Is your store ready for the most lucrative holiday selling season of the year?

The holiday season is here with us. The purse strings are loose as customers prepare for their holiday shopping. However, before the orders start streaming in, you need to prepare your store, systems, and staff to avoid being stretched beyond your limits; and the best time to start preparing is in September when the last quarter of the year kicks in. The next best time to prepare is after September, but not too close to the holidays. Below are a few tips you can use to make sure your store is primed and ready for this year’s most lucrative season.

1. Advertise

Close to 40% of holiday gift hunters start shopping before Halloween. Nothing brings traffic to your store more effectively than advertising. You can advertise through websites, emails, blogs, and social media. Provide offers and come up with other creative ways that make your store stand out. Create holiday promotions and splash them all over your websites and online social media platforms. While at it, consider extending opening and closing hours to give customers a long time to shop.

2. Increase Inventory

Customers love shopping at a well-stocked store. They will quickly turn away if you are running low on stocks. The holiday season is a perfect time to stock up. It is also a good time to introduce new products such as a new clothing line. To prepare well for the end-year shopping, research the predicted trends earlier on in the year to stock your store with relevant items. Always stay ahead of the game for better profits.

3. Refresh Displays

Prime your entrance display to reflect the holiday mood and feature your promotional merchandise there. During the holiday season, most people are nostalgic, generous, and more forgiving than during other times of the year. They are also more kind and considerate towards others. This is the time when kindness, love and concern find expression in commercial goods.

Be creative with your holiday retail displays by using holiday-themed decorations. Besides the obvious advantages of refreshing your displays, rearranging your store’s floor gives you an opportunity to spruce up those hidden places.

4. Make Shopping Easy and Convenient for Customers

Bags, baskets and carts are convenient for customers to pick items from your store and move around with ease. Keep the carts, baskets and bags tidy and conveniently placed for customers to access them. Create gift box displays where customers can get their gifts wrapped. The easier you make it for a customer to access your products and move around your store, the better for you.

5. Bolster Your Cash Reserves

You will need to have enough cash to provide change to the anticipated large number of customers who will be shopping at your store. Besides having enough change on the ready, you will need enough cash for emergency purchases. Make sure you have enough counterfeit pens to check cash sales. Remember, the holiday season is a lucrative time for criminals as well.

6. Plan for Extra Staff

The holiday selling season is hardly the best time for your staff to take leave. Make sure they take their off earlier on in the year. If after reviewing time off you still need extra staff during the holiday season, plan to hire temporary or part-time employees. You will need every hand on deck during the holiday season. You might also want to extend your store’s hours of operation to accommodate demand.

Other tips to consider include refurbishing your refund policies ahead of the commencement of the holiday season, creating a holiday atmosphere from the beginning of November, and purchasing gift wrappers for customers. Whatever you do, make sure your store is ready for the avalanche of customers who will soon start trooping in.

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