retail holiday season

It’s July, so if you’re a retailer, it’s time to start preparing for the holiday season. Freestyle Solutions is here to help online retailers and brands survive and thrive during the busy season. Below are some tips that will help your business this holiday season.

  1. Prepare Your Website

Is your website ready for the traffic spikes the holidays can bring? Testing load time for API’s and your site’s speed is a good idea before the holiday season.

If you collect customer data or accept credit cards online, you’ll want to verify your site is PCI compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.

Is your website secure? Make sure your ecommerce and content management platforms have the latest updates installed and are using best security practices. If this is beyond IT team’s area of expertise, you may want to hire a security consultant to verify your website is not vulnerable to an attack. Businesses are frequently targeted during the holidays, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Is your site mobile-friendly? If it isn’t, it should be. Smartphones accounted for 45.1 percent of all shopping traffic online in the first quarter of 2016 according to a study from Demandware. This is more than computers at 45 percent. Also, Google search results are affected by whether a site is responsive. In May, Google rolled out an update to mobile search results that “increases the effect” of its mobile-friendly ranking.

  1. Get Your Inventory Ready

The last thing you want to be during the holiday season is out of stock on a key item or items that is going to be the item of the entire holiday season.  Looking at trends for specific products from last year or past holiday trends for top products will help you stock the products you need, and make sure that you are never out of stock.  You can also analyze monthly or weekly sales volumes for trends. With the omnichannel landscape expanding, tying in your brick and mortar stores for in-store pick up as an option will drive the success you need for this holiday season.

  1. Figure Out Your Sales Schedule

Sure Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a given when it comes to massive sales during the holiday season, but maybe you want to consider other days during the holiday season that would help drive revenue.  It also gives shoppers a reason to come and visit your site multiple times during the holiday season. You’ll want to be a step ahead of everyone else, become the trend, don’t join the trend.

  1. Plan Your Promotions Schedule

You want to entice people to purchase something on your site, but you also want to figure out ways that will drive them to the site after the holiday season. Creating promotions is a great way to drive demand. Setting the right promotions will get people to not only increase the size of their cart, but increase the size of the sale. Also, consider running promotions for after the holidays to give shoppers a reason to come back after the holidays are over.

  1. Get Your Seasonal Help Up to Speed

Having enough help to manage the spike in your business is a critical piece to help your business survive and thrive in the holiday season. You should determine which positions are most critical and can be trained quickly. It may be workers that help pack and ship out extra boxes of merchandise or answer calls in your call center. Using a staffing firm to hire temporary workers may be the quickest way to find temporary help. Training these employees quickly and thoroughly will help reduce headaches and increase the efficiency of your business.

Is your order management system well equipped to support your holiday sales? Freestyle Solutions can help. Find out more information about our two order management system offerings.