We’re now in what some may consider the home stretch for holiday shopping, and as the coming days pass, your customers are likely to be more frantic in their search for the perfect last-minute gifts. In order to make their shopping experience pleasant instead of nightmarish, you’ll need to go out of your way to make sure your holiday ambiance is just right. Here are some tips to help make that happen.
Getting the music right
Many stores choose to play holiday music this time of year, which is a great way to let shoppers know that you’re in the spirit. However, a poor choice of background music can turn any present-hunting experience sour. Make sure that you keep your store’s music at a reasonable volume level – loud enough to be heard over the din of holiday shoppers, but not so loud that your customers have to raise their voices to be heard. When selecting a playlist, CD or radio station, look for songs that are calming, quiet and slow – frantic music like “Deck the Halls” may be fun when caroling, but such tunes can add to the chaos of late holiday shopping.
A clean store is a happy store
It can be hard to keep your gondola shelves and jewelry displays neat and tidy with the constant rush of customers this time of year, but maintaining a clean and organized retail space is essential if you want to impress those latecomers. Have your employees regularly circulate among the display tables and shelves to straighten up any messy areas. Clothing retailers must be particularly wary – nothing looks worse than a clothing rack with hangers pointing out every which way.
Maintain your own holiday spirit
There’s no doubt that it can be stressful to work at a retail location during the holidays, but a big part of your store’s ambiance has to do with your employees’ attitudes. Make sure that service happens with a smile, and watch out for workers who seem to be getting overwhelmed. It’s better that they take a ten-minute break in the back than snap at a customer who needs assistance. This is especially important for the workers you have behind the counter and at the gift wrap station – they’ll be the last people your clients interact with, so it’s likely shoppers will remember their experience come next holiday season.