Increasing Sales During and After the Holiday Rush
It’s no secret that fishing tackle sales are largely seasonal by nature. So most retailers look for every opportunity to capitalize on key selling opportunities that exist outside of the normal fishing season. For most, that means doubling down during the holidays.
Peak gift buying is happening right now. Hopefully, you have a solid inventory – including all of the new St. Croix products – well displayed and organized to capitalize on the increased traffic. Here are a few tips to consider that can help maximize your pre- and post-holiday sales.
Up Your AUR
Generally, anglers display less price sensitivity during the holidays. Many are looking for premium products the moment they step in the door. Why? They may be looking for a specific, high-end item that someone on their list really wants, or they may be looking for a gift in a certain category for a loved one – a fishing rod, perhaps – and they want to make sure they get them a premium item. Others may not know exactly what they want. In any case, understand that this is the best time of year to get customers to step up to more-premium products. Chalk it up to what’s commonly called The Holiday Spirit, which should directly translate to a higher Average Unit Ring for your store.
Be ready to capitalize. Have high-AUR products well displayed and easy to shop. Train your floor team to show customers the best tools for the job first. That means starting with premium items first, then moving down the price scale if necessary. Remember, the customer you are talking with is likely already in a premium-product mindset.
New Often Wins
While holiday shoppers are often looking for the greatest, they are also looking for the latest. Something that’s “new” holds increased value and appeal for the gift recipient, and the same holds true for the customer standing right in front of you. Your team can use this to its advantage in almost any sales situation, whether that’s upselling someone to a new Legend Xtreme who came into the store looking for a Legend Tournament, or steering a customer towards a new Avid Trek after they had been looking at two-piece Premier models. In both of these examples, each rod meets the customer’s needs, but the higher-priced rod wins – either because it’s a step up, because it’s new, or both.
Give Anglers Something They Can’t Find Anywhere Else
You’ve likely already cracked the code on rod and reel combos. You know which combos sell and which ones don’t. But we’ve already established that this time of year is different. So, consider assembling your own mid-to-high-end St. Croix combos that your customers won’t find anywhere else. A customer looking to buy a fishing rod as a gift – regardless of the price-point – may or may not be planning to also purchase a reel… until they see the rod they are looking for assembled and displayed with a well-matched reel. The mindset becomes value added, even if they aren’t actually saving a penny off the regular retail price of both items. Perhaps it’s a bit more than they wanted to spend, but there it is before them… all ready to go. They didn’t have to labor over a choice because it has been expertly made for them. The bonus is that they can disassemble the combo and wrap the rod and reel separately, which means double the joy and excitement for both themselves and the recipient. Add a spool of premium, matched line and the deal appears even sweeter.
After the Holidays
You can expect at least two things happen after the holidays. Both are significant opportunities, so be ready.
The first is that regular customers will show up in your store with Christmas money to spend. This a great opportunity to spend time continuing to build relationships and trust with your loyal anglers. Of course, it’s also a great time to follow the advice we’ve outlined above with respect to showing them the premium items, new products, and one-off combo packages that will elevate their experiences on the water.
The second is that you will see new customers with returns. Make the most of this incredible opportunity by first understanding the reason for the return. Your ultimate goal should be converting them into a new customer. You know how to do that; smile, listen, and when the time is right, offer your expertise and suggestions. Simply put, offer great service.
This valuable face-to-face communication during the return process is going to provide key information on how you can save the sale, or even convert a return to an upsale. More times than not, these anglers are simply bringing a rod back because they want a different length, power or action, or perhaps they are returning a spinning rod because they really wanted a casting model. Be ready to show them exactly what they want in a premium St. Croix series that will perform better and create better experiences on the water than the rod they are returning. For example, if they are returning a $150 Mojo Bass model, they may be eager to upgrade to the performance advantages of a Made-in-the-USA Avid or Avid-X model. Why wouldn’t they? It’s only costing them $60 or $70. The angler leaves happy, and you have gained a new customer.
The holiday rush is your best opportunity of the year to increase your AUR. Be ready to offer your customers a broad selection of well-merchandised, premium products that will enhance the experiences of the loved-ones they’re buying for. Consider including premium combos they won’t find anywhere else.
Meanwhile, the post-holiday rush is your best opportunity to earn the trust of new customers who have never been in before. Maybe they are returning a pair of boots they received as a gift that are the wrong size. Whatever the reason for their visit, it’s a gift to you, so listen carefully and get them exactly what they need while making sure they understand everything your store offers. Even if you don’t make an additional sale at the time, treat them well and they’ll most certainly be back.