For many Australian business and most retailers the Christmas season is the highest traffic period of the year. Your performance in the next few weeks can make or break the business. We detail some good management practices that will help ensure a profitable Christmas.
Make sure you have enough inventory. There’s no quicker way to lose a Christmas sale than to be out of stock!
Cash Flow Management
Make sure you have the cash to cover the additional inventory costs. If you are short on cash then consider sourcing additional funding from a lender or negotiating the terms of trade with your suppliers.
It’s often very hard to predict what will be hot at Christmas. Guess wrong and you could be left holding unwanted inventory in January. Talk to your suppliers about sale or return deals. This allows you to secure the inventory you need to prevent out of stocks, while avoiding the risk of mistaken forecasting.
If you offer credit, then ensure that your credit assessment process is tight. You don’t want to find yourself carrying the burden of bad debt into the New Year.
Make sure you have enough staff to cover the holiday rush. Perhaps even more important, invest in some training to ensure your staff know how to handle the silly season. Your team needs to be able to process sales quickly and deal with grumpy, impatient Christmas Eve shoppers.
If you sell online then make sure your website can handle a surge in traffic. Talk to whoever is hosting your site to explore options.
Customer Experience Management
Christmas sales are often opportunistic. So consider extending your business hours to expand the opportunity.
Schedule your holiday specials in advance and ensure that all staff members are aware of promotions.
Spread holiday cheer. Ensure your business looks festive and consider offering little extras. Something as simple as a free gingerbread cookie can change a grumpy shopper into a raving fan.
Get Ready the New Year
The holiday rush can bring a lot of new customers through your doors. Don’t forget to collect their contact details and/or sign them up to your loyalty program. This enables you to continue the relationship in the new year, increasing the overall value of each Christmas shopper.