The Christmas shopping season is nearly upon us, and it’s time to get serious. Here’s the definitive checklist to help you prepare for a season of sales.
Forecast your busiest trading days
Your business data is critical to preparing for the holidays effectively. Thankfully, you have heaps of it available to you, right in your Square Dashboard. You can look back at data from the previous Christmas sales period to help you identify which days are likely to be your busiest, and make business decisions accordingly.
Stock up on your best-selling items
Square Analytics can help you identify which items were most popular last holiday season, and ensure you’re stocking up on this inventory to maximise sales. It’s also a good idea to switch on inventory alerts in your Square Dashboard; they will notify you in real-time when a certain item is running low, so you can quickly order more. You can also link your Square account to a variety of tools in Square App Marketplace to help you power-up your inventory management.
Plan your Christmas sales campaign
The Christmas shopping season offers great opportunities to bring in new customers — and rake in more sales. To cut through the end-of-year noise, try getting a jump on things with pre-Christmas clearance sales. Think about what your customers are looking for (whether it’s gifts or something special for themselves), and make sure to stock up on these items. Then determine what kind of discounts you can afford to offer. Check the Sales Summary Report in your Square Dashboard to monitor your product sales, discounts and net sales. If you want to take it to the next level, you can also connect your Square account with Xero for a summary picture of your accounting, and get a sense of how a given discount may be affecting your overall sales. Try to tie your seasonal sales campaign to a holiday-specific message — think festive and fun to put people in the mood to spend!
Tidy up your menu
When things get busy, you’ll want your item screen in Square Point of Sale to be optimised for speed. Now is the perfect time to make sure that your item library is organised, tidy and simplified. Do a review of all your products, deleting those you no longer offer. It’s also a great opportunity to add in photos for all items; visual identifiers will help speed up checkout and increase accuracy, which will aid in your inventory management.
Prepare your team
Your employees determine your success or failure, so make sure that you have a solid, trustworthy team in place. Consider meeting with the employees who supported you last holiday season to have an honest conversation about what worked and what didn’t. It’s also a chance for the team to share their honest feedback and general suggestions.
Schedule your roster—in advance
Having your employees scheduled well in advance is crucial to keeping staff management under control. Your team may want to schedule their own holidays and time off, and the earlier you know about it the easier planning will be. Start requesting that your employees submit their availability now, and begin building a short list of backup employees you know you can rely on in an emergency.
Update extended trading hours on your website and on social media
Are you running special holiday trading hours? Make sure that your website has the most up-to-date information, as customers will likely be doing their Christmas shopping after work and expecting special trading hours. If you’re planning to open early or close late, post the news on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to help spread the word.
Taking these steps now will make the next few months go much smoother, and your busy holiday trading season is sure to be a success.