The holiday season is fast approaching! Black Friday and Cyber Monday once again promise to be the busiest shopping days of the year. This is an exciting time for consumers, and naturally, it should be an exciting time for retailers.

Are you doing everything you can to maximize your sales on these key shopping days? Here are a few tips to consider as you begin preparing for the holiday sales season.

Start Making Seasonal Hires

Don't wait until the last minute to start looking to expand your workforce. The best seasonal employees are always snatched up quickly. Not only that, but if your seasonal help is brought in too late, they won't have enough time to learn about your products, policies, and technology. If you have employees learning to use a cash register just days before a major sale, customers will not be happy.

Be Smart About Employee Training

Employee training no longer requires taking people off the floor to be trained in a back room or at the sales counter. Make good use of modern technology like tablets and smartphones, and you'll be able to train during downtime.

Get Employees Involved In Decisions

When your workers get to play a part in helping brainstorm ideas about merchandising, marketing, or sales, they begin to feel like they're genuinely a part of your business. This is especially important for seasonal workers. If they feel invested in your store, they'll be happier and work harder.

Start Planning Discounts

Sales are obviously a core element of the Black Friday experience, and it's definitely not too early to start working them out. Do you want to offer a discount on your best selling products to really drive in customers? Or would you rather reduce prices on slow sellers in the hope of reducing inventory? Whatever your goals, plan out a strategy for what you want to accomplish and stick to it.

Prepare Advertisement

Ads are a great way to drive in even more traffic during the holidays. If you get an early start, you'll have better understanding of which kinds of ads are most successful, and which demographics you can best target. Then, when we reach the heart of the sales season, you'll be able to run the most effective advertisements possible.

Personalize Your Receipts

Repeat business is greatly improved by strong post-purchase communication. There's no better time than the moment of the sale to speak to your customers, because they've already got buying on their minds. A friendly customized message on your receipt not only lets you thank them in your own words, but gives you a chance to talk about other products or discounts on future purchases.

Offer Gift Cards

It seems simple, but it's easy to overlook. When people are holiday shopping, they're often buying things for other people. If they can't find exactly the right thing, what do they fall back on every time? Gift cards.

In Summary

If you want to have a great holiday sales season, you've got to be prepared. From employee presence to discounts and advertising, everything must be thought out and well planned. Now's the time to get started!

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