Sales Call up disappointed customers who didn’t get their wish-list items and offer them the piece (especially if it’s an item that didn’t sell well) at a discount.
Management Avoid the January lull by giving associates the power to bend the rules for returns. Consider a distinctive return policy, like 110 percent back on gift items if the customer accepts a store credit rather than a cash or credit card refund (limited to holiday items).
Marketing Valentine’s Day is a huge date for jewelers, but many do little more than highlight their heart pendant display. This year, alternate your marketing between bridal and fashion jewelry beginning this week. Devise a “bridal bag” with wedding band certificate, jewelry cleaner, coupons from local bridal vendors, and a free gift certificate to get the bride in your store.
Strategy A belated resolution: Keep an ongoing record of promotions. Take a few minutes to note what you did each time and how well it worked; you’ll be more effective in the future.
Staff Launch a Saturday sales contest: Beat the Boss. Sell more than the boss, get a reward.
Advertising Review how your advertising performed during the holiday season and create a plan for 2017. Is it time to find a new agent, try a new channel, tweak your core message, or target a new demographic? Be sure to include at least one marketing experiment this year.
Strategy Spend some personal quality time with your POS. What’s trending up and down? What’s happening to your gross margins by department and category? What’s driving the changes? Are they due to shifting demand, your inventory, or other internal factors?
Marketing Input the names you gathered over the holiday season. Think of a spiff to encourage employees to collect email addresses of customers throughout the year.
accountinG Review your strategy for paying vendors. Elizabeth Blair (pictured), owner of Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls in Harbor Springs, MI, says that paying vendors early not only earns her special rates, she gets special consideration when she needs a big favor.
INVENTORY It’s time for a task most jewelers dread: physical inventory. Scan every item into your POS software. Check with your insurer to ensure your inventory is current with what’s listed on your policy.
Website Add a sign-up option on your website for customers to receive news, updates or promotions. Provide each employee with a personalized e-mail address for customer communications. And update the copyright date on your site to 2017.
Finances Set up a tracking system to record payments and tax ID information for any outside contractors you’ll employ during the year. That will help make filing 1099 forms less of a headache next year.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of INSTORE.