Accessorize: January is No Time to Relax
As part of the planning process, retailers will quickly learn that there are four large groups of shoppers visiting their stores in January — the gift card shopper, the accessory shopper, the returns shopper and the clearance shopper. While the gift card market is huge, your marketing department can maximize sales and profits by individually targeting each of the four shopper groups. Products and promotions may overlap between shopping groups, but each group’s buy trigger may be very different.
Let’s address each shopping group separately.
1. The Gift Card Shopper
This shopper is looking for all the cool products, gadgets and merchandise that were hot during the holiday selling season. Expect them to be looking for tablet computers, smartphones, large-screen TVs, cool kitchen items or hot clothing styles. They are expecting to see these items promoted and available in stores and do not want to hear that the retailer is sold out and will not be in stock soon.
Preparation and planning is paramount in targeting gift card shoppers. A reasonable amount of hot merchandise should be bought and held for advertising after the holidays. This will entice customers back to your stores with their gift cards firmly in hand. It is great to be known as the store that has hot products when the customer wants to buy them, especially when the competition has sold out.
Retailers, on the other hand, hope that all of their holiday purchases have been sold through. While it appears that the retailer and shopper have different goals, the customer is king and the retailer must create a facade of being full and “in stock.”