You should be receiving the last of the winter-related apparel (snow, waterproof street riding apparel and casual holiday apparel) now. You should also be putting final touches on setting new displays. Holiday-focused displays should be set now because customers are starting to shop early, looking for the newest products or good deals. Consider promoting a layaway to your customers to encourage early purchases and cash payoffs. Additionally for snowbelt dealers, try to find some space for a little bit of street-related riding products for holiday sales. Street riding customers have spring on their minds, and winter is a great time to upgrade those bikes or riding gear.
Do a major cleaning before your reset displays, and also take a breath. You and your employees worked hard this last season; allow you and your staff to have fun making over the showroom.
Things to do in October:
- Steam clean the carpet.
- Have any windows or glass cleaned because low fall sun makes dirty glass stick out.
- Take down all summer related products, signs and graphics.
- Clean all glass showcases and set them up with electronics.
- Put all the newest products front and center.
- Redress all your mannequins or start using mannequins.
- Make a nice, neat sale rack in the back of the store or PG&A department.
- Make sure you look at all visual details to the store and freshen up.
- Plan and budget at least two fliers to mail, handout and post on Facebook about your new products. Get your message out because customers do not have ESP of what your store is doing.
Things to do in November:
- Keep displays fresh.
- Put the newest items in the best locations.
- Make sure your products are really cool!
- Start to add holiday décor, and make sure by Thankgiving your store says, “For the holidays, buy with us!”
- Have a Black Friday special. It could be one product or a group of products.
- Sell, sell, sell! Make every effort to talk to all customers and give them a happy vibe.
- Be the best place to shop, powersports retailer or not, and go for it!
- If your store has a limited budget, think about setting up a drop-ship, so customers can order products through you and have them sent to their doors or their recipients’ doors. They will love this!
- Fun and simple is the secret to winning more sales.
Things to do in December:
- Play holiday music. (I know it gets annoying, but it’s for less than a month, so deal with it.)
- Dress up on the weekends. Wear tacky holiday sweaters, elf costumes, or whatever. Make it fun at your store!
- Stand out from other retailers. Consider serving hot cider or coco every Saturday.
- Mark down winter items while the products are still in people’s minds. You never want to wait until the end of the season to mark down seasonal products. By then, people won’t care. Get the most cash now!
- Find ways to package unsold products with some other related product, so you can get these items sold.
December is a great time to get aggressive with your parts and accessories products and restart the effort to bring in customers for the holidays. Don’t underestimate the power of holiday shopping and how your store can benefit from this time of year. It’s not just about setting up a Christmas tree and decorating and hoping people come in. It’s really working it as an entire store. Make personal phone calls to customers and invite them to see your new products. Every store staff member is probably capable of making 20 calls in a month. Send out fliers, or post a lot of photos of products and the store dressed up on Facebook; it works!
Just don’t give in; there is no reason for any powersports dealer to be completely slow in the winter unless they are not making any effort. It’s your share of the pie; go get it!