The festive season is the largest spending event of the year, and for many retailers, sales can account for over thirty percent of annual revenue.
Planning ahead is essential to making the most of holiday sales. Below, we sought some sage advice from Vend blogger and retail expert, Francesca Nicasio.
1. Plan your holiday displays
Make sure your displays (i.e., window and in-store displays, shop layouts) can grab attention and entice people to buy. Start planning what you’ll showcase in your store and craft the stories that you’ll tell through your displays.
From a logistical standpoint, see to it that you have the materials to set up stunning displays. These include:
Lights – Invest in good lighting that makes your displays pop. If possible, use white lights to generate interest.
Props – Do away with generic props and get yourself something holiday-specific. As Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs notes, if your store looks the same on December 15th as it did on September 15th, you’ll probably settle for crumbs when you could’ve had the entire season.
Here’s a great example: In last year’s expert webinar, Bob showed us how a retailer cleverly created a sign to encourage impulse buys during the holiday season. The sign read “The gift you forgot!” and it successfully drove sales for the merchant.
2. Make your website holiday-centric
See to it that your website is holiday-centric. For instance, you may want to plan the Christmas-themed banners that you’ll display. And during the holidays, many retailers create special gift sections or categories such as “For Her” or “Gifts under $50”. Consider doing the same thing on your website.
3. Hire seasonal staff for the rush
If you’re hiring additional staff this season, now is the time to start looking. Get the word out by posting on job boards, re-hiring previous employees, and asking for referrals.
Aside from that, see if you can implement more creative hiring tactics. Jennifer Martin of Zest Business Consulting, advises retailers to go beyond traditional hiring methods and be more proactive with finding the right staff.
“If you have a few key employees and you want to find others just like them, then learn about them just like you would with defining your ideal clients,” she says. “Find out what their hobbies are, where they spend their down time, and what they do for fun. If you find that a number of your ideal workers take yoga, then guess where you’ll find more people like them? Yup, at yoga classes.”
The holidays will be hectic and running out of supplies when the Christmas season is in full swing could spell disaster. Prepare those supplies now, so you won’t have to worry about them later on. Here are a few items you may want to stock up on:
- Cash desk supplies, including bags, pens, till tape, staplers, hold tags, etc.
- Payment terminal paper
- Receipt paper
- Gift cards
- Gift boxes
- Cleaning supplies
The holidays bring more traffic, but this could also mean more opportunities for theft. Get your loss prevention ducks in a row well before the Christmas season picks up. Here are a few friendly reminders:
Set the right user permissions – Most modern point-of-sale systems allow you to set user permissions to enable or restrict staff members from doing certain tasks. Check with your POS solution provider and see how you can update permissions in your store.
Review your user permissions to make sure you know exactly what your staff can see and do with your POS. A big mistake many retailers make is applying the same permissions for all users.
You should also be vigilant when it comes to who can process voided sales, as this is a very easy way to steal stock.
For further Christmas tips and retail inspiration, advice and information, visit www.vendhq.com