Preparing For The Holidays: Advice For Retail Store Owners

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The holidays are a crucial time of year for retailers, and here are three things you’ll want to do to ensure your store is completely ready for the months to come…

#1 – Increase your advertising

Often, the fact that stores become busier around the holiday period just seems to be a given; something that will happen inevitably – but on a store-by-store basis, this isn’t actually true. Sure, the customer volume will be higher across retail as a whole, but you’ll need to advertise your store to ensure you can capture a section of that increased customer volume for yourself.

When it comes to holiday advertising, look for strategies that will allow you to capture the attention of as many people as possible. Think broad-focus; start new SEO campaigns, maybe run a social media giveaway, and so on, and also consider offline advertising; read through the Top 10 Rules for A Billboard Advertising Strategy and consider giving billboards a try, and even consider mailshot campaigns in order to ensure as many customers as possible know to consider your store this holiday season.

#2 – Agree “standby” shifts with staff members

Any retailer will know that they need to increase staff numbers during the holiday period; it’s a well-accepted necessity for this kind of business. However, even with extra staff available, there’s still always the chance that you’ll find yourself short-staffed on a busy day; winter is, after all, cold and flu season, and this combined with holiday time off requests from permanent staff can be a significant complication.

When setting your rotas for the holiday season, assign shifts as normal, and then consider asking members of staff to take “standby” shifts when they’re not scheduled to work. If all is well, then staff don’t need to attend such a shift; but if there’s an issue and you need to call for help, staff members will come in as soon as possible. Offer incentives (such as time off, small gifts, or an hour’s wage) to staff to put their name down for standby shifts, and then enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you have both a full roster and a backup plan in case of any unforeseen staff absences.

#3 – Use decorations to create the perfect atmosphere

Holiday shopping is often seen as a rushed, unpleasant experience that customers will always just want to complete and then rush home – but that’s not actually the case. Many people actively enjoy holiday shopping; they love the sense of occasion, the sense of excitement in the store, taking the time to find gifts for the people they love… sure, it’s busy, but it’s an experience, and one that often helps people to feel the excitement and magic of the season.

To cater to those who are looking for an experience, go big on decorations: you can Read through these 25 Creative Christmas Display Ideas & Examples for inspiration, and then get started on creating your own winter wonderland. When everything is set up, make sure you remember to take multiple photographs and post them to social media (along with locally-focused hashtags) to entice shoppers to pay a visit when they’re out shopping themselves.

Here’s to a great holiday period for your store!

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