The holiday season is finally here. If you run a small business, you may be already thinking of ways to cash in on the anticipated surge in demand for personal and household items around this time of the year.
Here are some tips to prepare your business for the holidays that will maximize your sales and profitability.
Decide Your Opening Hours
The holiday season requires proper scheduling to accommodate as many customers as possible. Some businesses address this issue by extending their operating hours. Others close shop for a few days as employees take time off to be with their families. It’s important that you consider staff availability when developing your schedule. You can also notify your customers about your holiday operating hours to avoid last-minute disappointments.
Purchase Enough Stock
Some products run out of stock super fast during the holiday shopping season. When this happens, businesses can lose sales opportunities that open up only in November and December. You may forecast stock movement based on last year’s orders around the same time. Then, replenish inventory as needed and include holiday-specific items or merchandise in your orders. Remember to stock enough seasonal decorations, branded gift cards, and holiday packaging. You can order 5% above usual inventory levels to be on the safe side.
Update Your Business Website
Online shopping is a lot safer and convenient today. It’s important that you provide the best possible user experiences to customers who will be ordering through your e-commerce website. Update the portal with the following information/features:
- Your recently replenished inventories
- Any holiday promotions
- Discounts and prices
- User-friendly interface and smooth navigation from start to checkout
- Applicable terms and conditions, such as your shipping/return policy
You can use online tools to test and monitor the performance of your website. Make sure to check page load time and navigation. These elements can impact your website’s conversion rates and online sales.
Decorate Your Store for Holidays and New Year
It’s important that you decorate your store to look the part during the upcoming end-of-year festivities. Letting shoppers feel the magic of the season as they enter your store or explore products down the aisles makes a world of difference. By incorporating appropriate holiday themes and décor in your online or physical store design, you can attract more buyers and conversions.
Offer Inspiring Experiences with Creative Marketing
The holiday shopping season is highly competitive. Winners are businesses that offer fun promotions and extraordinary experiences that shoppers expect this time of the year. To pull it off, you need a creative marketing approach. Some proven strategies to maximize sales this season include:
- Post-holiday stock clearance offers
- Holiday giveaway for couples or any two people
- One-off discounts
- Virtual advent calendar
Customize Promotions for Your Loyal Customers
Statistics show that loyal customers outspend others by 67% on average. This holiday season, you should reward your customer’s loyalty with personalized promotions that compel them to visit your store. With their buying history, you can easily identify their preferences and customize your loyalty discounts, gifts, and other exclusive offers accordingly.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Make sure you have proper customer support to address concerns raised via email, live chat, or telephone. This will help keep your customers happy and avoid too many negative online reviews. Shoppers who have excellent experiences on your e-commerce website are more likely to come back in the future. Also, let your prospective customers know if any pandemic-related obstacles or regulations may cause shipping delays.
These are some practical ideas that will help set up your business for maximum profitability this holiday season. For more small business growth strategies, contact our experts at Economic Development Collaborative today!