The end of the year is a chaotic time, to put it lightly. The air starts to get colder and before you know it, the holiday season is in full swing. For many businesses, November and December represent some of the busiest months of the year. According to recent forecasts from National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion. These projections are up from last year’s holiday sales figures of $655.8 billion. So, making sure both your online and brick-and-mortar stores are running at full tilt is critical when talking such large volume over a six or eight week period.
If you utilize the right strategies, the holiday season can mark a time of increased opportunities and tremendous business success. Here are four ways that you can make the holiday season much more joyous, even when you are working!
- Prepare for the storm – No, we are not already forecasting a massive snowfall! We are talking about the amount of traffic (physical or digital) and to have you ready for the parade of people who are looking for goods or services during the holiday season. You need to pay attention to details like stocking up on inventory – particularly your best-sellers, preparing your packaging and delivery labels, communicate with your shipping providers to ensure they are prepared for the anticipated increase volume and if necessary, hire extra staff. It is never good to be unprepared from a personnel standpoint, because you want to be able to accommodate all customers.
- Run holiday sales – The season is all about the gift of giving and most are looking to shop before Thanksgiving, so it is time to roll out some sales. Run those “buy one, get one free” promotions, offer 50 percent off the entire store or even give free shipping for 24 hours. Sales that run for a limited amount of time will give shoppers the added incentive to make a decision that they may have not otherwise. Everyone likes to know they’re getting a deal!
- Get in the mood with holiday design – The leaves have turned, Halloween is over and you’ve even heard your favorite holiday song on the radio, but not by choice. Time to transform your physical and online store with a holiday facelift. For those with storefront locations, make sure your best holiday playlist is loaded and your stockings are hung to set the mood for festive fun. Add cheerful photos to your website, incorporate snowflake icons in your homepage and create special holiday badging for your brand that shows your true holiday spirit. Make sure to optimize the website for mobile users, so they can feel your cheer right through their phone case.
- Go the extra mile – You are not the only business who is trying to capitalize on the added number of shoppers this season. Keep that in mind and try thinking outside of your traditional confines when you think of ways to optimize your exposure and engage with your community. Partnering with a complementary businesses to run a fun holiday campaign together or coming up with contests on social media are always great ways to have a bit of fun. Holiday videos of staff getting ready for the season or maybe a caroling contest could be great pieces of content to share with your customers. Don’t be afraid to have a good time!
During the holiday season, people make different purchases than they would at other times of the year. You can use this opportunity to really shift your focus and position your products as perfect gift ideas for the ones you love and help turn these shoppers into year-round customers. This will increase the chances of you getting your inventory off the shelves. If you follow one or a couple of these steps, you will boost your chances of having increased sales, and maybe, give some holiday cheer to those who are near.
As you ramp up for the holiday season, make sure you read our post on the biggest online holiday shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday, to ensure you have a game plan on how to capitalize on all those digital sales opportunities.