The winter holidays are a peak time for shoppers and retailers alike. While this fact doesn’t change from year to year, it doesn’t make the season any less exciting. In fact, the holiday season gives retailers countless opportunities to create a pleasant shopping experience as customers browse for gifts and prep for family get-togethers.

Holiday merchandising is all about creating a sense of nostalgia and generosity. People love the holidays because they get to gather with friends and loved ones, give and receive gifts, and enjoy the foods, smells, and songs of childhood. It’s a time for sharing, relaxing, and cozying up with your favorite people. With that in mind, the best holiday merchandising tips help customers get into this spirit. From wintry retail display ideas to customer service advice, here are our sweetest tips for holiday merchandising!

Retail Tips for Holiday Merchandising

1. Use holiday decor to appeal to the senses.

Appealing to the senses is a year-round retail best practice. But it’s extra fun when the winter holidays come around! The smells, sights, and sounds of winter make for a super cozy shopping experience customers will love, no matter what or who they’re shopping for.

2. Anticipate shoppers’ needs.

As retailers know all too well, the holidays are a stressful time. Shoppers are buying gifts and preparing for family gatherings, and everything is on a tight schedule! An out-of-stock product or long lines suddenly have much higher stakes than usual. One of the best holiday tips for retailers is to use displays, store layouts, and customer service practices to anticipate shoppers’ needs.

3. Offer special holiday deals.

What better way to ease customers’ stress and encourage purchases than by offering special holiday deals? From discounts to loyalty programs, this is the time to show your appreciation by lightening up the burden on your customers’ wallets. It’s also a way to spread generosity during the season of giving.

4. Prioritize customer service.

Cozy, nostalgic retail display ideas aren’t the only way to create a relaxing holiday shopping experience for your customers. Another important strategy is to supercharge your customer service during the winter months. This understandably puts pressure on your employees, but with the right management moves, you can have everyone feeling prepared.

Think about hosting a special winter training session focusing on problem-solving and “soft skills” such as listening and empathy. At the same time, make sure employees are educated on inventory, deals and discounts, important dates, and any other information customers might need to make big holiday shopping decisions.

5. Don’t forget about your employees!

As you can see, focusing on customer service puts a lot on the shoulders of employees. After all, they’ll be fielding customer questions and frustrations from opening til closing, and even the most seasoned retail workers are still human. It’s just as important, therefore, to focus as much on your staff’s wellbeing as your customers’ needs.

During those holiday trainings, help employees not to take things personally. Provide clear protocols to address customer issues and educate employees in de-escalation tactics. Above all, take this opportunity to spread the holiday cheer and genuinely bond with your employees. Throw a holiday party, increase or expand employee discounts, and stock the breakroom with special holiday treats. Candy Club’s winter selection is sure to have something to satisfy your staff!

6. Stock up on special treats.

Don’t let your employees hoard the holiday goodies – stock your shelves with them, too! Candy Club’s holiday selection has every kind of candy favorite, from chocolates to sours to gummies and more, all in your customers’ favorite holiday flavors. Become a Candy Club retailer today and you can treat your customers to winter goodies they won’t find anywhere else!