You know the look of a last-minute shopper. They come rushing into your store wide-eyed and immediately start fumbling through racks of shirts in a desperate attempt to find something that suits their needs. Of course there are many different types of last-minute shoppers, such as the Lost Husband, who rests his hands on the jewelry case, blows the hair out of his eyes and then looks forlornly at the glimmering pieces before him. There are also the Confused Children, aged 14 to 25, who come looking for presents for their parents only to realize they have no idea what to get. The varieties are endless, but each person just wants the same thing: to find the perfect gift for the special people on their shopping list. That’s where you come in.
Here’s how you can be of the most help to those last-minute shoppers.
An easy way to help confused customers is to create a gift guide that breaks down which items you sell and what kinds of people might like to receive them. Creating a gift guide involves extra work up front, but once it’s finished, you can use it as a tool to make the sales process easier. The type of guide you create will depend on the type of merchandise you sell and whether or not you also market online. Let’s assume you also have an online store, or at least do a significant amount of online marketing.
VerticalResponse, an online marketing platform, recommended creating simple online gift guides that clearly show the merchandise you have on offer. Create categories based on relationships, using subheadings such as “For Mom,” “For Grandchildren,” or “For Him.” Each category should have its own color scheme and a call to action, whether it’s to purchase now, or come to the store.
Depending on how in-depth you want to go, you can make an interactive guide that shows extra information about each piece of merchandise when clicked. This will help shoppers to start making the purchasing decision before they even get to the store.
Gift cards solve problems for a few different kinds of shoppers. They help the truly indecisive gift buyer to make an easy decision. Cards also help people who need to buy gifts for family members who are really impossible to shop for. And of course, there’s the super-last-minute shopper who stops in the store on their way to the recipient’s house. In that case, they can run in, grab a card and dash back out in a matter of moments. For the customer, they’re extremely convenient and hassle-free. For retailers, they might be a little more complicated. Let’s take a look at what selling gift cards means for you.
According to Rescue Marketing, the first thing you need to do is make sure your point of sale system can handle gift cards. Once you’ve set up the process, you can go and order some custom cards. The kind you’ll be looking for are called private label gift cards, which will only work at your store. The source reported that these kinds of cards must be handled entirely by your POS system, which means a little extra work on your end, but also means you won’t have to worry about network fees like you do when customers use a credit card.
The design and packaging of your gift cards is also very important. When you order your cards, you should get a custom design. The card should have your store logo printed on it clearly, and you might want to consider getting a graphic designer to create the rest of the image. For only a few hundred dollars, you can get an image that looks professional and instantly recognizable. You can also get different designs for different seasons, though you should have some idea of how many you’ll sell so you don’t end up with piles of winter-themed cards come springtime.
Gift cards can be great for certain customers, but even a well designed card can look a little lackluster on its own. To give the item an extra professional touch, consider using one of our pop-up gift card boxes. They come in several unique designs, such as Christmas trees, cheetah print and lime ice. Each box has a space where the customer can write their name, the name of the recipient and the amount of money on the card. These boxes look great on their own and require no wrapping, which makes them ideal for shoppers in a hurry. We also offer 6-by-6-inch gift card folders in more fun patterns. These are easy to slip into a gift bag along with another small item.
How to pick jewelry
Jewelry is another difficult item for shoppers to decide on. Oftentimes, a piece of jewelry is a big investment for the shopper. They’re giving it to a loved one to show them how much they care. The right piece of jewelry can take a relationship to the next level. Keep this in mind when helping someone pick out something special. Ask a lot of questions so you can get a good picture of who they’re shopping for. Don’t be afraid to ask some polite questions about their price range, this will avoid awkwardness later on and actually help you make a sale. You can speak directly to their needs and means.
“Ask questions to get a sense of the right piece of jewelry.”
This winter, Vogue magazine reported that black and white jewelry is in fashion. When helping a Lost Husband, ask them to visualize what their wife’s handbag looks like or what kind of winter coat she prefers. Use this information to direct them to pieces that will match those items. When they make the purchase, put the piece into one of our classic jewelry gift boxes. We have velvet covered boxes for romantic occasions and kraft and white boxes with soft synthetic cotton for protection.
The rule to remember when helping last-minute shoppers is to stay calm. Your peace of mind will calm them down as well. Then, you can work together to find the best possible gift, even if that’s a gift card. Adding these kinds of personal touches to your retail experience will make it truly stand out from the others.