Holiday cheer is almost here – which can mean more sales for your retail business! With this year’s holiday spending to increase 4 percent, consumers are ready to shop. Your business should be prepared to deliver the best inventory and customer service, so it can benefit from the holiday rush.
Although the holiday season is an exciting time, it can also present many challenges. You must be prepared to serve customers during this busy time of the year, while standing out from competitors, including nearby stores and ecommerce brands.
If you are serious about boosting your retail business’s sales, check out our five suggestions for the holiday season.
1. Hire some seasonal employees
Don’t risk being understaffed during the holidays! If you are unsure if your existing staff will be able to handle holiday crowds, start interviewing seasonal employees.
Having extra employees will allow you to provide better customer service, in addition to having more people to clean your store, restock inventory and tend to other must-do tasks. Plus, if you hire seasonal staff members, you can create new connections with individuals that you’ll be able to rehire during future busy seasons.
Since the holiday season is already extremely busy, try to recruit individuals that you have either worked with previously, or have significant retail experience. The holidays are not the time to hire individuals who have not worked in the retail industry before. While it may be tempting to recruit a few college kids looking for work during their winter break, you’ll likely spend more time training them and correcting their mistakes than benefiting from their assistance.
2. Strengthen your branding
You might not realize it, but perfecting your business’s branding can attract more customers. If your retail business has a memorable brand, customers will remember you when they are jotting down ideas for their holiday shopping list.
There are many ways to enhance your business’s brand throughout the holiday season. Creating a well-rounded plan will enable you to make the most out of all your channels. Here are just a few branding ideas for the holidays:
- Schedule consistent social media posts, updating followers on your holiday deals.
- Write expansive blog posts, where you give holiday gift ideas that are sold exclusively by your business. If you have an online store, be sure to include links to products, so that interested readers can immediately purchase the product.
- Craft cheery holiday messaging to display in-store.
- Target potential customers through digital ads and sponsored media posts.
3. Hold flash sales
If you want to make extra sales, consider holding a flash sale! Announcing last-minute sales can inspire shoppers to make purchases from your store that they might not have otherwise.
During the holiday season, shoppers are especially interested in finding the lowest prices and hottest items, so take advantage of this trend. Although you might be focusing on making in-store sales, utilizing your website to generate more money can help you to take your business to the next level. Deloitte is predicting that ecommerce sales will increase 18 to 21 percent this holiday season; so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
For instance, on Cyber Monday, you could hold multiple sales throughout the day. This will entice customers to continue checking your website for the latest markdowns. Make sure to advertise these flash sales on your website, social media and through email newsletters. The more that you spread the word about your flash sales, the more money that you’ll make!
4. Expand your holiday business hours
If you’re dedicated to earning more sales during the holidays, you should consider expanding your business hours. You’ll have more time to serve your customers, making it easier for them to visit your store when it is convenient for them.
Although this will require additional staffing, and your electric and other related bills might be higher, you’ll likely see a return on this temporary investment.
5. Update your technology
Using retail technology can make your business’s holiday season go seamlessly. Whether it is upgrading your POS system, creating an accessible mobile app or offering digital payment services (like Apply Pay), retail technology can benefit both you and your customers.
If the technology is going to make your holiday season stress-free, invest in it now. Any way that you can make your operations successful during the holidays will probably be worth the money. If not, add it to your list of 2018 initiatives!
Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to businesses across the U.S. Fora Financial can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.