The holiday season is nearly upon us. It’s that time of that year when, by some estimates, marketers and businesses kick their sales efforts into high gear. People are optimistic and are in the mood to shop. Holiday sales take up about 21.2% of all retail sales, according to a survey done in 2016. To milk the opportunities, businesses are coming up with many different marketing campaigns to stand out to customers. In this article, we will cover all you need to do to get your store ready for big business in the holiday season.
Hire additional hands
September is the time when you usually hire because that will give you enough time to assess whether they are a good fit for your business. Even if it is November, you can still get after it. Make it clear to your hires that their performance during this time will decide whether they will stay or go in January.
Training your staff can make the difference between people “just browsing” and people taking out their wallet to buy something. Staff needs to be trained on how to engage a customer, how to sell items, and how to watch for shoplifting.
Implement measures for in-store efficiency
The holiday season can get busy. Even with pandemic and social distancing measures to follow, stores can still focus on making each customer’s experience as efficient as possible. A concierge system is one way to do this. A designated person can be positioned outside the store where customers are waiting, answering questions, and informing them of where exactly in the store to go to find what they are looking for. Shopping by appointment can also be promoted to optimize sales and regulate possible crowding.
To satisfy the enormous demand of shoppers, you must make sure you do not run out of any products during the holiday season. As a business owner, it is a basic requirement for you to understand the difference between too much and too little inventory. If you do not want to lose out on any revenue, it is crucial that you stockpile adequate quantities. Bear in mind that all businesses know this and place purchase orders for the holiday season well in advance. However, better late than never. Talk to vendors and see if you can get discounts on large purchase quantities.
Bundle, upsell, and cross-sell
Amazon revealed that almost 35% of its revenue comes from upsell and cross-selling sales. They realize that it is much easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones. A woman buying a dress may want a handbag too, so why not upsell those items when she is shopping for the dress? Not every product can be upsold. You will have the best chance of bundling your best-selling products, your most relevant products, and your most reviewed products. The holiday season is the best time to try these tactics because people are in the mood to buy.
Deck out the brick and mortar store
Holiday decorations are usually stuffed into the back of the store, never to be looked at or checked on until they’re needed. But there’s nothing less jolly than discovering early December that your holiday decorations are water-damaged, lost, or faded. The magic of Christmas decorations cannot be overstated. If your store still looks like a picnic on the beach, it’s time to change the vibe. Customers expect to see the holiday season everywhere and are naturally drawn to it at this time of year. They will not want to enter your store if it looks out of place.
Dress up your website for the holidays
Even in the absence of a pandemic, the importance of an online presence could not be overlooked. It has become more important in the wake of the pandemic when people choose online shopping over in-store shopping. The web has come quite far, though, and the potential to create an online experience for the holidays is high.
“Pursue your Online College Degrees during COVID-19”
Hire a graphic designer/web designer to choose a color palette and overhaul your website for the holidays. A beautifully designed website and social media profiles are good for conversions. Even if you do not want to switch up your theme entirely, you can still switch up elements for holiday-themed ones. Banners, pop-ups, special upsell, and cross-sell offers work well.
Exceptional customer service
Make it your focus as well as that of your staff to perfect the art of customer experience. This applies to your online store as well. With COVID-19 in our midst, the increase in online shopping needs businesses with customer service teams at the ready. Prepare yourself to address the busy season by being responsive in terms of customer service and ready to address any complaints as quickly as possible. Focus on transparency in dealings, including letting customers know about the pandemic-related delays in shipping and delivery.
Highlight your uniqueness
The holidays are when small businesses can consider how to highlight what makes them different from their community. The products, services, and messages they are willing to offer at this time that cannot be duplicated by other businesses are the key. Other ways to draw in customers are free workshops, lessons, and curated gift boxes.
You can also build your brand by partnering up with local businesses to host events. You can build some goodwill this season by connecting with charities in the area to act as a hub for donations from your customers. Forging relationships with your local business district or chamber of commerce is also a good way to increase the visibility of your brand.
In 2020, the holiday season will look very different, so make sure your store is prepared to handle an increase in online sales. Following the tips above, you can ensure you satisfy both existing and new customers and build your business in the process. Also, ensure that your business is protected against unforeseen perils by opting for insurance.
Happy holidays, and here’s to a season of growth and new beginnings!