Prepare for TakeOff: Your Retail Holiday Checklist

Retail checklist

2018 is showing hopeful signs for retailers with storefronts. Research shows that people are, once again, getting out there and shopping – so now more than ever, you want to make sure you’re ready. In this article, you’ll find 6 essential tips to make this your best holiday sales season. You’ll also discover how a Point of Sale system can give you a shortcut to retail success.


1. Reward your best customers.
Make your best customers feel special. Exclusive holiday deals, after hours shopping, or free shipping on holiday purchases are a few ways to make your best customers feel recognized and appreciated. To identify your best customers, you’ll want to create a list of who spends the most and shops most frequently in your store.


How a Point of Sale system can help:

Make sure your POS has CRM capabilities that can tell who bought what, when and how often, so you can provide your most loyal customers with special offers every time you ring up a holiday sale. QuickBooks POS identifies your best customers both by how much they’ve spent and how often they’ve shopped at your store.


2. Know what to sell. So you can sell all of it.
Doing your homework on what to sell can really pay off. Look at your holiday sales history from last year. See what sold, and what didn’t. Go further and look at the items with the highest dollar value and the highest volume. It pays to look at this data for a couple years to see if there are trends. Get ready for the season by making sure you have the right inventory ordered before the holiday rush begins.


How a Point of Sale system can help:
Make sure your POS provides historical sales reports like best sellers and worst sellers. The insights you can pull up from a POS system make it easier to make smart decisions. QuickBooks POS comes with essential reports on sales and sales trends and also helps you pinpoint what to re-order, when and so you don’t miss a holiday sale.


3. Staff up for success.
Having enough help can make or break your holiday season. You don’t want customers waiting in long lines because they may go elsewhere or decide to buy online. Hiring seasonal workers is a great idea if it helps you serve your customer faster and better. You may choose to have the seasonal help work the register while your more experienced staff consults with customers on the floor.


How a Point of Sale system can help:
You’ll definitely want seasonal employees to get up-and-running quickly. Choose a POS system that is user friendly and easy to learn. You might also want to limit what seasonal employees can see and do in the system to minimize chance of theft and shrinkage. With QuickBooks POS, you can teach someone how to add an item, print it, get it into the system on the shelf in less than 30 minutes.


4. Stay top of mind with your customers.
Don’t wait for customers to walk in your store. Drive them in with email marketing. You want to stay top of mind so yours is the first store they think of when shopping. There’s a lot of competition for the shopping dollar. Some retailers send out emails daily to stay top of mind with customers. When it comes to email promotions – get creative. Deal of the day, trending or best-seller lists, new and exclusive items, 12 days of Christmas gifts are all ideas that give you a reason to reach out.


How a Point of Sale system can help:
Many POS systems let you store customer information (name, address, email address, past purchases, etc). Look for a system that lets you easily pull a list of email addresses so you can proactively promote your store. This is readily available in QuickBooks Point of Sale.


5. Make shopping an event.
Create an event for the holidays that brings customers in. A cooking class for a kitchen store, an author signing for a bookstore, a travel seminar for a luggage store – these are just a few ideas to get your thinking started. It’s best if it relates to what you sell, but it could also be a tie in with a local charity too.


How a Point of Sale system can help:
With some POS systems, you can drill down to find out who bought a particular type of item so you’ll know who to invite. Then email or send a postcard to hype your event. Creating custom lists or reports is a standard feature in QuickBooks Point of Sale.


6. Focus on the merchandise, not the register.
Too often customers need to go to the register to ask a question or check a price. Don’t make customers come to you. Assist customers on the spot right where they are considering buying, you’ll likely close more sales.


How a Point of Sale system can help:
Make use of your POS mobile device to check prices, inventory status or ring up sales. QuickBooks POS integrates with a Microsoft Surface® Pro 41 so you can bring your POS with you as you help customers throughout the store.

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