October 14, 2021

5 Quick and Easy Tips to Get Your Store Ready for the Holidays

5 Quick and Easy Tips to Get Your Store Ready for the Holidays

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post ran in 2019. We’re publishing this update as retailers and small businesses continue to need tips and advice on how to prepare their stores for the upcoming holiday season, particularly in light of challenges with the supply chain and ongoing effects from the pandemic.

For many retailers, the holiday season is their busiest time—and that means all hands on deck! This year, with ongoing challenges due to supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and the pandemic, we’re here to help with easy-to-implement tips and tricks you can use to prepare your store for the influx of customers. With some advance planning, you’ll be positioned to take advantage of the increased traffic to expand your business and multiply your profits!

1. Determine Your Store’s Optimal Holiday Hours

Because 2020 was an unpredictable year, pull sales reports from your point of sale (POS) for the past few years. Dig into the data to gain insight into when most of your sales were made in previous seasons. For example, if you typically close at 6:00 in the evening, but a majority of your sales occurred after 5:30PM, consider extending your hours for the holidays to accommodate more shoppers. Knowing which days and times it makes sense to stay open longer can lift your sales significantly—either by accommodating your regular customers’ preferences to shop later, or by attracting new customers who weren’t able to visit your store when it closed earlier.

Does your current POS have robust reporting features? Exatouch® does! Learn more about the system’s wide range of reports available and how they can help you make informed decisions that grow your business. →

2. Hire the Right Number of Seasonal Employees

With more customers filling up your store, you’ll need extra employees to answer questions and ring up sales. Yet labor shortages are a common problem. View staffing reports from prior holidays. Did you have enough team members on your busiest sales days? Or, were you overstaffed on slower days? Make the most of your resources by understanding the times you need to staff up and when you can get by with a leaner team. You may need to onboard fewer seasonal employees than you think, which is a big benefit in a tight labor market.

3. Offer Gift Cards

As one of the most popular items on holiday wish lists year after year, gift cards are the perfect way to grow your profits. A program like eGiftSolutions® has free and fast options that enable small businesses like yours to offer gift cards just like the big box retailers! Did you know that many customers spend more than the value of their gift cards when they shop? And that customers typically spend more on a gift card than they would on a traditional gift? Capture that revenue for your store by offering gift cards—and be sure to display the cards at checkout to let everyone know they’re available.

Discover all the ways gift cards can boost your profits, especially at the holidays! →

4. Manage Inventory Efficiently

Inventory is an all-important consideration when it comes to increasing holiday sales—and the sooner you plan ahead, the better positioned you’ll be to cope with any supply chain issues. While you want to have enough product on hand to minimize out of stock items, which can translate to lost sales and unhappy shoppers, you don’t want to have excess inventory you can’t sell piling up and eating into your profits. With a POS system like Exatouch®, you can differentiate best-selling items from ones that aren’t moving to make informed purchasing decisions. This smart POS even enables you to manage purchase orders and vendors, while reconciling deliveries quickly.

5. Update Your Customers

While it’s always important to stay connected with your customers and keep them informed of what’s happening at your store, throughout the winter holidays, it’s critical. Schedules are busy and you want to catch early-bird shoppers before they spend their holiday dollars elsewhere. Use the customer database in Exatouch POS to email or text your shoppers, whether you’re promoting special seasonal discounts, extending your hours for the holidays, or you have new inventory in stock.

See how easy it is to enter customers and build a database in Exatouch. →

Take a few minutes to implement some of these smart retail strategies for maximizing sales and driving revenue at your store this holiday season. With the right tools in place, including an advanced point of sale like Exatouch, you’ll be set up for success this winter and all year long!