It is not a surprise that December is one of the busiest month celebrations wise. It is time where people make the most purchases. Retailers must prioritize efficient buying journey for the consumers entering the store. It is typically the time for the retail stores to beef up their operations in preparation for the heavy foot traffic. Study shows that the majority of the retail stores focus only on stocking up their inventories and managing sufficient staff. While ensuring a great experience for the customers is important enough, the retail store should also take the following into account: 

1. COVID-19 induced regulations:  

This year a lot of safety protocols and regulations changed due to Covid- 19. Compliance to Covid must be the top priority of any retail store. Regularly sanitizing the store, wearing masks etc must be monitored at regular interval.

 2. Forecasting sales & demand  

There is no point in stocking up inventory without foreseeing the level of demand during the Christmas and New Year sales. Use historic data, study market trends and make predictions for the current year.  

3. Ensuring a stocked up inventory :  

Having the sales volume anticipated fairly, it will be cognitive to coordinate with the supplier and the supply chain to get the retail inventory filled up with stock well before Christmas.

4. BOPIS & Curbside contactless pickup:  

BOPIS or, buy online and pick-up in-store can be employed at the outlet to prevent excessive crowding at the store. To facilitate in-store efficiency and superior customer service, a designated area within the store could be earmarked for the customers to pick up their orders.  As a mark to further enhance safety and encourage less crowding at the store during these tough Covid times, your retail can facilitate the curbside contactless pickup where you can deliver the ordered items straight to the customer’s car. 

5. Expediting the checkout:  

Avoid longer wait times at the checkout counters. This could be achieved by efficient POS or additional staff at checkout counters. 

6. Store Efficiency:  

During the busy operations, the maximum focus has to be on customer service. Particularly, at these times it is advisable for the retail store management to mull over the benefits of saving time by employing automation in stock & inventory management, e-mail marketing, visual merchandising and auditing through software like that of the customized ones offered by Outmarch. 

7. Employing adequate staffs:  

The busy sales will require the retail to open early and close late with more than the regular turnover of customers all day long. Getting some more people on the duty-rosters will be significant. In this regard, it will be sensible to hire some non-contractual staff for this period.  

8. Planning the promotion:  

A fierce competition is brewing and each retail store will be out there with innovative methods to out-think competition.  An omnichannel mode of marketing with promotions across the offline, online and the digital modes could be the contemporary way for promoting the festive shopping days. E-mail marketing, paid advertisements and social media campaigns must be in the scheme of things as promotional methodologies to unleash just before the festive days get underway. Product availability with early bird and special discount offers on selected items, referral programs and in-store activities, could all be considered as promotion tactics.

Christmas and the New Year present opportunities for retailers to shore up their revenue. It is the smart retailers who are alive to the current trends and always on the lookout for more innovative ways to service the customers are the ones who will elevate their sales graph.