Another holiday season is upon us, and if you’re in the retail business, that means that things are about to get busy, to say the least. Luckily, a little early preparation can go a long way in making sure that you have a successful season, both in terms of increasing sales and brand awareness. Set your business up for success this year by tackling these preparatory tasks ahead of the holiday hustle and bustle.
Plan your promotional calendar.
For marketers, the holiday season equals one thing: holiday promotions. It’s important to get ahead of your promotional calendar so you can pace out your sales and time marketing communications accordingly. Are you going to focus on product-specific promotions, or do you plan on running inventory-wide sales? Are you considering offering a free gift with purchase as part of your holiday marketing strategy? All of these questions will enable you to get organized before kicking off holiday campaigns, and help you plan your inventory needs to support upcoming promotions. Which brings us to…
Stock up on inventory.
It’s no secret to retail-based businesses that global supply chains are currently experiencing disruptions. Make sure that you get ahead of delays by stocking up on inventory sooner rather than later, especially on any products that have historically sold out quickly during the holiday season. This is also where your pre-planned promotional calendar will come in handy since you can strategically stock up on products that you know you’ll be running promotions on, and that will likely see higher sales as a result.
Did you know?
Need a little help getting your inventory stocked up? A Bluevine Line of Credit helps ensure that cash flow is never a hurdle when you want to stock up on inventory ahead of busy seasons. That way, when consumer demand goes up, you’re right there and ready to meet it.
Update your website.
If e-commerce is a core component of your business model, you’ll need to make sure your website is in tip-top shape to deal with the influx of new traffic for the holidays. On a basic level, you should check that your payment processor is working smoothly, pages are loading properly (and quickly), and all retargeting pixels are working. It’s also good to enable your email list popup so that you can capture new website visitors and continue nurturing those leads after the holiday season has ended.
If you want to go a step further, consider creating special landing pages dedicated to seasonal shopping. For example, you might create a one-stop holiday shopping page that includes seasonal items or popular gift ideas. This allows you to add some holiday elements to the design of the page and create a unique seasonal shopping experience for your customers.
Join forces with other small businesses.
Brand partnerships are a great way to expand your brand awareness, boost brand loyalty, and acquire new customers. And while they work well at any time of year, they can be especially effective during the holiday season. This is a time of year when shoppers are looking for complementary products to give as gifts, or where they are looking for special deals that feel seasonally exclusive. Connect with small businesses that feel compatible with your own to promote a holiday giveaway, a discounted product bundle, or a new fusion product that you collaborate on. Whatever route you choose, there will be plenty of value in the increased exposure you get through partner cross-promotion.
DID YOU KNOW?
Finding compatible brands for partnerships doesn’t just come down to product alignment; it comes down to mission too. It’s important to work with small businesses that share your values and stand for the same things you do.
Bring on some extra help.
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, but it can feel especially overwhelming for small businesses operating with smaller teams. From processing a higher volume of orders to tackling a wider range of holiday marketing initiatives and campaigns, it’s easy for your team to feel stretched thin at this time of year. Luckily, this can be managed by bringing some seasonal helpers onto the team. Platforms like Upwork or Fiverr are a great way to find expert freelancers to support everything from email marketing and design to customer service. Not only will this help set you and your team up for success during the holidays, but it could also lead to an ongoing relationship with a freelancer who can add value to your team long after the holidays have come and gone.