|From Flickr user Christina Rutz.|
In fact, the National Retail Federation forecasts a better holiday season this year, with sales up 2.8% to $465.6 billion. Of course you want your share, so here's what to consider while you're finalizing your plans:
Do you have all the decor you need?
You should have approved designs and ordered everything a couple of months ago. Everything should be arriving now. Give it a thorough inspection and call your purveyors if anything is out of order. If all looks good, get it out to your stores with their new plan-o-grams, which they should implement right after Halloween.
What's your online plan?
While you were ordering your holiday decor, you were also approving designs for your web site to match. It's always a good idea to be a little more festive at this time of year - substitute some warm wintry graphics and put holiday sellers forward and move non-seasonal items back. Of course, the holiday promotions you've planned should go front and center.
What's your email plan?
Now that your stores and web site are updated, you can work on your holiday themed emails. These should be highlighting your deals and special sales events - Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and one or two more before the end of December. Consider a Hanukkah event, a last-minute event, and a deadline-oriented event - "last day to get free shipping" or "last day for 10% of orders of $80 or more..." kinds of things.
Are you staffed?
I hope you've already hired everyone that you need to start November 1. This includes warehouse staff, call center folks, and regular retail personnel. If not, help this year's lackluster job market by hiring people now. There are plenty of talented, motivated people out there who'd love a chance to build your business while they build a career.
I hope you're ready for a strong holiday season this year. Need help? Drop me a line and let's get our sale on.