There’s always a shock that comes when the air is still warm, yet retailers have already begun stocking for the holidays. Some, including Target, already had Christmas merchandise on the shelves in September. While you don’t have to set up a Christmas tree in your dealership yet, preparations for the holidays should be underway.
Black Friday is only 51 days away; Hanukah follows 66 days from now, and Christmas is a mere 83 days away. The holidays are upon us. As soon as the weather gets crisp and people start seeing holiday ware in other retailers, they’re going to start checking off their shopping lists.
To prepare for the holidays, dealers need to think about stocking, merchandising and marketing. Stock up on items that would make great gifts for all types of riders at a variety of price points. Think also about items such as stocking stuffers and packages of similar items (heated socks and gloves or a variety of bike cleaners, for example).
Also, the look of the store should be considered. If your dealership screams Christmas, people will think harder about shopping your store versus others for gifts. Consider everything from the decorations inside and out and the ambiance, including music, smells and more.
A dealership also has to work hard to market itself as a holiday shopping destination. When thinking holidays, customers easily turn to department stores and mall shops, but landing on a powersports dealership may take more persuasion. Think about reaching out not only to your core audience but also a more general audience, as those are the people who may be shopping for your traditional customers.
Your staff should also be prepared to push the holiday vibe, from the way they answer the phone, to which products they talk about when customers are in the store. They should be trained about which products make good gifts and kept informed about upcoming holiday sales.
The holidays are sneaking up quickly. They’re not here yet, so you still have time to prepare, but make sure you’re on your A game because capturing those holiday dollars can be beneficial to your Q4 and beyond.
Need more help preparing for the holidays? Check out these stories and blogs that have run previously in Powersports Business or on PowersportsBusiness.com:
Make shopping your dealership easier – Tips for how to create gift lists for customers.
Black Friday sales rise for dealers who opened – An ADP Lightspeed study of 2011 Black Friday sales
Prepare for customers as the holidays approach – Advice from Tucker Rocky’s Jennifer Robison on how to merchandise your dealership for the holidays
Liz Hochstedler is the associate editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s twice-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis and dealership conference, Profit Xcelerator.