When it comes to sales, there’s no bigger time of year than the holiday season. In fact, information on Statista’s website states that “holiday sales reflect about 19.2 percent of the retail industry’s total annual sales, and 768,000 employees are hired throughout the U.S. to compensate for the holiday rush each year.”
With an uptick in consumer activity beginning as early as September, it’s important to prepare your business now for the holiday season. There are several ways to go about this.
Assess the Trends of Previous Years
Perhaps the best way to ensure that your business is equipped and ready for this year’s holiday season is to examine past years’ trends. For instance, you would want to look at how much demand increased on average over the past three or four years because this should be an indicator of what you can expect this year.
You may also want to examine the following areas:
- Your sales figures
- Inventory counts
- How many additional workers you hired
- How many hours existing employees needed to work to cover the load
Start the Hiring Process for Additional Help
If you know for sure that your current staff will be insufficient to keep up with demand, now is a good time to look for seasonal workers. Finding high-quality temps ahead of time could save you in November. You may even want to go through a staffing agency to streamline this process significantly and ensure that you find workers with the right experience.
Plan for Increased Inventory
Decide what quantity of each product you’ll need to have in order to meet consumer demand, based on previous inventory data. In some cases, the increase in volume will only be minimal. If it turns out to be significant, you may need to rearrange your current inventory to accommodate it. You may also need to reorganize your shelf space.
Plan Out Holiday Promotions
Holiday promotions are your chance to cash in on this economically stimulating time of year. Whether it’s offering discounts, giving away freebies or having special sales, plan the details beforehand so that you can reach your demographic most effectively and minimize potential setbacks.
Prepare Your Website
The holiday season is the catalyst for a major boost in eCommerce sales. It’s important to address a few key areas before it’s actually go time.
- Create a holiday-themed landing page
- Speed up your site
- Make sure your site can accommodate increased traffic
- Simplify your checkout
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
- Add links to related products (this can increase impulse purchases)
- Create holiday related blog content
By preparing your business now for the holiday season, you can make the transition to full-blown holiday mode without a lot of glitches along the way. You’ll be in better position to keep up with demand, capitalize on opportunities and increase your sales volume without any unnecessary stress.