9 Steps on How to Prepare Early for the Holiday Selling Season
Great Retailers Prepare Early for the Holiday Selling Season
For retailers, the 4th quarter is the most important quarter of the year. Which often means, the most hectic time of the year. Retail business owners’ schedules are most likely stretched to the limit. If retailers start planning and preparing in September, it may create a less stressful 4th quarter. Kayla Sloan author of the blog “How to prepare your retail business for the Holiday Season” offers 9 tips worthy of placement on the todo list.
1. Advertise for the Holiday Season
According to research by the NRF, approximately 40% of holiday givers will begin their shopping before Halloween. Its no secret, planning to advertise can bring the extra traffic to stores. There are several advertising outlets, the possibilities are endless! Retailers ramp up their websites, blog posts, promotional emails, and social media with special offers and interesting ways to draw customers. Additionally, they should consider updating websites with holiday events and promotions. Many even extend their store hours so customers can have longer hours to shop.
2. Increase Inventory during the Holiday Season
Retailers can’t expect customers to spend money if their inventory is low. If a store is not well-stocked for the holiday season, retailers are in jeopardy of losing a potential sale. The holiday is a perfect time of the year to introduce new product and clothing lines. Retailers should research predicted trends earlier in the year to gauge what inventory should be bought. If done correctly, staying ahead of the game can work numbers!
3. Refresh Displays before the Holiday Season
Plan the promotional merchandise you will feature. Planning ahead has its obvious advantages. One way is to create an entrance display that
represents the holiday. Typically, the holiday season brings up feelings of nostalgia, family, love, and giving. Using holiday-themed decorations and even wintertime fragrances may enhance holiday displays. Additionally, adding risers to already beautiful displays, retailers can create add-on sale opportunities. Moreover, resetting a store floor is a perfect time to clean the nooks and crannies.
4. Create easy shopping during the Holiday Season
Customers can’t continue to pick up merchandise and increase revenue if their hands are full. Be sure to provide baskets, bags or carts. And have them kept tidy and readily available to your customers. Plan in the summer and order what you decide for your store. It is smart for retailers to create gift box displays. Customers are just as busy as most and taking the task of wrapping gifts can create a repeat customer. At last, doesn’t everyone want it to look like it spent hours wrapping the perfect gift?!
5. Increase Cash Reserves during the Holiday Season
Prepare with lots of cash. If customers are prepared to spend some serious money, retailers must be ready to create change. By having plenty of cash on hand, the cash reserve should be able to cover any emergencies that could arise. Additionally, be sure to stock up on counterfeit pens to check cash sales. Unfortunately, criminals love the holidays too.
6. Plan for more staffing for the Holiday Season
Many retailers require their associates to request off far in advance if they’re needing time off. After reviewing time off requests determine if hiring extra staff is needed. This could be in the form of temporary employees or staffing more part-time. However, it is common for retailers to create black-out. Meaning, all hands are on deck for what’s to come from the holiday season. Decide what’s best for your retail establishment. Also, decide on if your retail store should have extended hours during the holiday season.
7. Review Refund Policies before the 4th Quarter
Returns after the holiday season are inevitable. So retailers are prepared to take extra time for training or protocol reviewing. Provide step-by-step instructions for team members near the register. These cheat sheets will come in handy when teammates are exhausted from the long hours. Addressing returns and other protocol for the holiday season will greatly reduce stress once the 4th quarter is here.
8. Set a Holiday Atmosphere beginning early-November
Creating a festive store could delight a customer’s shopping experience. And when customers are happy, the chances are good they will spend more. Be sure to decorate festively. Also enhance the spirit of the season by offering goodies, beverages, and coupons or freebies to those walking in. Take this high-traffic time to create repeat customers once the holiday season is over.
9. Purchase Gift wrap for Customers
Providing free gift wrap for shoppers. Start by ordering supplies in September to prepare for the gift-giving season. Gift wrapping takes tons of time off customers’ busy schedules and the best retailers know that “time is money”. Don’t want to offer gift wrap? Another option could be to buy and prepare ribbon or festive tissue paper for customer purchases. Decorative ribbon can be added to Kraft bags prior to the holiday season. Then a customer doesn’t have to wait too long. Look at previous years of suppliesand overstock if you are planning extended hours.
Finally, the holidays are a busy and stressful time for many. By being prepared sooner, the holidays can be something to looks forward to.
Furthermore, do you have any suggestions on how to go about preparing for the season of holidays? We would love your feedback in the comment section below! 🙂