Try to imagine yourself out and about during the holiday season. The streets are lined with dozens of people, shuffling in and out of stores, their arms filled with packages and bags. There is the smell of Christmas and the holidays in the air and in every store and everything is decorated.

In front of you are two stores. They both contain the hard-to-find gift item that you have yet to check off your list. Both of them have the item at roughly the same price.

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The one on the left has not bothered to decorate for the holidays. Sullen employees in non-holiday clothing just walk around and look bored. Right next to that the other store is filled with wreaths, trees, and garlands. There is holiday music blaring from a speaker and when the door opens you can smell holiday-type scents.

Which store are you more likely to walk into?

Holiday decorations matter

Getting people into your business during the all-important holiday season is all about marketing. How do you set yourself apart from the rest of the competition? This is especially true for the smaller, independent stores as they compete against the larger stores. What sets you apart?

Studies have been done about this very thing and, overwhelmingly, they show that more than likely you are going to walk into the store that has the decorations. There is something about the warm feeling that comes over shoppers and customers when they see holiday decorations that cause them to want to step inside and look around. More importantly, these customers tend to want to buy. Sure, there are plenty of people who want to complain about how early the decorations go up, but their spending habits show they prefer them.

The studies have shown that stores and businesses decorated for the holiday create a positive feeling in customers. They feel more at home. They are happier and more likely to buy gifts for those they are shopping for and for themselves.

Decorating includes all of the standard things you might think of such as trees, wreaths and garland, but it is also other more subtle things. For example, the holiday music track set low and in the background has an almost subliminal effect on people. Having the right holiday scents also affect mood and even encourages spending. Studies have demonstrated that the smell of citrus can stimulate spending.

During the holidays, retailers make anywhere from 20% – 40% of their entire yearly income. A successful holiday season lays the groundwork for the rest of the year and a bad season can set a very dark tone.


All businesses can benefit

Of course, holiday decorating goes beyond just retail destinations, although that’s probably the most obvious. But if you run a restaurant, hotel or another type of business, the right holiday decorations can make your establishment a destination spot. Restaurants and other venues can host holiday parties for offices, businesses or families.

A great display gets word-of-mouth buzz. By arranging your products around your display, it can encourage spending. Sometimes a particularly special holiday display is the kind of thing the local media likes to cover during the shopping season, helping provide you with instant coverage. Most importantly, the holiday decorations work on a personal level for each shopper, affecting them in subtle ways that make them likely to spend more time in your store or building and that can lead to more sales.

Employees benefit too

Of course, holiday cheer goes beyond just the customers. Happy employees lead to better customer service and better customer service leads to a more effective holiday season. It’s been shown that holiday decorating and holiday cheer puts employees in a better mood, too. When that happens, you get customers that are happier and more likely to recommend your business to their friends.

Creating the right atmosphere means having the right decorations for your space. Having the right holiday display that does not overwhelm or create a negative effect is key.


Decorating takes planning

Of course, to get the right holiday decorations for your company you have to plan ahead. You want those customers to start pouring in right around Thanksgiving. That means having a plan that puts the trees and the decorations up fast so that it can start having that positive effect on customers. That requires careful planning.

By planning months in advance, you can ensure that the decorations get out to your business at just the right time, and get set up quickly to have the maximum impact on customers and business. So, rather than waiting at the last minute, it makes sense to get it all sorted even now.

By planning ahead and establishing a schedule for when the holiday display gets installed, you can take a major step towards planning a more positive holiday season. Of course, just having a few decorations up is no guarantee of success, but every advantage has to be considered when looking for that competitive advantage.

If you want to discuss your company’s holiday planning efforts, call on the Ambius holiday decorators. We will work with you to create the right plan and the right decorations for you today.