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Four tips for retailers to prepare for the upcoming holidays
Summer sure breezed by, didn’t it? With all those pool parties, backyard barbecues, and family getaways, it’s no wonder the days just flew past. But here we are, getting ready to send our kids back to school in the fall, and you know what that means – the back-to-school shopping frenzy is winding down. For retailers, it’s time to switch gears from backpacks and pencils to the excitement of the holiday shopping season.
Now, we know it might seem like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas are still a long way off, but trust us, they’ll be here before you know it. So, why not take a moment to peek into the future and get ready for the holiday season?
In this blog, we’ll walk you through some handy tips to help you prepare your retail business.
1. Double -and Triple-Check Inventory Levels
Running out of holiday must-haves can quickly spell disaster for any retailer. To avoid this mishap, make sure to take a close look at your inventory well before the holiday season. Use these pre-season inventory levels to stock up now and calculate how soon you will be reordering so you can schedule recurring orders with your suppliers.
Consider investing in an all-in-one SaaS retail system to help you set everything on autopilot when it comes to maintaining accurate inventory and placing automatic shipments with your suppliers. Many such POS software systems can streamline the inventory process, giving you one less thing to worry about in an already busy time of year.
Equally important to increasing your inventory is stocking up on the right items. You might want to look at trends in your industry, study your competition, and examine your market to help you decide which products will fly off the shelves this season and which ones will only lead to dead stock.
#1. Building a Strong Online Presence for Retailers
Did you know, a staggering 81% of consumers use digital channels to research products before making a purchase? This means that in today’s digital age, a robust online presence is essential for any retail business that wants to succeed. A well-designed and user-friendly website, an eCommerce platform, and mobile responsiveness are all key components of a successful online retail presence.
While you’re stocking up on inventory, be sure to double-check your office supply levels for essentials like ink and toner, packaging, gift wrap, receipt paper, and more. Nothing is worse than having a busy day in the store and running out of any of essentials slowing down your point of sale check-out process.
2. Leverage a Tablet POS for Mobile Retail Sales
Holiday shopping means more foot traffic in and out of our physical retail locations. The increased sales are a huge plus, but long waits at the point of sale can lead to impatient, unhappy customers.
So, what’s the solution? Having extra cashiers throughout your store is a surefire way to minimize wait times at your POS counters. You can purchase a couple more mobile inventory scanners to pair with your iPad POS software. You can also offer “green” receipt technology, which gives your customers the option to get their receipt printed, emailed, both or none! This way, your store associates can keep those lines moving swiftly, while offering your customers flexibility.
Many POS software companies offer mobile POS options, so the addition might not even be a major investment. And moving sales along more quickly will only add up to higher revenue.
Now, if your point-of-sale provider doesn’t offer mobile-friendly POS with mobile EMV credit card processing, it might be worth considering the somewhat larger investment of adding a few more full cash wraps to your store. This can significantly decrease lines during your busiest time of the year, ensuring your customers have a smoother shopping experience.
3. Create Enticing Gift Card Displays
These days, almost every retailer offers gift cards, or stored value cards (SVCs), both during the holidays and as year-round gift options. But here’s the big question: what will make a customer choose your gift card over another retailer’s? Well, a prominent display can make all the difference in the world. When customers are checking out at your POS station, make sure to have gift cards displayed nearby. You can even have your store associates suggest these gift cards during checkout.
But remember, it’s not just about having them on display; it’s also about maintaining a pleasant and organized shopping environment, especially during the fast-paced holiday season. After all, customers won’t be buying gift cards for their loved ones if they have a negative experience in your store. So, let’s keep the holiday spirit alive with a welcoming and well-organized atmosphere.
If you want to take your holiday season to the next level, consider promoting your loyalty program to customers. It’s a win-win: they get special perks and discounts, and you get loyal, repeat business. Want to learn more about how loyalty programs can boost your holiday sales? Check out our in-depth guide here.
4. Expand to the Online Marketplace
With the variety and ease of access of eCommerce marketplaces, it’s no wonder more and more holiday shoppers are turning to the internet to purchase gifts for friends and family. So, here’s the deal: if possible, your retail business should have its own website where customers can buy products directly, access store hours, and find your contact information. The good news is, that many POS software systems can easily integrate with new or existing websites to automatically track sales and keep your inventory updated, making manual tracking a thing of the past.
But why stop there? In addition to having your company website, think about expanding into existing online marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart and eBay. This move can make your products available to millions of customers worldwide. You can leverage the massive market share of these online marketplaces and get your products in front of many more potential customers, helping you increase your sales during the holidays and through the next year.
Get your hands on this comprehensive guide that walks you through 7 Digital Marketing Strategies Every Retailer Needs to Know.
Key Holiday Season Prep Takeaways for Retailers:
When it comes to the holiday season, preparing ahead of time can be a game-changer for retailers. Here are four tips to take control of your business now:
By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well-prepared to make this holiday shopping season both successful and profitable for your retail business.
Ready to start expanding your retail business? Click below to learn where and how you can start today!
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