angle graphic

December 03, 2021

10 Tips to Help Your Retail Store Boost Holiday Sales

Samantha Hubay

Written by:

Samantha Hubay

10 Tips to Help Your Retail Store Boost Holiday Sales

Make the Most of the Holiday Shopping Season

Did you know that holiday shoppers contribute to about 30% of the average retailer’s annual profits?

The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales during November and December of 2021 to reach between $843.4 and $859.0 billion. That's about 8.5% - 10.5% more than 2020 holiday spending! 

Key Takeaways You Will Get From This Article

1. When planning merchandise displays for the holidays, keep the busy customer in mind by organizing merchandise and offering a gift guide to help your customers plan for the items they want to purchase.

2. Encourage Customers to Shop Small and Support Local. 

3. Decorate your store and encourage Holiday Posts on social media. 

4. Displaying and marketing your employees’ favorite products can help customers in their buying decisions and is a great way to increase engagement with your store.

There’s no denying it – these next couple of months could make or break your business for the year. And that's why we've put together these 10 tips to help you boost holiday sales!

We hope you find these tips helpful, cost-effective, and full of festive flair!

Table of Contents:

  1. Gift categories
  2. Gift guides
  3. Gift cards
  4. Shop small and local
  5. Cut lines down
  6. Increase incentives on peak shopping weekends
  7. Employee favorite products
  8. Decorate for Instagram
  9. Promote holiday social media posts
  10. Create a holiday email plan


TIP ONE: Organize merchandise by gift category.

During the holiday shopping season, there is intense competition for customer attention. Every business, restaurant, and office is sending promotional emails. Shoppers are pulled in every direction trying to find the best deal and often plan to visit multiple stores until they find the perfect gift.

You can help them find the perfect gift at your store!

When planning merchandise displays for the holidays, keep the busy customer in mind. What exactly will they be looking for when they walk in the door? Someone searching for a gift for a family member might lean towards a display that says, “Perfect Gifts for Mom”, or “Give Dad What He Really Wants”.

Many holiday shoppers are also on a budget, especially if they’re planning to purchase gifts for multiple friends or family members. To help these shoppers, you can try building sections of your store by price and labeling them as such with nice big signs.

-back to top-


TIP TWO: Make shopping simple with a gift guide.

Creating a gift guide is a great way to help your customers plan for the items they want to purchase.

Depending on the type of store you have and your capabilities, this could be a small booklet, one-page brochure, digital PDF, or even a feature in a mobile app. The gift guide should include photos and prices of your gift-worthy products and list exactly where each item can be found in your store.

Be sure to distribute your hard work through a variety of channels to reach as many customers as possible. Post it on your website, social media pages, print copies for your store, and even try asking other local businesses if you can leave some at their locations.

-back to top-

TIP THREE: Promote gift cards!

Finding the perfect gift for the holidays can be so overwhelming. Consumers are always hunting for something that brings the "wow" factor when the recipient opens their gift. However, the NRF reports that 56% of consumers hope to receive gift cards for the holidays. 

Well, that could certainly make shopping easier! Plus, gift cards are a low-risk, high-reward investment. Did you know that most gift card holders end up spending about $59 more than their gift card is worth? That's right - these little pieces of plastic encourage new customers to visit your store AND spend more than they thought they would.

Investing in holiday-themed gift cards and prominently displaying them in your store can help you boost profits during this season.

If you need help bringing a unique gift card idea to life – contact us! Our creative team specializes in creating professional, eye-catching gift cards to delight your customers and keep them coming back for more.

-back to top-


TIP FOUR: Encourage customers to shop small and support local.

Locally crafted, handmade goods make incredible gifts, and purchasing from a small business can help stimulate the local economy. Therefore, it’s so important to encourage your customers to shop at their local small businesses rather than big box stores during the holidays.

Try partnering with other local artisans to get customers excited about your products!

For example, if you sell home décor at your store, try partnering with a local candle maker. Ask if you can sell some of your products out of their store, and you’ll sell some of theirs from yours. Then, market the new partnership to your customers and theirs, promoting the perfect, personal gift bundle for a happy homeowner!

-back to top-


TIP FIVE: Shorter lines bring more customers and increase profits.

Did you know the longest time a customer is willing to wait for any type of service averages out to about 14 minutes?

That’s typically how long you’ll have until you lose their attention or worse, their sale. Cash register lines and wait times tend to be manageable during most of the year, but the holiday shopping season is another story. Incredible deals, not to mention the quest to find the perfect gift, bring more people to stores.

One way to help cut lines down is to increase the number of checkout options available. If you only have one register, consider adding a solution such as EMSmobile, which will allow additional cashiers to accept payments via a mobile device or tablet.

-back to top-


TIP SIX: Increase loyalty incentives on popular shopping weekends.

Everyone loves perks! Buy one get one free, 50% off sales, additional 20% coupons – all these discount promises are great ways to get customers in the door.

If you have a loyalty program for frequent customers, you can take the savings one step further by offering double the rewards points during busy shopping weekends. Be sure to let them know about the exclusive offer through email or social media!

Don’t have a loyalty program? Contact us today and let our creative professionals help you get started.

-back to top-


TIP SEVEN: Create a bright display with your employees' favorites.

Displaying and marketing your employees’ favorite products can help customers in their buying decisions and is a great way to increase engagement with your store.

You can even include a photo of the employee with the display and encourage customers who want to know more about the product to find that specific employee. It’s like posting a personal product review where all questions can be immediately answered!

-back to top-


TIP EIGHT: Decorate your store for Instagram.

Speaking of creating bright displays, try setting your store up for free publicity!

If you are intentional with your store décor, holiday enthusiasts may pose for pictures and post them on their personal social media pages. This can absolutely attract more people to your store and increase your holiday sales revenue. It's a great way to skyrocket ROI, especially if you were planning to decorate anyways.

Pinterest is always a great resource for decoration inspiration!

-back to top-


TIP NINE: Promote holiday posts on social media.

Online window shopping is growing in popularity every year. Many customers will search for gifts online first, and then visit your store when they’re ready to make a purchase.

To grab customer attention, create festive, holiday-themed ads marketing your business and products. Especially for peak holiday shopping weekends, consider spending a bit of your marketing budget to boost those ads and gain some extra traffic.

-back to top-


TIP TEN: Attract customers with a tailored email campaign.

Our final tip will require more planning, but it can help you have a successful holiday season.

First off, it's important to note that sending a single email is not going to cut it. As we mentioned in tip one, your customers are receiving emails from everywhere all at once! You'll need to send a few, or even several, to have a chance at getting noticed. 

For an email campaign to be successful, it needs to be tailored to the different segments of customers you have.

A segment could be determined by age, gender, location, shopping habits, frequently purchased items, and more depending on what customer data you have collected. Once you have determined who you will be targeting, plan to send multiple tailored emails to each segment of customers.

If you’re not sure when to send these emails, here’s a holiday hint: try sending an email for early bird shoppers, customers who take their time to shop throughout the season, and last-minute shoppers.

Keep your email messaging simple, friendly, and of course festive! And remember, you can also post this messaging to social media to engage more of your customers.

To read more tips on marketing through email for the holidays, visit HubSpot’s blog.

-back to top-


There you have it, ten tips to help you boost sales this holiday season! We wish you and your team all the best in this season and beyond.


Sources: Lightspeed, HubSpot

angle graphic