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10:03 PM   April 27, 2015
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How to Capitalize on Increased Traffic During the Holidays

With the trees now bare and the season’s first measurable snowfall in the books here in the Northeast, my focus has turned solely to the upcoming holiday shopping season. Recent economic indicators raise hope that the worst of the economic slowdown is behind us. While the hustle and bustle of the season is welcome, there is nothing more frustrating than having dozens and dozens of single- item sales over the course of a day. Here are some pointers to ensure a healthy and robust holiday season:

1. Variety: Holiday-themed treats are a must for customers looking for stocking stuffers for their dogs. Having a variety of different holiday shapes (e.g., snowmen, reindeer, wreaths, Christmas trees, gingerbread men, etc.) helps ensure multiple item sales. Also, having a variety of different biscuit flavors (e.g., peanut butter, chicken, sweet potato, etc.) entices customers to buy more than one biscuit.

2. Gift Certificates: Many times, customers are looking to buy something for a friend’s dog. Based on the breed of the dog and its age, you should certainly make suggestions to the customer on what to buy. However, don’t forget to suggest a gift certificate. With a gift certificate, the owner of the dog must come into your store to redeem it. More times than not, the final sale will be for much more than the face value of the gift certificate. Make sure your gift certificates are unique and you package them nicely. I use tissue paper and paw-print cello bags to package my gift certificates.

3. Mannequins: While there is nothing that increases the likelihood of a sale more than a customer bringing in their dog for a custom fitting, it is not always possible--especially for busy, last-minute shoppers. Having a variety of different sized doggie mannequins in the store is the next best thing. Bringing the coat, sweater or doggie T-shirt to life by putting it on a like-sized mannequin provides a visual that makes a sale more likely than it would otherwise be folded nicely on a display table.

4. Holiday Vibe: Decorate your store. Put on holiday music. Have a holiday event for your customers and their dogs. Put them in a cheery mood to buy something for their best friend. If you make an impression on them during the holidays, they are more likely to return to your store for other holidays or special events.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

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