Five key business decisions you need to make for a successful Christmas

Preparing a business for a fruitful season of Christmas trading can be achieved simply, so long as you bear stock, structure, sales service and social media in mind. 

Here are the five decisions you need to make to cover all of these bases.

1. What am I going to stock and when should I start buying?

Research this year’s standout stocking fillers and secret Santa must haves and pile your stockroom high with these items well ahead of the big day – this will guarantee you get ahead of competitors and have enough inventory to handle demand.

Also, take the time to think about how different products can relate to each other by using suggested items and bundles to cross-sell additional items to your customers. Remember that this strategy works especially well with last minute shoppers who are out to purchase a few final gifts.

Finally, try not to over order, this will minimise leftover stock; forecast your stock levels to acquire enough, ensuring you have a good relationship with your supplier to up demand if needed.

2. How can I best structure my website?

It’s vital to plan the positioning of key product lines online as far in advance of Christmas as possible. Before laying out toxicfox.co.uk’s festive offering, we consider strongly performing items from the entire year as well as seasonal favourites from the previous Christmas.

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This data is used to inform our decision as to what makes its way onto that all-important landing page slot. Don’t be static about this page however, as you may be surprised by what actually becomes your Yuletide bestseller.

Traffic is guaranteed to increase over the season, so prepare for an influx of visitors to your site. Check that your server can handle sudden spikes in demand and usage to provide the best possible online experience for customers.

Triple test the systems and ensure you have taken the time and actions necessary to monitor and improve conversion funnels. Even the smallest change can have a big impact, so it’s well worth doing.

3. When are the shopping periods that matter most to my customers?

Launch new products before Christmas to increase the chance of making the final cut on people’s Christmas wish lists. Products likely to be a hit may not reach their full sales potential if launched when delivery cannot be guaranteed or when Christmas lists have already been sent to the North Pole for processing.

Clever planning is key to the success of your campaign, so set aside adequate time for launch and highlight key seasonal dates, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in your calendar. Failure to make provision for these important retailing dates could leave you straggling behind your rivals.

Continue reading on the next page for how to deliver exceptional service to your customers and the channels that can generate valuable sales for the business.

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