In this era of online shopping, the holiday season isn’t just a time to celebrate and spend time with loved ones. It’s also a much-awaited shopping season. Many people will be scouring through retail stores to buy gifts while looking for holiday discounts and deals to save money. And if you want to drive those holiday sales into your business, you need to start making a plan to catch up with the holiday rush.

Prepare your retail store

Holidays can either be profitable or disastrous for retail businesses. The key here is to start early with your preparations, from your marketing to your deliveries. Many consumers go holiday shopping early, and surely, you don’t want to miss out on those sales. To help you get started, we’ve listed a few holiday preparations for your business.

1. Improve returns management

returns and refunds

Post-holiday returns can cause headaches, and the truth is, they’re quite inevitable. So, before you get excited with how much you can make on holiday sales, plan how you’ll reduce the returns or refunds. One effective strategy to focus on is reverse logistics or returns management. Optimizing this process is critical for ensuring seamless returns or refunds. Invest in a proficient returns management system to minimize operations costs, from administrative to aftermarket support. Such software can also help boost service market share, improve customer experience and retention, and recover capital investments. Look for a reliable provider to get your money’s worth.

2. Plan your promotions and deals

As you know, the holiday season is the time for unique promotions and deals. It’s the reason why shoppers get excited during the holidays. To ensure you won’t be losing money, you need to find a fine line between satisfying your customers and making profitable holiday strategies. Start by choosing the products that you’ll run deals for. What are your seasonal bestsellers? What products are trending during a particular holiday? Next, think about how low you can go on your prices. Readjusting prices is a typical move for retail businesses to stay desirable during the holiday season. Lastly, you need to figure out the best places and times to promote your deals. You can check your sales analytics from the previous year to see the strongest channels and days for you.

3. Create holiday gift guides

Create holiday gift guides

One powerful tool you can use for the holidays is a curated gift guide. Providing holiday gift guides is an excellent way to introduce new items to shoppers. After all, consumers love to discover products that are not included in their shopping list. Incorporate unique gifts in the guides that can delight and surprise your target shoppers. If your store is releasing a limited holiday item, gift guides are perfect for that too. Nonetheless, you can curate gift guides even without holiday-specific items. Look into your catalog of products and choose which ones fit the gift guide. You can break it down into different categories, such as gifts by gender, lifestyle, or hobby. Highlight your bestsellers!

4. Be smart with free shipping

If you want to guarantee an increase in your sales during the holidays, consider offering free shipping to your customers. However, it would be best if you made it profitable. Balancing the expense and providing free shipping can be a real challenge, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. One method you can try is creating minimum order value for the shopper to avail of your free shipping vouchers. If this doesn’t seem like a promising approach for your business, you can just offer free shipping on selected items. Or, you can increase the prices of your holiday items to make up for your loss on free shipping offers.

5. Hire some seasonal employees

Hire some seasonal employees

The holiday rush can be overwhelming for retailers. For such reason, many businesses choose to hire and train seasonal workers to make the holiday operations more bearable and seamless for everyone, especially the customers. Employing additional staff can ease the burden for your team and ensure your customers will experience no delays and hassles on their orders. Prioritize good training for your seasonal staff or choose the people wisely. Employing unqualified people can disrupt your operations and increase the risk of theft and accidents at your workplace. Start your hiring process early so you can have enough time to train them properly.

Preparing your retail business for the holidays will allow you to cater to early shoppers and increase your sales even before the season ends. It’s also a smart way to reduce your back-office work and avoid getting overwhelmed with your operations. Plan for the holidays using our guide and make it a highly profitable season for your retail business.

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