after the holiday for belated get-togethers, it’s easy to see how even last-minute arrangements can help you sell strong into the New Year.
In case you weren’t quite prepared this season’s shoppers in November, here are some small steps you can take in your business to help along your holiday sales:
Offer a deal on packages. If someone is willing to pick up the entire line of a product, reward them with an enticing discount and festive packaging. Quality gift sets take the guesswork out of shopping for loved ones. By targeting common price points and interests, you can help non-tanners shop for someone they care about. Offer fun, lower price point options geared toward young adults, or try an anti-aging lotion bundle for more mature clients. Put together a bundle of skin care products for the sunless lover, or pair products with natural ingredients for the eco-friendly tanner. And don’t forget about the men!
Give the gift that keeps on giving. You’ve heard of wine-of-the-month clubs, why not bring the concept to your business? For an affordable gift tanners can enjoy all year long, try a sample-of-the-month club. Sell gift certificates or put notes in your software stating that a client is entitled to so many lotion samples each month. Keep the number low enough to incentivize customers to buy a lotion if they like the sample, but offer enough options for them to enjoy something new. You can even offer three-, six- or 12-month options.
Offer a bonus gift with qualifying gift card purchases. Recently, many retailers and restaurants have begun to reward bigger gift card purchases. It’s not uncommon to see promotions for a free $5 gift card for each $25 or $50 gift card purchased. For smaller amounts, you could offer a lotion sample, lip balm or tan stickers to liven up their gift. This can add extra value to gift purchases made at your salon, and can even generate new clients if they decide to keep the bonus gift for themselves.
Put your stocking stuffers front and center. Buying stocking stuffers for adults can be tricky, so make it easy for your shoppers to get inspired. Create a display using stockings to show off different product combinations – do anything you can to spell it out for them! Place nail polishes, sunglasses, samples, lip balm, eyewear and other baubles near the register to encourage impulse buys. Remember to make a sign promoting these items as stocking stuffers. You could even offer a bulk discount if they purchase 10 or more stocking stuffers. Better yet, fill some unique stockings with tanning goods for an attractive price that last minute shoppers will love.
Lastly, be clear about your return, exchange and gift card policies. Shoppers will be glad to know about any return or exchange restrictions, and your staff will be grateful for less disgruntled phone calls later. Are there any limitations on what you can buy with a gift card? What happens if someone buys the wrong lotion as a gift? Decide how to handle these issues ahead of time, and make sure the staff informs customers about return policies after each sale, especially if the information isn’t printed on the receipt.
If you decide to make any last minute changes, don’t forget to tell your customers and neighbors! Share on social media, send emails and texts, get a quick radio spot if you can, and pass out fliers to surrounding businesses to remind everyone that you’ve got just what they need this holiday season!