Signs point to happy holidays for flea marketers, as many retailers anticipate solid sales growth for the upcoming holiday season. With 60 percent of retailers expecting more than 10 percent growth in revenue Q4, according to the 2013 Holiday Predictions Survey, the season represents a huge opportunity for flea market vendors. Making it easy on customers, relevant products and holiday tie-ins, starting with Halloween and continuing right up to Christmas, will be key. Here are some ways you can help improve sales.
Varied paying options for buyers
Offering payments options beyond cash will likely play a bigger role in driving sales this year. According to the latest data and projections from eMarketer, mobile payments will top $1 billion in the U.S. for 2013. This year’s milestone is the anticipated precursor to mobile payments reaching $58 billion by 2017. These days processing credit card transactions in the field is as simple as downloading a mobile payment app to your smartphone or tablet. Wireless credit card processing is another tried and true option for anyone who conducts business at the markets. According to credit processing leaders, wireless is flexible, reduces operating expenses and saves time. Wireless credit card terminals are lightweight and compact, and easily slip into a pocket.
Coupons and Flash Sales
Another viable way retailers plan to attract shoppers this holiday buying season will be with coupons and flash sales, sales promotions that expire quickly. We see this online constantly. Consumers are conditioned more than ever to seek more for the dollar. To drive traffic and encourage repeat customers, consider sharing coupons for use during the holidays with your shoppers around Halloween. Another hint to building loyalty and repeat business it to collect your shoppers’ contact info year round, and promote timely offers with a personal touch.
“Shop Local” trend… get active!
With the push in many communities to support local shopping in order to improve the local economy, it is a key time for your business to get to know the local shopper. Do a little research and find out what is going on in your community and what types of folks are coming regularly to your market – young singles, families, seniors. Also, find out what your market owner is doing to advertise locally and get involved. Know the types of shoppers in your area and build your merchandise line around trending items as well as surefire sellers for the target buyers.
When it comes to appealing to niche groups, there are specific behaviors to be aware of, says Bill McNulty, publisher of the Merchandiser Group magazines’ sister publication, Independent Retailer. McNulty, who spoke to retailers at ASD Las Vegas in August, offered the following overview of the four distinct groups.
- Millennials, born between 1982 and 2000: Ninety percent of millennials use the Internet regularly, need the opinions of others to make purchases and are inclined to do things in groups. By 2017, millennials will have more spending power than any other generation in history. Promote your business through twitter and Instagram. Millennials’ time and attention are at a premium, but they know how to make use of 140 characters and a camera phone to express their preferences.
- Generation X, born between 1960 and 1981: The vast majority uses the Internet regularly, loves to research prior to making a purchase and mistrusts large institutions, the latter of which bodes well for flea market vendors. Reach this group through Facebook, by offering promotions, and sharing others’ ideas and posts, and information that adds value.
- Baby Boomers, born between 1943 and 1960: Once again, the vast majority uses the Internet and texts. Boomers are not as concerned with price as they are about value. First impression is vital and, once won over, this group remains loyal.
- Seniors, over 70 years old: Some 40 percent of this group use the Internet. They are willing to travel for good service and are very loyal. Offer this group a clean environment and ample parking, gifts, coupons and loyalty programs.
Engage the Senses
Another great way to appeal to shoppers is to offer them experiences that online buying could never deliver. Delight their senses with the aroma of peppermint stick, holiday themed lights and poinsettia plants, hot chocolate with marshmallows and traditional music, for example. If your market sponsors special events, such as photos with Santa Claus, that is even better. Customers can be very loyal, especially where personalized service and a fun experience are concerned.
Shopping behavior has changed dramatically, presenting new dynamics for flea marketers year round. Still, the holidays offer vendors a wealth of opportunities to cash in on face-to-face interaction, customer service and targeted sales. An array of payment options, an entertaining environment, and good products at good values add up to increased profits for you this holiday season.
For more holiday sales tips, click here.