QUICK! Before the lessons of Christmas 2010 fade from your memory, take time to capture the high points AND the low points in writing. This will be invaluable when you’re preparing for Christmas 2011!
o Write down what happened over the past six weeks – whether successful or not. This will serve as a guide for what to do, what to improve and what to put out with the cat litter when planning for future holidays/sales.
o Depending on your preference, create a “Christmas 2010” file manually or on your computer. It doesn’t really matter – just choose the one you’re most likely to work with and to update.
o Write down the specifics of what worked and what didn’t this season. Include any thoughts on why it did or didn’t. Could any of the “did nots” be salvaged with a different approach? After all, you must have had a reason for using that particular idea in the first place. On the other hand, if you don’t see that “didn’t” turning into a big positive – THEN DISCARD IT.
Take a long thoughtful look at the following areas as objectively as possible:
MARKETING – the engine that drives sales.
– Which marketing efforts worked and which didn’t? Why?
– Were some efforts semi-successful? Could they be improved with tweaking?
– Which will you repeat and which should you drop?
– Did you do ENOUGH marketing?
– What did you miss that can be added next year?
STAFF – the face of your company.
– Did you have enough staff on the floor to serve the holiday shoppers?
– Did you hire too soon or not soon enough?
– Who would you hire back? Who will you avoid?
– Was your staff properly trained or could improvements be made?
– How was your scheduling – for both slow and busy times?
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – Happy shoppers spend more and they come back
– What made it fun to shop in your store?
– Which merchandise displays did customers react to?
– Did you add special touches that customers really loved?
– Did you miss any chances to deliver an amazing experience?
– Did customers leave happy with their “perfect finds”?
MERCHANDISE – The key to a profitable Christmas: the right amount of the right items.
– Run your reports and count your customers’ votes. (Your POS software can do that – right?)
– Did you have enough of your best sellers?
– What merchandise did you miss out on?
– What did you learn about your customers’ tastes and trends?
– What was surprising to you about what customers bought this year?
– What were the best price points, colors, sizes and categories?
– How would you adjust your merchandise assortment next year?
You may think of other things or areas that would be beneficial for your store. Include them! The Most Important Thing is that you DO it. Then put your recap someplace where you’ll find it as you plan for next Christmas! Learning from the past is a great way to ensure a successful future.
Happy New Year!