Some tips to help retailers get the most out of the Christmas rush:

 The key thing about retail is that your customers come to you. They need to be able to find you easily, and you need to convince them to buy from you, and not from the next shop or website. Here are some pointers on how to encourage them:

1. Work out where your target market can be found.

Customers come in all shapes and sizes, but what description fits the ones that give you most business? Men, women, children? What age? What spending power? What sorts of jobs do they do? Once you’ve worked out who they are, you can think about how you can reach them, or else they might congregate, and target your marketing accordingly.

2. Let your customers know that you’re there.

Think carefully about where and how your target market learns about where they can buy the things that they want or need – whether an advert in the local paper or a glossy magazine is more likely to be seen by them. Also think about who else sells to the same demographic as you, and where there’s no conflict of interests, try to make some partnerships where you agree to promote one another.

3. Make them want to buy.

Once you’ve got the prospective customer to come to you, make sure that you have your goods attractively laid out so that it is easy for them to find what they’re looking for. On a website, it is particularly important that products are well described, and that the pricing is clear. In a shop, access should be uncluttered, shelves should be easy to reach, and prices clearly displayed, when appropriate. In addition, try to apply some of the same psychology used by supermarkets: try putting the stuff that people regularly buy, (like the bread and milk!), at the back so that people have to walk past your other goods to get what they came in for, and impulse purchases by the tills.

Retail advice taken from Getting Down to Business, section ‘Getting Into Retail’

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles,