The holiday season is just around the corner, with customers and businesses alike excitedly awaiting the arrival. The holiday season is one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, and as customers plan their store routes and ideal items to grab at a discount, businesses should be preparing as well. The holiday season brings an influx of customers that most businesses depend on to wrap up the year, but you cannot expect the holiday season rush to go well without proper preparations. If you want your business to reap all the holiday shopping season benefits, you must prepare ahead of time. Here are some tips and tricks every business can use to prepare for the holiday season to ensure your company ends the year on a positive and lucrative note.
Plan Promotions Well In Advance
To customers, sales, discounts, bundles, and other special offers appear overnight and might as well have been constructed the night before, but that should not be the case. Prudent and intelligent businesses will plan their holiday season sales well in advance to make sure they are the ideal discounts for customers and the bottom line.
Plan your holiday season sales ahead of time so you can properly work through the different options. Start with a stock inventory, so you know what products you have to offer at a discount. Consider what items will be in high demand, what items do you want to clear inventory to make room for new items, and what items are not worth putting on sale right now. The best sales for your business will be unique to your business, but you must be honest with your evaluations. It is not worth hyping up a massive sale if you don’t have the stock to sustain it. If your tentpole offer is gone in a matter of minutes, you will be left with angry customers that would have given you money had you planned better or been more transparent. Be honest with what you can reasonably supply and discount; finding a happy balance is easier said than done, but it is a critical step you cannot ignore if you want to maximize your holiday season sales.
Get The Word Out
Once you have your sales planned and deals set, it is time to let customers know. Your business will be competing with every other business to draw in customers and win sales, so don’t assume a certain number of customers are a given this season. Breaking through the noise can be challenging, but modern technology has provided a plethora of platforms and avenues to get the word out. Use direct response marketing, social media, email blasts, and even physical mailers to ensure people know about your holiday season sales. You do not want to invest time and effort in holiday deals only to have no one show up, so get the word out to boost your holiday sales.
Customer Service Preparations
As lovely as it would be to assume the holiday season sales will go off without a hitch, there will be problems, and your business, especially customer service employees, must be prepared. Tensions run high during the holidays as customers stress about things outside of the shopping experience; a customer issue might not be your business’s fault, but it is your problem. Teach customer-facing employees how to handle upset customers regardless of the exact issue. It is worth creating guidelines for everyday situations like an item being sold out or returns. The best preparation you can give your employees, particularly new or seasonal workers, is reliable and reasonable answers to situations instead of leaving them to fend for themselves in the face of an angry customer.
The holidays are an important time of year for customers and businesses. Customers expect to find deals on gifts for friends and family, but businesses expect to bring in profits to wrap up the calendar year. However, a successful holiday season requires preparation. If you want to reap the benefits of holiday season sales, you must prepare your business ahead of time. Plan out your discounts and sales to match your stock levels and predicted customer interest. Get the word out across every available platform and prepare your employees to deal with customers during the holiday season when custom stress-levels are higher than usual.
About the author:
Naomi Shaw is a freelance journalist residing in sunny Southern California with her husband and three children. She is a work-at-home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry, and everything weddings!