Giftrap : Giftrap Nov Dec 2012
26 | Giftrap | agha.com.au ON THE COVER 2. KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR STOCK By now, you've probably attended trade fairs and chosen the products you want to sell at Christmas. You've done your research and, by the end of November, you will know exactly what works in your store and decide what stock to increase or decrease. "By then, you should have worked out your hot sellers. I'd betakingapuntonmy30to50 best sellers and buying up. It's like gambling -- I'd be putting my money into things I think are going to sell well," explains Tourgelis, adding that at the end of November, you should be finalising all your stock orders for December. Make sure you give your suppliers ample time when it comes to placing your orders, too. You can't expect them to have the products you want two weeks beforehand. In fact, during the entire Christmas period, Tourgelis is on the phone to each of his suppliers and checking stock availabilities on a daily basis. As December rolls on, keep an eye on your inventory and take note of the products that are slow to move. You may want to reorganise your store to increase their visibility or even discount stock. One week before Christmas, don't bother calling anyone for orders, as suppliers are usually closed by then, warns Tourgelis. Whatever is in your store at that time is all you've got left to sell. By then, it's no longer about what your customer wants -- it's about what you have left to offer the customer. CHECKLIST • Do your research for Christmas at the trade fairs • Take note of your best- and worst-selling products • Buy stock early • Keep in touch with your suppliers L LINDA HATTERSLEY, URBAN BABY Don't be all about your products on social media. Discuss topics your customers are interested in to foster discussion. The more you work on building that community, the more you'll be at the forefront of their minds during Christmas. CASE STUDY A merry Click-mas with Urban Baby It's been more than ten years since Linda Hattersley and Christine Thompson met at a mothers' group and decided to set up online clothing store Urban Baby together. However, Hattersley admits the 'manic' pace of Christmas time still comes as a shock each year. "Our sales usually double during Christmas, so we have orders sitting up and down in the aisles of our warehouse. We have a lot of new stock coming in that we're constantly trying to put away," says Hattersley, laughing. "Then we have orders waiting for products to arrive and we have other orders being picked up every day. We also have double the staff working with us and the phone is ringing constantly!" From October to November, around 10,000 Urban Baby items will be sold, Hattersley predicts. "It's our real growth spurt for the year," she says. In the lead-up to Christmas, Urban Baby launches its e-marketing campaigns and the store's email newsletters are increased from fortnightly to weekly. Each mail-out highlights a di erent gi suggestion for di erent market segments, Hattersley explains. The Urban Baby team also ramps up their social media engagement during Christmas, showcasing their latest products and encouraging customers to share their own photos and stories on Facebook. This year, the team has signed up to Pinterest and will be pinning images of Christmas arts and cra activities, as well as their top gi ideas. "Take advantage of the Christmas season, because that's when people are online and shopping -- don't let it slip by. Be prepared with adequate stock levels and connect with your customers on social media," advises Hattersley. "Don't be all about your products on social media. Discuss topics that your customers are interested in to foster a real discussion. The more you work on building a community, the more you'll be at the forefront of their minds at Christmas." L Christine Thompson (L) and Linda Hattersley (R) of online clothing retailer Urban Baby.
Giftrap Jan Feb 2013