We’re coming up on our 2nd year selling Christmas trees, and there are a few things we learned in our first year that we want to be sure to incorporate or improve upon for our 2nd season.
Selling Christmas trees is a lot of work, but its rewarding and enjoyable.
With any business, location is important. Since we’re selling trees from our farm property, we’re somewhat stuck with the location, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give location and layout more consideration.
Proximity to Customers
Most tree lots try to set up in a populated or high traffic area. We’re doing something a little bit different, and we’re trying to draw people to our rural farm. What this means is that we’re probably not going to sell thousands of trees from our lot. We’re OK with this, since our main goal is to introduce people to our farm and offer a good family-oriented farm experience. In the coming years, the trees we’re growing will be ready to harvest, and we’ll be inviting families to choose and cut their own trees from our property.
There are a number of considerations related to the Christmas tree lot layout. For one, think about accessibility and proximity to parking. The most convenient place for trees on our property is a little bit of a walk from our parking area. This means we’ll be using additional equipment and staff to help shuttle trees to customer’s vehicles.
Another consideration for the layout is for the actual trees. Do you want straight rows, or a maze, or some other random pattern? Think about the experience you want to provide, and how you want customers to navigate your tree lot. We went for a somewhat random appearance with lots of space in between trees for people to browse and find their perfect tree.
Merchandise and Upsells
In our first year, we had very little additional merchandise available for sale. On our farm, we have several different ways we add to the experience, like hot chocolate, marshmallows, photo area and hay ride. With these extra experiences, people will spend more time, and that provides more time for customers to spend more money.
This year, we’re going to have a larger selection of wreaths, ornaments and other decorations for sale. We’ll also have s’more kits available.
Make It An Experience
What additional elements can be added to your tree lot to improve the on-site experience? Hot coffee or hot chocolate are common additions.
Here are a few other ideas:
- Photo area
- Photos with Santa
- Story time with Santa
- Festive music
- DIY craft for the kids
- Personalized ornaments
Don’t Forget About The Experience After The Sale
Many of your customers will be getting a real Christmas tree for the first time. Its up to your good experience, quality product, and a little education to ensure those customers become real Christmas tree purchasers year after year after year.
Educate on Tree Types
Its up to you to tell your customers about the types of trees you have available. Tell your customers what to expect as far as needle drop, and whether the tree can accommodate heavy ornaments or not.
Educate on Tree Care
Before the customer leaves the lot, make a fresh cut off the bottom of the stump. Make sure they can get the tree in water within an hour or two. If not, let them know they should make another fresh cut off the bottom before putting the tree in HOT water.