The Merchant’s Pocket Guide to Managing the Shopping Season

The holiday buying season is nearly here, and there are measures retailers need to take now to see strong sales from Black Friday through the end of the year. This guide includes a couple of pointers to help your shop navigate the holiday buying season when maintaining cash registers jingling.

1. Be ready.

Stock up early for the holiday buying season. Ideally, you should have begun ordering merchandise over the summer, but if you missed some things or if you feel you might have under-ordered, set those orders instantly.

Determining exactly which items holiday shoppers will want (and how many) can be tricky — especially if you don’t have historical sales data to rely upon. Consider using a software solution that monitors sales of particular products at different stores over time and uses accumulated knowledge to forecast sales during specific time intervals, including the holidays.

Appropriate preparation for the holiday buying season also means getting a better handle on inventory management. Use inventory-tracking software for increased visibility over inbound stock to reduce unnecessary costs of expedited delivery. Furthermore, knowing when product will arrive in your store can help you plan for shipments to arrive.

2. Practice informed inventory management.

Have you got a point of sale (POS) system that integrates with your inventory management system and permits you to set user-defined inventory levels? These solutions can automatically create reorders when a quantity of a particular SKU drops below a certain level. Automatic re-ordering capabilities reduce the chance that things will be out of stock when holiday shoppers need them. The end-result: fewer sales lost to the contest. Automation saves time. The more processes you can automate, the more time you and your supervisors will need to devote time to craft exceptional customer experiences during the holiday shopping period and the whole year.

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3. Hire holiday help.

With the influx of holiday shoppers, it is probably you will have to hire seasonal assistance to fortify yearlong staff. Hire now to draw the largest possible pool of qualified applicants, interview to obtain the best candidates for seasonal work in your organization, and supply extensive training to help them be prepared to deal with the holiday buying season rush.

The holiday buying season is traditionally the largest revenue generator for retailers. Boost your odds of success by ensuring that you are offering the perfect merchandise in the proper amounts and that you have the ideal staff, trained and ready for the busy holiday season. Additionally, with the perfect technology solutions in place, you can use information to help make fact-based automation and decisions to create some processes run more quickly and easily. Approaching the upcoming few weeks strategically can result in profitability and competitiveness and permit you to provide great shopping experiences which help customers locate everything on their lists.

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