[:en]How to Prep for the Holiday Sales Season[:]

[:en]How to prep for the holiday retail seasonThe holiday season is right around the corner. In fact, your company may already be feeling the surge in sales.

What percentage of your annual sales do you make throughout the fourth quarter?

Regardless of what you sell, managing the fourth quarter sales season can be tough. What can you do to prepare, and keep your customers happy and sales high?

Keep these strategies in the forefront of your mind:

  • Assemble Your Workforce

Will you have the team necessary to keep your customer service high? You may have to double your staff to make it through.

Consider using virtual assistants, even if you run a physical store. Your managers could be so overwhelmed that they need relief any way they can get it.

Don’t be afraid to innovate. Your managers have certain decisions and actions their skills suit best. Their time is best used to do those, while the rest can be outsourced to other staff.

  • Innovate with Your Window Displays

In 2006, Apple used a sticker that made their store’s window display look like shattered glass. They did this to help promote the Hi-Fi speaker system for the iPad. Apple’s a phenomenal resource to study for marketing.

Consumers want to feel nostalgic, loving, giving, and they think constantly of their families.

Have your window displays appeal to as many of the five senses as possible. Make the feelings and thoughts your consumers have a reality.

  • Audit Your Return Process

Returns come in full throttle, and especially so in early-to-mid January. Don’t let your inventory sit back in stock and collect dust. Get it out on the floor so it can sell as soon as possible.

Check every step of your return process. If you can make it faster than before, even by just the tiniest bit, and without sacrificing the customer experience in any way, make the improvement.

It’s easy for little steps to get added in here and there when you haven’t audited your processes for some time.

  • Shift Your Focus from Neatness to Fast Service

Yes, your store will get messy during the chaos of the holidays. But, customers don’t expect your store to be pristine.

Keep your store organized and in reasonable condition. Shift that employee time to helping customers move through your store quickly.

Customers hate spending time in line and waiting around more than they judge the appearance of your store. And it gives your employees the opportunity to upsell your customers also.

Managing your store for optimum sales during the holiday season is no simple task. But with these guiding principles in mind, you’ll start off in the right direction.[:]