Before you decide to “shut down shop” for the winter, consider how many of your products could be gifts and the profits from holiday events you could host. Besides, you’ll see some of your existing customers in holiday spirit. Some of these are things I was a part of in the past and some are ideas that I have seen or heard about from other pond retailers along the way. The most important thing is to get people in the door.
- Host a winter event. Call it a “winter open house”, a “winter waterland”, a “Koi Christmas”, whatever you want to call it, but this will get people in the door.
- Create some gift ideas. Take some pond maintenance products, some fish food, a koi coffee mug, a basket with a bow on it and make a gift basket.
- Offer discounts. “Pond Kit 20% Off”
- Offer special order items. Have a list of fountains, aquatic plants, and decorations you can order for spring pick up.
- Gift cards. They are a staple for every store but why not offer something extra. “One Free Premium 4”-6” Koi in the spring with purchase of a $100 gift card.”
- Think local. People love the idea of having something made locally. Maybe you have a local artist that has something to do with ponds or nature. Or maybe you have a local author that will come in for a book signing.
The main goal is that you want people to come to your store and stay at your water garden shop. Make it inviting, put up holiday lights, put out decorations, put on holiday music. If you have a water garden display area, keep those ponds running. Change the colors of your garden pond lights to green and red, and have a fire so the kids can roast marshmallows. The longer they spend in your store, the more money they are likely to spend. But to do that, you have to find something that will set you apart from every other Christmas store. Be creative, have fun, and make some money!!!