By Nathan Strum
The holiday season is pretty much here and so are the biggest sales of the year. Regardless if you are a service-based company, product-oriented or an eCommerce this is usually one of the busiest times of the year for companies. During Christmas alone, the predicted average spending of Americans has gone up 8% compared to last year. In addition, according to Kabbage.com, consumers spent around $57 billion on Black Friday weekend alone. For this reason, if you waited until this point to prepare for one of the most profitable times of the year, start planning today, so you do not miss out on the rest of the sales this year has to offer. Initiate your planning with these helpful tips:
Meet with Your Staff
This first thing you should check off your bucket list is a meeting with your staff. Input from your employees is important because you can assess what ran smoothly and what needs improvement from the previous year. Ask them what they noticed from the last holiday season. This is also a great platform to discuss holiday schedules. If you have noticed that your company is usually busy during this time, then accommodate your demand by developing additional hours for your employees. If your budget allows and you find yourself in the need for more staff, then hiring seasonal employees can be beneficial.
Review Your Policies
Now that you have met with your staff, it is time to review your policies. Your customer service needs to be flawless during this time. It is crucial because this is the period where you are most likely to be bombarded with purchases, returns, and shipping questions. Without addressing these issues and having a specific protocol, this process can be a headache. Go through your policies and make sure they are impeccable and that they match your plans for the holidays. For example, if you are participating in Free Shipping Day or any other special event, double check if your policies are up to date to reflect this special event. This will save you from issues arising later.
For those who are purchasing online, it is important to communicate any important deadlines. If you offered a coupon, special offers, discounts or free shipping make sure the deadlines are known to the public. If you are using emails as your method of communication, send a follow-up email to remind everyone of your offers and the deadlines. This approach serves as a reminder to those who may have forgotten about your offers and encourages them to make the purchase. If you know some clients want certain products by the New Year, make the last day to order known. Depending on your shipping time, let them know when they need to order by to receive their shipment. Post these dates on your website, newsletters, emails and social media pages.
Check your Website Uptime
It is crucial that your website is running at one hundred percent. This the most important item to check off your bucket list especially if you are an ecommerce. Be positive that your website can handle the traffic and transaction processing. Reported by US News Money, Chase Paymentech notes, “Online retailers earn nearly 40 percent of their annual revenue during the holiday shopping season alone.”
Always have backup and participate in the end of the year profits.