Whether or not you’re running a very small arts and crafts shop or a significant retail business, the year-end holiday season may boost your balance sheet… or roll over you like a merry yellow road roller, leaving you cope with unhappy customers and overfilled inventory.
But there are just four simple steps you can take to survive and gain. The best part is that these solutions keep working throughout the year. And we provide you a plan B which saves you this year.
The first and most obvious measure is to employ extra folks. Keep in mind they should know where stuff is, and how to take care of clients. A week of training would be essential to get a store associate. In e-commerce, get your service and order fulfillment staff prepared.
Too late for this? Don’t fret. There are several other nice things your customers value. Offer them juice, coffee, and refreshments! A glass of water may go a long way in a crowded mall. Excellent news is that any recently hired person can take care of this, leaving more time for people doing the real sales. In eCommerce? Have a look at automatic fulfillment services and concentrate on support.
2) Analyse and be prepared
Growing all stock to your preferred holiday sales results can leave you with heaps of unsold stuff. Analyse your sales data and decide on a limited choice of holiday hits. Boost the earnings of your vacation hits with gifts and discounts! And you’ll likely get a better price when buying from your providers.
If you are new to company, examine the trends: the National Retail Federation is a superb source. They have data kits, and of course historic data and consumer trend predictions.
Too late for this? Breathe in, do your best, and consider the plan B. It is called after holiday sales. There are many men and women who hate shopping sprees and intentionally postpone these to the post-holiday season. Unless you are into selling Santa Claus costumes, you can get fine sales results after vacations, too.
3) Use integrated inventory, sales, and shipping
According to Forrester Research, last year 15 percent of online holiday shoppers did not get their packages on time that the vendor could not handle the flow. There is an obvious solution for this. Just use a retail system that has integrated inventory, sales, and shipping modules, like ConnectPOS does. Shipping orders can be sent directly to FedEx or UPS, with no additional messing with paperwork.
Too late for this? Well, if you did not see it coming, bear in mind that what is actually coming with earnings, is cash to your bank account. Hire additional people, engage family and friends and pull all-nighters. What is most important, learn from the experience and get a fantastic ERP and inventory system immediately after vacations. You need it throughout the year and following vacations, too.
4) Switch to a cloud pos system to handle heavy traffic
No matter, if it is a pizza joint or a massive retail outlet, you may see heavy spikes in data volume during vacations. If your inventory is operating only on the internet, five minutes of Internet issues could lead to angry clients and complete shopping carts left from the counter. Decide on a hybrid system which keeps working offline, also, updating the fundamental data after you are back online.
The other benefit of hybrid cloud systems such as ConnectPOS POS and Inventory.com is openness for multichannel sales and several devices, which helps to distribute the burden of data handling.
Too late for this? First of all, get a modern system right after the high season has passed. To save the day, purchase an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Connect some devices to it. Done that? Purchase a 4G Broadband Dongle, so you’ve got a backup web link. Or learn how to hook up your smartphone as an access point. Done that, too? Create a record of how to behave in a crisis. Hand it out to your partners.
Do not forget that it’s crucial to stay calm. In every trouble, there is a plan B. Enjoy the busy season!