Merchandising & Cross-Selling to Maximize Holiday Sales

Merchandising & Cross-Selling to Maximize Holiday Sales

As specialty retailers gear up for the holiday selling season, there are a number of areas to prepare and fine-tune with your salespeople before the rush in order to maximize sales opportunities. A well-merchandised store combined with pro-active, helpful salespeople can help increase the average sale per transaction while strengthening the relationship between your shop and your customers.

• Use product displays and creative packaging to help sell related products
If you’re selling a surfboard or SUP, make sure that there’s a display with a board along with all of the related items nearby (leash, fins, traction, etc.). Don’t assume that your customer knows all of the needed add-ons—make it EASY for them to see what to buy in addition to the initial/core purchase. How about putting together a gift box of related items for a beginning surfer or paddler or filling a stocking with impulse/low-cost items such as holiday cards, books, videos, CD’s and boxed items?

• Maximize exposure and sales of store private label products
Private label goods are the most profitable/highest margin items in the store. Ensure that these goods are prominently displayed and merchandised throughout the store. Use these items as incentives to boost sales of high-end items—i.e. buy a new surfboard between now & Christmas Eve, and receive a FREE shop sweatshirt!

• Promote the use of gift certificates/cards
Display these prominently near the cash register, as an add-on/impulse item. Ensure that the salesperson asks each customer if they need gift certificates while ringing up a purchase. Make the process smooth and quick.

• Fine-tune the cross-selling techniques of your salespeople
Don’t let your customers walk out with just one item—especially if there are related products for the item sold. If someone is buying a new surfboard or paddleboard, the salesperson should also be educating them on the various types of leashes, traction, wax and more—without appearing pushy or forceful. Role-playing such scenarios with your sales team can greatly increase sales.

Ensure that you as a specialty retailer are providing the best VALUE, amazing customer SERVICE and shopping/buying CONVENIENCE while creating an amazing retail EXPERIENCE at all times! Sales during the month of December play a huge role in the annual success (and profitability) of every retailer. Taking the time to creatively merchandise your store while fine-tuning the techniques of your salespeople will generate increases for the holiday season and well into the New Year!

Happy Holidays and Mele Kalikimaka!

About the author: Dave Seehafer is an industry analyst for Global Wave Ventures, a Cocoa Beach, FL- and San Clemente, CA-based brand management and special retail consulting firm for the action sports industry. For more information on how to improve your holiday sales, call 949-466-4110 or