We’re getting there…
Seems like only a few weeks ago it was January.
Now, we are at the tail end of 2023!
And it’s almost that magical time of the year when businesses make a huge chunk of their profits.
Expectedly, there will be a palpable increase in sales and demand. But with it also comes increased competition and expectations.
So in this post, we look at some end-of-the-year strategies so that your business can respond to the moment and end the season on a high note.
Here are 7 ways you can prepare for the chaos and rush this holiday season:
# 1 Stock Up On Inventory
One of the most significant challenges during the holiday season is having enough inventory to meet the increased demand. You don’t want to get caught out-of-stock and leave some money on the table.
(But at the same time, you don’t want to be left with unwanted products you can’t get rid of.)
So when you do stock up, do it smartly. Start by reviewing your sales data from previous holiday seasons and identify which products were the most popular. This gives you a general sense of what to stock up on and how much.
Also, get a feel for the products that are spiking in the months of October and November. Chances are, the trend will continue.
Inform your own suppliers early so you don’t run out of raw materials as well.
# 2 Generate Buzz Early
Holidays might be a time when consumers shop and buy gifts, but all businesses know this and are going to compete with you for those purchases.
So get in the game early and lock in those dollars. Get in your customers’ minds early so their list of things to buy starts with your products.
Inform and tease customers and clients of the December events you’re hosting. Do your marketing before all the chaos and noise of the season. There’s a little bit of calm before the storm, that’s when you pounce with your advertising and marketing and get prioritized.
# 3 Think: Sales, Discounts & Bundles
Consumers get pampered with sales and discounts during the holidays. If you don’t get on the bandwagon, your offerings won’t be attractive enough.
So announce a time-limited event, giving your customers more bang for their buck.
You can get creative with how you move your inventory—creating bundles, upselling, cross promotions, clearance sales and bulk discounts. Just don’t be business as usual.
Whatever you do, make your customers feel that this offering comes but once a year.
# 4 Streamline Your Operations
The holidays are a mad rush, so do everything in your power to streamline how you operate. Do this at the back-end, but more importantly, do this at the customer-facing end.
There are so many ways businesses can simplify their processes:
- optimize your website for mobile
- streamline checkout and payment processes
- create gift guides
- offer self-service options
- offer appointments and scheduling
- lean on tech
Arrange your operations so as to allow you to serve the most number of customers or orders in the shortest time and customer effort possible.
# 5 Expect hiccups
Try as you may, you cannot cover all your bases. So you might as well anticipate some of these things and start getting proactive.
- Shipping challenges both for you and your customers.
Shipping logistics can be a major headache during the holiday rush, with increased demand and potential delays. That’s why it was mentioned earlier that you inform your own supplier ahead of time.
On the customer side, plan ahead by partnering with reliable shipping carriers and offering multiple shipping options. Expect that you will be expected to accommodate customer preferences. But communicate early and clearly with customers about shipping deadlines and expected delivery times.
- Get Ahead of Customer Complaints
In the rush of things, and in moments of stress, balls might be dropped which can lead to customer complaints.
Don’t be surprised when this happens. It comes with the territory as a business proffering products and services. Get ahead of these things instead.
Besides improving your operations, you can do a lot to minimize customer complaints:
Manage expectations by communicating with customers clearly. Educate them and offer as much info as you can on products, deadlines, changes etc. Customers will empathise with your situation as long as you level with them.
- Monitor online reviews and feedback, and quickly implement insights.
- Consider live chat support or extend customer support hours. (Doing this can make your business accessible and customer-friendly, potentially leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.)
# 6 Plan for returns and exchanges
There will be an increase in returns and exchanges following the holiday season. So make your return policy clear and easy to understand. You can even consider offering an extended return window for holiday purchases.
Make sure that your team is trained to handle returns efficiently and courteously. Remind yourself that there’s a holiday rush every year, and you would want to leave a positive lasting impression on customers.
# 7 Hire And Train Seasonal Staff
An increased workload would easily mean an increase in workers. So if Santa has his elves, you should consider hiring for extra help during this holiday season.
Start the process early to allow sufficient time for training and onboarding. Ensure that your seasonal employees are familiar with your products, policies, and customer service standards.
For increases in the digital workload, you can even hire Filipino remote workers, known the world over for their hard work and brilliance.
Companies who hire remote workers bank on technology to offload some of the work to professionals living on the other side of the globe. Not only are they adapting to the seasonal rush, they’re reaping serious savings on labour as well.
And who knows, you might love your remote workers so much, that you decide to have them on full-time. (And save on costs the whole year through!)
The holiday rush can be a stressful time, but with planning and preparation, it can also be incredibly rewarding. By doing things like stocking up on inventory, optimizing your website, streamlining checkout processes, planning your marketing campaigns, and hiring and training seasonal staff, your business will be well-equipped to handle the festive season. Remember, a positive shopping experience during the holidays can lead to loyal customers throughout the year.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing partners with companies who hire remote workers. We help companies, big and small, find Filipino remote workers for their organizations…not just for the holiday season, but the whole year through.
Kinetic has a database of over 4 million remote professionals ranging from engineers, accountants, lawyers, and consultants, to software developers, programmers, graphic artists, writers and social media managers.
You might be looking for, say, a virtual assistant (VA). Kinetic makes finding your ideal remote worker a breeze. You can easily browse our catalogue of Rockstar Virtual Assistant Candidates right now. (Click here and tell us where to send the list.)
On average, companies who hire remote workers enjoy 70% savings on labour, with no discernible drop in work quality.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to explore this opportunity. Kinetic will help you from vetting to onboarding your rockstar employee.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.