The Christmas season is almost upon us, and it’s time to get serious about organisation and planning. Thankfully, Square’s set of handy tools, payments hardware and reports is on your side. Here’s a checklist to help you leverage these tools to prepare for a busy retail season.
Use your Dashboard to forecast your busy trading days
Interpreting business data is crucial for preparing your rosters, promotions and trading hours. Thankfully, every transaction you’ve recorded with your Square point-of-sale system has been stored securely and is readily available to you, right in your Square Dashboard. Look back at your sales performance from the weeks leading up to, and directly following, Christmas to help you identify which days are likely to be busy. You can then schedule your staff accordingly, and have promotions or offers ready to go if you’re expecting a lull.
Run a report to determine your best selling items
Many of us know which items are most popular based on experience, but running an item sales report can help affirm what you already know (or perhaps give you a surprise or two.) Identifying last year’s most popular items can help you ensure that you’re stocked up on inventory this year to maximise sales. You can also set inventory alerts in your Dashboard to notify yourself when an item is running low, so you can restock it quickly.
Make sure you can accept payments quickly and securely
Our newest reader enables you to accept tap-and-go cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay — all of the fastest ways to take payments from customers. If you’re expecting a busy rush of gift-shoppers, you’ll want to ensure that you can get customers through checkout quickly and conveniently with this tool. Learn more about the Square Reader for contactless and chip.
Prepare your team
An effective team can determine your success or failure. Set up a staff meeting with your holiday season team to ensure that expectations for sales, customer service and rostering are well understood. It’s also an opportunity for team members to ask questions and make suggestions about how they can help contribute to a successful holiday season.
Schedule your roster in advance.
We can’t say this enough: Your team on the ground determines your success or failure. Having your employee roster completed well in advance is crucial to keeping staff management under control. Your team members may have their own holiday plans (and you might want to consider taking a break of your own), so asking everyone to submit their Christmas availability in advance — and having a shortlist of backup employees on hand — prepares you for unforeseen emergencies.
Many businesses have special holiday trading hours over the break. Your customers are also likely to be shopping more often, and will expect extended hours. Ensure that hours are up to date on your business’s website and on social media. If you’re planning to open early or close late, promote the news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to let your customers know.