As most retail merchants know, Black Friday is the kick-off of the peak holiday shopping season, and it’s just around the corner. Last year, consumers spent $682 billion on Black Friday shopping, with a predicted $717 billion to be spent in 2018. As Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, and the rest of holiday shopping season approaches, promos and sales can’t be the only thing you plan for. Here are 5 holiday hacks you probably didn’t think of yet that will prep your business for shopping season.
1. Automate Inventory Management
Having available and ample inventory is vital to your business, but it’s even more important during the holiday shopping season where thousands of businesses sell out of their high-demand products. Proactively managing your store’s inventory during this busy time lowers the risk of running out of your must-have stock. Some POS systems, like Vend, take the guesswork out of inventory management by automating promotions and auto-filling orders when stock gets low. Using POS systems with inventory management is a great way to make the most of your stock and maximize profits.
2. Accept Online Payments with Ease
If you have an online store in addition to a brick-and-mortar storefront, being prepared goes a long way. If you’ve just recently set up an online store, make sure your checkout page accepts as many forms of payment as possible (to reduce the rate of cart abandonment) especially both debit and credit cards so customers can check out with ease. At Fattmerchant, our eCommerce solutions for payment processing give you the flexibility and freedom to accept online transactions, even ACH transactions! Online shoppers spent almost $6.6 billion in 2017 on Cyber Monday, with internet retail expected to grow 10% annually. Tapping into this stream of revenue can add to your bottom line far beyond the holiday shopping season.
3. Get Paid on Time, Every Time
During peak holiday shopping season, waiting on funds can be difficult and challenging, especially if you need to order inventory. Managing your cash flow and getting paid faster is a breeze with same-day funding programs… if your payment processing provider offers them. Same-day programs – like Fattmerchant’s Fast Access Funding – give you access to your funds within hours of batching out. So long as you batch out in any of our 5 convenient funding windows, you’ll get your funds the very same day!
4. Make Your Staff Your Best Business Partners
Keeping your staff trained on all of your store’s processes and equipment not only ensures your team is prepared for the holiday shopping season, but it also gives you an opportunity to review your business’ procedures as a whole. If you recently switched to a new POS system, ensure that documentation and on-boarding instructions are included with your purchase, like they are with Fattmerchant. Spend some time with your staff ensuring that they understand your hardware and software. The last thing you want is an upset customer, a confused staff member, and little to no access to live customer support. With a fully prepared and trained staff ready, you can turn your full attention to managing your business instead of troubleshooting and resolving issues during busy season when customers simply don’t have time to wait on a glitchy terminal. With Fattmerchant, merchants have access to live customer support, online chat, and a self-serve knowledge base whenever they need it.
5. Get Social
Once your sales and promotions are planned out and your inventory is ready, it’s time to spread the word! Social media platforms are especially valuable tools for disseminating your store’s promos, and they don’t always require a large investment in advertising – the beauty of social media is that there are paid and organic options which are both effective. Leveraging Facebook, Instagram, and other channels can widen your business’ reach to turn visitors into lifelong customers. Free, easy-to-use online tools, like Canva, can help you craft the perfect graphics to boost out on social media for your audience to like, comment on, and share with their friends. Identify the followers you have with the most influence and consider leveraging it for your promotions. Social media can be a powerful tool for small businesses to advertise on, with a potential return on investment of increased sales and lifelong customers.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday don’t just mark the start of the holiday shopping season – they stand as an opportunity for all businesses to improve their processes and increase sales, no matter their size. Online stores and sales present a new stream of revenue for your business, and planning online sales for Cyber Monday can be just as impactful for Black Friday. Planning your business’ Black Friday sale or promotion can be streamlined and simplified with the right tools at your disposal, and technology can certainly help with that. By preparing your business early for the holiday shopping season, you can reap all the rewards of Black Friday and Cyber Monday!