Promotional appearances by beloved characters, whether that be a Disney princess, the Easter Bunny, or more appropriately for the holiday season, Santa Claus, can be a great way to get attention to your store. Any kid walking by with their parents will drag mom and dad into your store for a closer look at Santa. Does this up your odds of them making a purchase? Is it worth the extra funds to hire these characters?
According to Thumbtack.com, a site that delivers customized quotes so you can compare pricing, read reviews, and hire the right professional for the job, Santa’s hourly rate goes for approximately $137.50. While you may get lucky and have unexpected visitors make a purchase thanks to a jolly Santa, you may also just increase your traffic without increasing your sales, hurting your daily conversion rate. So if you do decide to cover this expense around the holidays, make it count and have a plan.
Create a marketing campaign around the event. This doesn’t have to be anything major, but sending out a message to your email list and promoting it in your store in the days leading up will make sure your devoted customers are the first to know about Santa’s visit. Perhaps Santa will randomly pull coupons out of his bag or a small free gift. If your customers know they have the possibility of receiving a discount, they are more likely to visit your store and actually make a purchase.
Hire a good Santa. Nobody wants to stop by and visit a cranky Santa Claus. Thumbtack offers a few tips to ensure you hire the best Santa for the job:
- Safety First: Because Santa’s typically deal with children, safety is extra important. Consider a service that will run a criminal background check, ask for a list of references and reach out to them, and collect any insurance policies.
- Happy Santa Equals Happy Shoppers: Beyond a clean record and good reviews, you’ll want to make sure you think your Santa is a good fit. Reach out to them for a call, or even better, an in-person interview, to make sure they are a positive and outgoing choice. They should be excited to meet new people, be great with children, and really get into the holiday spirit.
- Experience is Best: Finding a Santa with years of experience can make a big difference in the experience your shoppers will have. He’ll know how to handle difficult or fearful children, how to work with overprotective parents and how to make sure everyone has a wonderful time. Plus, more experience equals more references for you to check out to help you make your decision.
So will having a promotional character in your store make or break your sales? Probably not! But offering shoppers a unique experience, turning it into a marketing opportunity and going above and beyond for your patrons could leave you with some increased traffic this holiday season, and hopefully some increased sales!