Consumers are continually increasing their holiday spending budgets year-over-year. With more sales opportunities than ever before, can your business handle the influx of orders, customers, and shipments? Here are 7 things your business can start doing now to prepare for the holiday rush.
Build Up Your Inventory
Whether you make homemade goods or sell manufactured items, it’s beneficial to start making or ordering your product in higher quantities. When sales peak, you want to be able to deliver a fast turnaround time and not have to worry about running out of inventory.
Be strategic about what you’re stocking up on, however. If you’ve been through the holiday sales cycle before, take a look back at what your top-selling products were. That should give you a good idea of what you should order the most of and where you can draw back.
Don’t Forget About Your Ship Station
The essentials can often be overlooked into the preparation process sense they’re fringe necessities. If you wrap your products in tissue paper, organza bags, or packing peanuts, you’ll want to have enough of those supplies on-hand. The same goes for general shipping supplies like boxes, packing tape, and shipping labels. Run through what it takes to get your product out the door, and then order enough to get you over the hump.
Stay Organized Behind The Scenes
Once you’ve stocked up on product and supplies, your space may get a little crowded and not everything will have a home. Group relevant items together – size, color, and design are great categorical distinctions – and give their area (whether it’s a wall, shelf, or box) an identifying label. It can also help to label each individual product. For items like t-shirts that all look alike, create your own stickers to differentiate your piles. All of these steps will help keep things running smoothly and reduce the risk of sending incorrect shipments.
The National Retail Federation is expecting more than 675,000 seasonal positions to open across the country around the holidays. If you don’t already have a team to help you, start looking. College students, neighborhood teenagers, and staffing agencies are good scouting locations. Even a couple hours a week packing boxes or making post office runs could save you a lot of stress and delays.
Offer Gift Wrapping
Sites like Etsy are making it easy for business owners to incorporate gift-wrapping options. With everyone strapped for time, a slight upcharge for the service could earn you some extra income and further satisfy customers. Who knows, that could be the difference between you and a competitor.
Don’t just limit your thinking to wrapping paper, there’s more out there! Consider offering gift tags, gift receipts, and special packaging for those who will be sending your products straight to the recipient.
Consumers turn to social media for information. Take advantage of the platform – post holiday hours, promote sales and products, or update quantities on hot items. You can also use it for customer service and to drum up hype before sales even start.
Keep Going Into The New Year
While the main rush leads up to the Christmas holiday, it doesn’t end there. Lots of people give cash and gift cards as holiday presents they’ll need to spend somewhere. Make sure your store is still an attractive option for the people who have newfound money to spend.