It no doubt feels like the Christmas sales season is just around the corner. There’s a lot to get organised, from stocking up your inventory to ensuring your staff and systems are well prepared. Check out our tips for ensuring you’re on the ball when the crowds – and their wallets – hit the stores.
Integrate your in-store and online inventory
Inventory control integration is an absolute must if you’re selling in both the online and physical worlds. So, if you sell stock from your Bondi location, your online stock availability will also reflect this reduction in inventory. This not only helps to prevent over-stocks and under-stocks but it also ensures you avoid the risk of an angry or disappointed customer in the event you can’t actually fulfil the order.
Ensure employees are adequately trained
Last-minute gift grabs in December provide the opportunity to upsell, cross-sell and offer alternative products. If the customer has already made the effort to come into your store and take time to choose a product, a simple offer to upsell or cross-sell could significantly increase margins on every sale.
Often retailers spend a lot of time organising and training new staff on potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities across their many stores, especially during Christmas when casual staff are hired. Ensuring you have a POS system in place that helps to make these recommendations instantly and intuitively will help provide the tools your staff need to perform during the busy Christmas period.
Master your gift lay-bys
Plenty of people like to set aside gifts months ahead, and if you don’t have an adequate lay-by system in place you’ll find it a nightmare to set up and manage those details manually. Ensure your marketing reflects your ability to accept lay-bys both in-store, online and via your email communications. Provide suggested lay-by options for different segments of your market and you can even break down the process for them so they know they only have to commit $5 a week and those pair of shoes will be ready and wrapped before Christmas.
Get your targeted messaging on point
Don’t miss your chance for highly tailored and effective Christmas marketing this year. Your POS solution should be set up to capture customer purchases, send out personalised email campaigns, track results and link customers directly to your online store. If you haven’t already, segment your customer database and get cracking on targeted email and social marketing campaigns. If you have a loyalty program in place or are planning to implement one, you can also send out discount vouchers and bonus points to see the return of customers who have purchased particular products or spent certain amounts.
Get your gift cards in order
Gift cards are incredibly popular around Christmas, because everyone knows a person who has everything! Spend some time perfecting your branding for gift cards and that will get a great response under the Christmas tree. And make sure your in-store systems can easily enable the customer experience you have planned out so you can focus on getting the most out of the busy season for you and your business.
So do you have your strategies in place for the Christmas rush? And how well will your business systems enable these strategies? If you’d like to hear how other Australian retailers are preparing to raise the bar this festive season, get in touch with us today.