The busy holiday season has begun as we prepare for the December rush. Rio Roses shares some marketing ideas to help you bring more of that Christmas business into your store. Online shopping is here to stay and only getting bigger. However, Christmas isn’t just about online shopping; this time of year, many people head to the stores.

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In many issues of LivRio over the past few years, we’ve spent a lot of time giving you tips to grow your online floral business. We know that online shopping is here to stay and only getting bigger. However, Christmas isn’t just about online shopping! This time of year, people head to the stores in droves, and that’s particularly true now that we’re able to get out and about more. Following are seven proven marketing ideas to help you bring more of that Christmas business into your store.

1. Be Thorough with Inventory Planning 

Work out what products to offer this season by checking last year’s holiday sales and what’s currently selling well (the past two to three months). If certain flowers were popular last year or are selling now, make sure they’re part of your Christmas inventory. However, you don’t want to only focus on what HAS sold — you also want to ensure you’re aligning with current floral trends to keep on top of customer demand. If you have questions about what’s trending, check out some of our past issues or our blog.

2. Start Hiring for the Season 

You may have already begun hiring for the holidays, but it’s time if you haven’t started yet. Let your team know you’re looking for a few seasonal workers and ask them for referrals — a great way to get new people on your team. You can also post a “We’re hiring” ad on social media and send it out in an email. Make sure to describe the type of person you’re looking for, the availability you need, and any perks of the job. Add personality to your ad so that potential seasonal hires know that your store will be a fun place to work during the holidays!

3. Plan Your Fulfillment Options 

As you know, floral delivery will be in demand during the holidays, so make sure you have enough drivers to handle it. You can partner with a local delivery service if you don’t want to hire drivers. Also, offer both in-store and curbside pickup, as this is a great option for customers who don’t want to pay for delivery. Most people will be happy to pick up their arrangement in your store, and when they do, they may see some new flowers or an arrangement that they “just have to buy.”

4. Prepare Your Promotions 

Work out your sales, promotions, and offers to give you plenty of time to prepare your shop with the necessary signage. Decide on your discounts, special offers (like gifts with purchase), and holiday bundles. Then create your signage and get it up right after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the increased traffic on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

5. Create and Display Holiday Arrangements and Gift Sets 

Once you’ve figured out your holiday arrangements and bundles and created your signage, prepare the items and have them in your store well before Thanksgiving. You don’t have to put the signs up yet, unless you want to start your promotions now (which is also a good plan). Setting everything up in your store will give it a festive Christmas feeling that will grab customers’ attention and increase your holiday orders. Plus, some customers may want to take a bundle or arrangement home with them right then and there, to give as party gifts or to display in their homes.

6. Use Emails and Text Messages to Bring in Traffic 

Emails aren’t exclusively for online offerings — they can be just as effective at bringing customers into your store. That’s especially true if you send an email for an in-store-only promotion or a special event, like a DIY workshop or holiday party. Text messaging (SMS) and instant messaging (DMs) are also great for bringing people into your store for these special promotions. So, if you haven’t set up a system to capture customer phone numbers for messaging, now is the time to do it!

7. Make Your Loyal Customers Feel Special 

Christmas is a time of giving and sharing heartfelt feelings, so let your best customers know how important they are to you. When surveyed, almost two-thirds of loyalty customers say that special treatment is important to them. So, offer your loyal customers early access to your promotions, give them exclusive gifts, and create VIP events for them. This will not only keep your relationship strong, but it will also generate excellent word of mouth for your floral business.

We hope these ideas help you make the most of your brick-and-mortar holiday business. This can be an extremely profitable time for your store, so get prepared and good luck!