The festive season is just around the corner, and any experienced business owner knows that careful planning ahead is key to making the most of the holiday rush, avoid running into any bumps, and (hopefully) having a well-deserved end-of-year break. The holiday season is often the busiest and most profitable time of year for businesses, especially in the retail sector. However, preparing your business for the holidays adequately is essential for a stress-free experience for you, your staff, and holiday shoppers.
We’ve got some helpful tips that will help you prepare your business for the festive season and drive more conversions. We hope these tips take some of the pressure off, whether you’re a small business owner and this is your first holiday season or you’re a veteran of the holiday shopping frenzy. Ensuring you follow these tips and give yourself plenty of time to prepare will help you avoid common mistakes many businesses make during the holiday season.
5 Tips For Holiday Marketing
The festive season is an important time for business – it’s the perfect time to reach new customers and increase your cash flow. However, it’s important to take the time to create a holiday marketing strategy and start preparing early so you don’t get lost in the crowd. Here are some tips to help your business get ready for the holiday season through marketing to have a successful holiday season:
1. Run Digital Marketing Campaigns
Investing in digital marketing this holiday shopping season will help your products or services reach a wider audience. Consider running social media campaigns, email marketing, and online ads. This will give you the extra boost you need not to stand out. You should highlight any seasonal deals your business is running and make sure your advertising is holiday-themed for better customer engagement.
However, make sure you don’t wait too late to start marketing! Many people start shopping for the festive period as early as November – getting your campaigns out in advance will help you make the most of the early crowd.
2. Plan Your Holiday Promotions
You should give yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare your holiday sales and special offers well in advance. You should consider offering holiday promotions such as:
- exclusive discounts
- bundle deals
- buy-one-get-one-free offers.
These promotions help increase sales and attract customers. Planning these promotions early will give you plenty of time to communicate them through your marketing channels to build customer anticipation!
3. Create Gift Guides And Recommendations
You can take some of the stress out of festive shopping for your customers by curating gift guides on your website and categorising your products according to common gift preferences, for example: ‘Gifts For Him’. This will help your customers make purchasing decisions, and it’s also a great way to promote the specific products you want to sell the most.
4. Offer Limited Edition Holiday Products
Introducing limited edition holiday-themed products is a great way to build excitement and generate a sense of urgency to buy your products. Limited edition products can create a sense of scarcity, encouraging customers to make purchases sooner rather than later.
5. Create A Festive Atmosphere In Your Store
Decorating your business for the holiday season is a great way to generate increased foot traffic and let customers know you’re offering seasonal deals. To further add to the festive flair, consider offering gift boxes and gift wrapping. Don’t forget to show off that holiday spirit!
7 Ways To Prepare Your Business This Holiday Season
If you’ve marketed your business effectively, you can expect a big uptick in both web and foot traffic. It’s important to start planning and preparing your business early to ensure you have the infrastructure to handle the increase in traffic and sales. A little preparation goes a long way during the busy time of year! Here are some essential tips for preparing your small business this year:
1. Make Sure To Adjust Your Business Hours
If you plan on closing your business between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day or just for the public holidays, make sure to inform your customers of your seasonal hours. This will mitigate any confusion or possible frustration from your customers. You should post your changed hours on your website banners, Google My Business Page, and over email campaigns.
2. Ensure You Have Enough Stock
Inventory management and inventory tracking are important before any big sale, and the holiday period is the biggest of them all. Inventory management ensures that you:
- Have sufficient stock to meet the increased demand
- Prevent disappointment for customers eager to snag the best deals
- Can make as many sales as possible.
In the lead-up to the holidays, it’s a good idea to look at your sales and monitor the popularity of products. This will give you a better idea of what will sell out quickly and what you need to stock up on so you can order early!
3. Hire Seasonal Employees Early
You’ll most likely need to hire seasonal employees to be able to handle the extra demand. However, hiring extra help as early as possible is important so you have plenty of time to train them. Seasonal employees can make the festive period much easier, but only if they’ve already had time to learn about your product and store policies! This extra training time will allow them to provide a better customer service experience.
4. Get The Roster Out A Soon As Possible
Don’t forget to plan and communicate your holiday roster as soon as possible – this will help you pick up on any gaps early. The festive season is a busy time for everyone, not just businesses – getting the roster out early will also help your staff plan their schedules and ensure everyone is on the same page. Having the roster set in stone well in advance will also help prevent any last-minute staff call-outs.
5. Ensure A Smooth Checkout Process
A smooth and hassle-free checkout process will make everything go a lot smoother, especially if you’re an online business. Consider streamlining the process as much as possible before the silly season. Some ways to do this are:
- Setting up a one-page checkout process
- Optimising the page for mobile as much as possible
- Setting up Apple Pay, Google Pay and other quick payment methods
This will reduce friction during checkout and increase your chance of conversions.
6. Optimise Your Website For Increased Traffic
If you’ve done your marketing right, you’re bound to see a surge in website traffic during the festive period. Ensuring your website can handle the extra traffic will prevent slow load times and provide a better customer experience. You should test your website’s speed before your business’s most busy period so you can troubleshoot any issues ahead of time!
7. Take Time To Reflect On Post-Holiday Sales
When everything is all said and done and you’ve settled in nicely to the new year, it’s important to take the opportunity to analyse what worked well for your business in terms of marketing and customer experience and what you could have done differently. This reflection will help you better prepare for next year’s busy season and help you become a better business. This step is especially important if it’s your first year in business! The team at Futuretheory wishes you luck.