Retail is a vastly different animal in the winter. In the eyewear sector, particularly where sunglasses are concerned, it is easy to fall into the mindset that sales will be slow until spring. Yet that is not the kind of mindset that is going to help your business continue to grow.
Winter is not an off-season for sunglasses. It is just a different season. So embrace it for what it is and go out there and get those sales. To get you pointed in the right direction, we have compiled a list of five truisms of retailing sunglasses during the winter. Enjoy!
1. Sunglasses Are Great for Gift-Giving
We associate the winter season with gift-giving. Between Christmas and Valentine's Day, this short stretch of just a couple of months has retail customers running back and forth looking for great gift ideas for their loved ones. Sunglasses should be on every shopper's list.
Sunglasses are perfect for gift-giving because everyone wears them. Your customers do not have to question their purchases for the simple fact that eye protection against the sun is a universal need. So it is not a matter of whether recipients will wear their sunglasses or not; it's simply a matter of finding the right pair for each person on the shopping list.
2. Gift Certificates Work Well
As long as we are talking about gift-giving, did you know that gift certificates work very well for selling sunglasses? They do. It all boils down to style and fashion. For example, Joe may not have a good handle on Mary's preferences for fashion sunglasses, but that's okay. He can buy her a gift certificate and let her go choose the perfect style for herself. Gift certificates eliminate the fashion eyewear guessing game.
3. Durability Is More Important in Winter
We tend to associate the winter season with harsher weather. As such, the retail customer’s mindset traditionally shifts way from fashion and more toward durability. Fashion is still important, but customers want sunglasses they perceive as being capable of withstanding brutal temperatures, stiff winds, and the punishment of outdoor activities ranging from downhill skiing to sledding with the kids.
4. Constant Promotions Aren't Necessary
Retailers are so used to ongoing promotions by the time the Christmas shopping season ends that they mistakenly believe they have to continue those promotions into January and February. Not so. Sunglasses sell very well during the winter months even when you are not offering 50% off or declaring that "everything must go."
Rather than focusing on promotions to move your inventory, focus on engaging with your customers. Be personable and welcoming. Ask questions to learn more about their tastes and preferences. Show an interest in them and they will show an interest in your products.
5. Brown Tints Are Better Than Gray and Black
Finally, brown tints are better than black or gray for winter sunglasses. Why? Because brown does a better job of filtering out blue light and providing contrast. Sunglasses with brown lenses provide a clearer, sharper image on bleak winter days when direct sunlight is hard to come by.
This is the time of year to push those brown tints that may not do well the rest of the year. They also represent an opportunity to showcase your knowledge while simultaneously giving your customers a product they will truly appreciate.
The winter season offers plenty of opportunities to sell sunglasses at retail. So don't accept the notion of a down season. Embrace the winter selling season as different, but no less important than the rest of the year.