With the Christmas season right round the corner it is time to amp up your preparations. Sales at retail stores or pound shops around nation,during the holiday season, account for more than 30% of the annual sales. So, every retailer in the UK would provide the best wholesale Christmas decorations to their customers.
It means you have to work extra hard to compete with them. With a good rush season planning and partnering with a competent wholesale Christmas products supplier in Manchester or elsewhere in UK you can make the most of the high footfalls your store will receive in the upcoming weeks. If you thought that competing with those high profile pound shops or discount stores in your neighbourhood was an unattainable task, then let us tell you: it is completely doable. With some prior preparations you can not only compete but out-beat their sales figures. To help you, we would like to provide a to-do list before the rush begins.
Things to Plan for before Holiday Season
Idea #1: Think about your holiday displays
Your displays (window, in-store and shop layouts) should instantly grab the attention of customers and influence them to buy from your store. Using the generic displays would not be of much use, so you have to think out of the box. This is the time to start planning for messages and the graphics that will go into creating a great display. Once you have planned the output, it is time to arrange for the materials. Lights for your display should help you stand out from the crowd. Generally, white lights generate great interest, so you may think about them. Through the right selection of props you can set the tempo for shoppers. While the "Sale" signages should definitely stay in the mix, you can also use other signages with unique messaging too.
Idea #2: Order for Items Early
Your store is as good as its stock. This is a busy time for every Christmas merchandise wholesale supplier. So, you have to plan and order for the stocks at the earliest. By the last week of this month, your shelves should be full of the wholesale holiday decor items. But before you order, a bit of planning needs to be executed. What type of Christmas merchandise would you be selling? Would it be gift items, gift bundles, wholesale Christmas home decor, or everything? You need to decide on this. You may also arrange for Christmas gift cards, that are in trend nowadays.
Idea #3: Give your website the seasonal touch
It is time to put up some Christmas themed large banners at the website. You may even start thinking about customizing certain product sections at the website to suit the seasonal needs of the browsers. Having customized tabs such as "Gifts for Her" and another "Gifts under £50", etc. serve as extra incentives for the customers. If you have some promotions for the holiday season, make sure that the customers are able to redeem the offers easily.
Idea #4: Hire Seasonal Staff
To manage the increased footfalls at your store rise, you would need more staff. So, this is the perfect time to start looking for that extra staff. You may post on the job boards, re-hire some employees and ask for referrals. This holiday season every customer would expect great level of service from you, so hiring the right staff is a must. This is why some experts believe that the job posts should be more detailed. It would help you recruit the right talents.
Idea #5: Stock Extra Supplies
The holiday season can be hectic and you would need extra efforts in inventory management to live upto the expectations of customers. Running out on supplies in the middle of the Christmas season could leave you high and dry. So, ask for extra supplies from the Christmas wholesale suppliers in UK. Some of the items that you might forget, in the hurry of it all, include: Cash desk supplies (such as bags, till tape, staplers, pens, etc.), Receipt paper, Gift boxes, Payment terminal paper, Gift cards and Hangers.
Idea #6: Beef up the Security
Where there is a crowd, there is always the chance of theft. Stores across the UK end up losing a lot of money due to unscrupulous acts of customers and staff. Do not let that happen to you. First of all, you should opt for the modern point-of-sale systems that help you set user permissions over what the staff members can do and cannot. Secondly, there are many technologies that help you secure your store from miscreants. You may install some of the security features such as Mirrors, Cameras, Foot traffic technologies, Signage, RFID, etc. Thirdly, use random cycle counting of stocks to identify any stock discrepancies.
Idea #7: Rethink the Return Policies
There would be a huge rush at your store. Handling the returns and exchanges in the midst of that can be a headache. Different stores handle this problem with their unique approaches. While some would have time restrictions, others would only offer store cash for returns, then there would be others who would even exchange products without their original receipt (to win customer confidence). It is completely upto you, what return policy you want to have in place during the Christmas season.
Idea #8: Chalk out the Fulfillment Plan
Order fulfillment is a big issue during the holiday season. Some extra shipping money, or some days of delay in delivery could be very harmful for your business. So, this is the time when you should have a perfect fulfillment plan in place. A good plan should take into account the inventory, shipment dates of products and where the product is situated in real time. This will help you meet the customer expectations and deliver products on time.
Idea #9: Procure the Right Technology
Holiday season will see high traffic to your online and real world stores. You can serve the customers well only when you have the adequate technology to support your increased needs. Right from upgrading your software to arranging for extra hardware, you need to make sure that the technology requirements are met before the crowds descend upon your store. On the online part, you should make sure that the hosting plans are adequate to handle the increased web traffic.
When it comes to the holiday season, last minute planning never bears fruit. You may think that the Christmas shopping spree will start only some weeks later, but in your laze you are missing out on crucial time to prepare your store for the season. So, start your plans today!