The pumpkins have well and truly turned to mush and the last of the fireworks have finally fizzled out. In retail terms, that means only one thing – the Christmas countdown!
Here at the Good Till, we know that you probably started planning for this busiest period in the retailing calendar way back in summer or even before that. Let’s face it, if you haven’t got your must-have seasonal stock in place and the festive displays up by now, it’s not looking good, right!
Our guess is that you’re now bracing yourself in readiness for tackling this annual game of survival – finalising those Black Friday/ Cyber Monday deals, tweaking the staff rotas to cope with the forthcoming rush, training seasonal staff, checking out the competition and pondering the question of just when is the right time to announce the Sale.
So, now that we’re heading right into the full force of seasonal mayhem, what can you possibly do to make things easier for your stressed-out shoppers while keeping your cool and your eyes on the prize – ringing tills! Here’s a few simple tips:
Layout and labelling – Take a closer look at everything in your store. Is it easy to find Christmas stock? Is it clear what that stock is intended for (e.g. gift for him/ her)? Are your holiday opening hours and any ‘last order’ dates displayed clearly? Are the must-haves easy to spot? Are add-on items prominently featured at your point of sale?
Front of shop – Ask if anything more can be done to attract those passer-by’s? Perhaps the shop window needs a touch more glitz or maybe a pavement sign could help to advertise your newest promotion?
Run a promotion (e.g. 3 for 2) – Be aware that today’s discerning shoppers have come to expect a really good deal so, if you’re going down this route, ask yourself if the offer is something you would take up yourself. If not, ditch it!
Use your loyalty scheme – If you run a loyalty programme, use it well by sending out special offers to your customer database – bonus points, discount vouchers, invitations to exclusive shopping experiences, for example.
Ramp up your social media – Direct people to your website or store by highlighting stock that solves their gift dilemmas or by promoting special offers and events.
Double check the basics – Your staff rotas and stock replenishment procedures are crucial at this time of year, but don’t forget some of the really basic things like making sure you’re well-stocked in POS supplies – payment terminal paper, bags, pens, scissors, tape, gift boxes, receipt paper, gift vouchers – check everything!
Let your tech come to the rescue!
We live in a world where technology seems to be the answer to everything, but can it really help you with the Christmas rush?
Simple answer – yes, of course it can!
If you’re running a smart POS system like The Good Till, for instance, then there’s a whole host of features which will help you through the season and beyond.
- An intuitive user-interface means it’s simple to train seasonal staff and set up appropriate user permissions.
- New stock can be quickly added to your inventory and special orders are managed with ease.
- An advanced promotion module helps you to quickly set up and start using tried and tested promotion techniques like multi-buys or cross buys.
- Hike up profits with an e-loyalty scheme that your POS system conveniently integrates into the sales process.
- Benefit from smart payment integrations (where chip and pin terminal and POS system connects automatically). With no need for double entries, payments go through faster, queues are held at bay and human error is kept to a minimum.
- Use stock management modules to carry out partial stock counts during the busy period, reducing the time you spend on this function while still enabling you to spot discrepancies with key stock items early.
- Measure sales performance against your holiday period targets with intelligent reports that give you accurate sales data in real-time. Further integrations (e.g. with your accountancy function) can help you manage things like comparing in-store to on-line sales and more.
Your POS system may not be smart enough to get out there and persuade shoppers to buy your product (YET) but, by keeping sales and business processes running at maximum efficiency, it definitely can take the stress out of the holidays. That leaves you to focus on giving customers the attention they need and maybe even a little forward planning for next year!
Get in touch to find out more about how the Good Till can help your business through its busiest periods all year round.