Six Tips For Better Small Businessd Holiday Sales

For small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) the holiday season really is the most wonderful time of the year. Checkout lines get a little longer, website traffic increases and sales are expected to soar sky high. In fact, holiday sales could increase anywhere from 4 to 4.5 percent over last year with online sales jumping almost 20 percent.
Here are Chris Francis, VP of Market Development at Worldpay US six tips can help prepare your business for the seasonal sales surge.

  1. Walk down memory lane: Review last year’s results to get a better sense of which promotions worked and which didn’t. Whether it’s a free giveaway or limited-time discount, examine the effectiveness of your sales strategies to help shed light on areas for improvement. Also, remember to use a wide range of metrics – including revenue figures and customer satisfaction surveys – to measure your success in 2017 and beyond.
  2. Stay local: Support your surrounding community by researching and participating in “Shop Local” holiday campaigns. Dishing out discounts and other freebies to those who live in the neighborhood is an easy way to help boost sales and establish new local connections for your business. If you’re not sure where to get started, consider taking part in Small Business Saturday on November 25th or start connecting early next year with Independents Week at the start of July. These annual celebrations of small and independent businesses may contribute to your business becoming a go-to destination for local shoppers.
  3. Brush up on trainings: With the holiday shopping season, comes plenty of returns and exchanges. Help your full-time and seasonal employees prepare for the rush by offering a refresher on store operations and policies. Not only can this help employees avoid confusion and speed up the checkout process, but a little extra training can also ensure things keep running smoothly even as business starts to heat up.
  4. Create a backup plan: E-commerce sales tend to spike around the holiday season – and that could spell trouble for your business. From a website crash to a faulty app, an influx of shoppers has the potential to derail your business’ e-commerce channels when customers are using them the most. Keep your hosting provider’s contact information on hand to ensure you’re not left empty handed if things take a turn for the worse. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, apologize for the inconvenience over email or social media and let customers know when your website or app will be back online.
  5. Make the necessary investments:The more channels, the better. According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, omni-channel shoppers not only spend more than those who use a single channel, but are also more likely to make repeat trips to a retailer’s store and recommend a brand to friends and family. Boost your bottom line with an omni-channel approach or mobile POS that complements your in-store shopping experience and paves the way for greater customer convenience.
  6. Communicate early and often: Missing a delivery date will help keep your business top of mind with customers – but for all the wrong reasons. Reduce the possibility of a late shipment or delivery by communicating all deadlines with suppliers and shoppers on more than one occasion. While it may seem redundant, regularly monitoring deadlines can mean the difference between maintaining customer loyalty or a delivery disaster.

The nights leading up to the holiday season are guaranteed to be anything but silent for most businesses. With the six tips outlined above, your small business can make the most of this big annual shopping spree.

Chris Francis is Vice President of Market Development at Worldpay US, a global payments provider for all channels: in-store, online and via mobile. To learn more, visit