The Ultimate Last-Minute Holiday Checklist for Retailers

The date of when the holiday season begins is subjective, for some it starts with Halloween or Thanksgiving, but by the time December rolls in and there’s a special kind of chill in the air, you can bet the whole world is about to start celebrating for one reason or another.

As a retailer or any kind of business owner, you already know that the holiday season is the busiest time of year. If your business is in peak during this season, then you’re probably trying to manage the overflow of sales, packages and coupon codes. And if for some reason you have delayed preparing for this holiday season, here is your last-minute checklist for everything you need to get through the seasonal rush.

Let’s start,

1.     Inventory

First things first, do you have enough stock? And if you do, is it selling fast?

Revisit last year’s inventory reports to identify which of your products are your seasonal best sellers. Also take note of current trends in the market, your last month’s sales might be a good indicator of what people are buying the most right now. Compare these two data sets to find which products you need to keep in stock this Christmas.

You can use last year’s reports to estimate the number of sales your store makes during this time of year and find out the quantity you may need to order. You can also use them to observe the days and times customers are most likely to visit your store so you and your employees can prepare for the rush.

And remember to also run inventory for bags, wrapping paper, vouchers, cards because your customers will definitely indulge in them. They may be little but they add lots of value to your customers and it’s just a nice touch, a point of connection between your store and your customer during the season of joy.

Got all these under control? Check.

2.         Get with the program

The holiday is a theme, follow it – and not just with décor. This also happens to be the best time for new promos – discount codes, loyalty offers and curated gift baskets.

Take the time to review your inventory when planning out your promotional marketing for the season. Find inventory that has been lying around for a while and put them on sale! Create coupons for your e-commerce store (if you don’t have one yet, here’s why you should set one up) and work with banks and cash apps to create rewarding offers for your most loyal customers.

Customers are actively looking for gift ideas and good deals during this time, so curate bundles and sets of your products that complement each other. Group items to create a product that is collectively cheaper than buying those items separately and put a giant red bow on it for extra cheer. This is another opportunity to work with other brands and offer thoughtful value to your customer.

3.     Elves? I mean employees*

In the spirit of it all, let’s call your team of employees your little elves.

It is common during peak months, for businesses to hire extra hands to help with the inflow of shoppers, as it will be significantly more than your year-round team can handle.

A great way to make sure that everything runs smoothly is to train ALL of your full-time employees to manage your point of sale and other retail management systems, so that any one of them can step in and help a customer anytime. The holiday season brings chaos with it, because no one wants to be standing in line after a busy day waiting for a cashier to figure something out. Everyone is in a hurry and a little stressed about getting everything done in time so this is one way to make your customer’s life easier for them.

Note: It would probably be best to keep temporary staff away from the checkout counter.

4.     Sales! Sales! Sales!

We mentioned an e-commerce store, let’s go back to that. Now while shopping at good old fashioned retail outlets is part of the holiday experience, a sea of opportunity lies beyond them. As globalization increases, retail business becomes boundless.

Customers will no doubt flock to the store, but there are also customers that want to shop from the comfort of their homes and even from another continent. There are customers that might want to visit the store only to pick up their order. All these customers can be yours. All you have to do is set up shop in more than one place, starting with your very own ecommerce store.

An SEO-optimized website integrated with a custom e-commerce store basically sells itself, so get your hands on IDZlink POS System. It has a range of amazing features, one of which is e-commerce.

People spend a majority of their time online on platforms like Instagram or Facebook and resort to shopping on Amazon or Etsy for gifts. These platforms are an opportunity to reach more of your target audience. What are you waiting for? Sign your store up and start selling.

If you are a business on the smaller side, or you want to make some personal connections with your customers, join a pop up event. One of the best things about cloud POS systems like IDZlink is that they can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, so you can take your whole shop with you wherever you go.

Signed up? Check

5.     Deliver happiness

The last thing on your checklist is delivering the presents, I mean packages.

All you need to do now is run through the systems you have in place for getting your customers online orders to them in time. Take the initiative here to make sure delivery goes smoothly, because this means bringing your customers some Christmas joy. Work with reliable courier and shipping companies and make pick ups accessible for customers.

And for the orders made online from your store area, look into hiring the services of delivery drivers in the same area. This might take a little extra effort, but it is a great way to get involved with your local community and support them during this season of giving.

Once you’ve checked these 5 things off your list, your retail business is officially ready for the festive season.

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