With this year’s holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you plan to make the busiest time of the year a success. Studies show that 40% of sales during the six weeks prior to Christmas are a result of retail purchases: this is not something you want miss out on. Though retail sales are at their highs during the last few weeks of the year, they don’t generate themselves. Promoting bulk coffee and retail coffee sales is key during this time of the year. One great way to do this is by hosting a pre-holiday open house to showcase upcoming seasonal features to your customers.
Begin promoting your pre-holiday open house in October, with a plan to hold the event in early November. This gives your customers time to become aware of the event. A few weeks prior to the event, have employees remind customers of the time and date as they come in each day. Also, advertise your event details with signage near the entrance so everyone sees it as they come and go. Lastly, be sure to post it on your shop’s website, social media page and online community calendars. Today, social media is the easiest way to reach out to your whole customer base, so it is critical to have all details and updates posted on Facebook and/or Twitter. While promoting, consider mentioning free samples and giveaways and/or raffles which will take place at the event to help encourage your customers to attend.
So, what do pre-holiday open houses usually consist of? As mentioned before, this is a great time to emphasize your bulk bean program. Let guests know that a retail bag makes a perfect stocking-stuffer or a gift basket item. Also, this time of the year people tend to do a lot of entertaining, whether it is hosting holiday parties or hosting relatives. A fresh roasted retail bag of coffee or two would certainly be a great accessory to have! An open house is also a great time to introduce your upcoming seasonal features to customers. If you plan to bring in seasonal coffees, arrange for samples to be available at this time, and brew a few pots so your customers can taste test what you plan to bring in. This allows you to receive feedback, as well as collect preorders for customers who don’t want to miss out on your limited time offer. If you’re a bakery, consider having apple pie or other baked goods available so customers can sample and preorder their baked goods to pick up the week of Thanksgiving! The main objective of any pre-holiday open house is to get your customers excited about the upcoming holiday features you will be offering, while also convincing them to come to your store, as opposed to competitors, during the season.
This is also a fantastic way to show your appreciation for your regular customers. Business aside, an open house get-together is a perfect opportunity to have fun in a laid back environment and to say “thank you” to the people who generate a large portion of your sales. Let them know that this is not something that is designed to pressure them in to buying more, but a time to relax while enjoying a friendly, entertaining atmosphere with you, the shop owner. Nothing grows business better than strengthening relationships with customers.
Stockton Graham & Co.’s founder and former owner of multiple retail coffee shops, Jeff Vojta, said he would always hold a pre-holiday open house during this time of the year. “There is no better way to make your customers aware of what seasonal products you will be offering, and promote your retail program while it’s at it’s highest potential”, said Vojta. The fourth quarter is the most critical quarter of the year for all coffee shop owners, so make sure you are doing what it takes so help your 2012 go out with a bang! Happy Holidays!
For more information or other seasonal tips, call your Stockton Graham & Co. customer care associate at 1800.835.5943 today!