How to Prepare Your Business for Holiday Season Sales

How to Prepare Your Business for Holiday Season Sales
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There is no bigger season for retailers than that of the Thanksgiving and Christmas variety. Black Friday and Cyber Monday respectively. These last big holiday hurrah's for customers are also a huge milestone for retailers to make a splash in the last quarter of the year. It's easy to get overwhelmed as you're preparing for multiple huge inventory hauls, sales, and fulfillments out to thousands of people.

To lower the risk of burn out, it's important to make a plan. As a business owner you know this, but it can hard to get the execution just right. With so many moving pieces, it's easy to let the little things fall through the cracks. 

Just as customers are scouring the internet making plans before they make their Black Friday mad dash to the outlets and favorite website, retailers should be making plans as well. Spending the necessary time to plan for these large sale days will make a huge difference the day of. Some will take longer than others. But, with a few extra hours you're ensuring your business' success on the biggest competing holiday for business' alike.

Research fashion trend's

It's the first month of fall and your inventory reflects that. However, when Black Friday and Cyber Monday come in just a few months, customers will be basing their purchases on upcoming trends. Probably looking for a cute pair of sunglasses that their favorite influencer has been rocking in Miami, or a classic little black dress for any occasion.

Either way, your brand's inventory need to be ready.

At Apparel Candy, we are constantly researching what's "in". Keeping a pulse on the market and what's next to blow up is how we're able to ensure our customers are satisfied. 

Looking at what some of the biggest fashion influencer's are currently wearing and promoting is a good place to start. They're usually the ones setting the trends, thus trickling down to consumers soon after.

Although we're giving this advice specifically for big holiday sales, we would encourage you do this regularly. Especially when restocking inventory or looking to add new items to your store. Your customers and bottom line will thank you.

Inventory management

Speaking of inventory, this can make or break a business' holiday sales season. There is nothing worse than planning a huge Black Friday or Cyber Monday blow out, only to receive dozens of customer service emails asking why your most popular item is sold out.

Inventory planning can take several forms depending on the type of inventory management system you have.

Our suggestion is to update everything.  Having the inventory is the first step. Making sure all business operations are streamlined and all processes' are equip to fulfill online and brick and mortar orders(if you have one) is essential. Telling a customer that comes into your store you can't help them, but they can order what they want online is never a good look. More likely than not they'll go on to the next store and not think about the item they were willing and ready to buy in your store again. 

Especially having two huge sales within three days of each other, being organized and having all items available is pertinent to your business' success.

Improve your sight's navigation

Every year Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumer reports break a sales record. As of 2017, Cyber Monday total one day shopping sales hit a record high of $6.59 billion. That's billion, with a b. Meaning there is a lot of money to be made, and you don't want to miss out on any of it. Especially because of your sights loading time or poor navigation.

Along with site navigation, you'll want to make sure your mobile site is updated to ensure ease of customer use.

In 2017, consumers self identified as spending $2 billion on mobile phone purchases. If your business' mobile site is more aesthetics than functionality, that will be crucial for you to fix before said holiday sales.

Other crucial facets of your site's navigation include loading time, one-click payment, image and graphics loading time. This may sound trivial, but as technology gets faster, our patience gets lower. With an average loading time of 22 seconds, your mobile and desktop sites can't be lacking. Many customers even say they will leave a page if it doesn't load in 5 seconds.

Just as the average time for a sales associate to welcome a customer to a store effected said customers likelihood to make a purchase. The same goes for online navigation and your sites speed. You can do backend testing to determine your sites speed, and act accordingly. We suggest getting your sites navigation speed somewhere between 10-20 second.

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