The Holidays. At the end of every year, after the mad rush of frantic shoppers leaves your store looking (and feeling) like a disaster zone, and you’re left looking at the mess of inventory, schedule adjustments, and back-office work that you need to sort out, it’s almost routine now that you swear to yourself you’ll be better prepared next year.
By the time next year rolls around, however, there are new unforeseen problems and not enough time to prepare, and you wind up faced with the exact same scenario. Why is this?
Perhaps you’ve tried your best to get ahead, but you’ve lacked the tools and guidance necessary to implement your strategy successfully. If this sounds accurate, we’ve prepared a retailer’s survival guide for you so that you can get started before it’s too late:
The 10-Week Seasonal Schedule
The first step is to focus on your labor. You want to know how much minimum coverage you need for busy shifts. Use historical data from your POS to help you better forecast your labor needs. If you don’t have enough staff to cover the upcoming season, hire seasonal staff, and be sure to train them well.
Ask new employees to go behind the counter and answer the following questions:
- What do you do if the POS goes down while a customer is at the register?
- If you need a bag right now, and are out, what would you do?
- How do you know when it’s time to restock the register with tape, bags, boxes, and gift cards?
- Who is responsible for restocking the register?
- If you need to call a manager, how would you do so?
If they can’t answer these questions, train them and your entire staff. Additionally, make a cheat sheet to place to the register.
Make Room for Holiday Inventory
Take a good look at your stock room or warehouse. In addition to inventory, what else is taking up space back there? Display units? Shelving? Chances are, you have random odds and ends taking up space that you likely won’t be needing in the next 60-80 days.
If you do, it’s time to do a deep clean. Take it home, throw it out, whatever you need to do to make room for your holiday inventory, because getting a head start now will help you keep everything more organized when the stock starts pouring in.
Consider Your Point of Sale Workstations
Oftentimes, the holiday rush brings long lines that are increasingly difficult for your workers to bust, not because you are understaffed, but because you are under-equipped. Do you have enough POS workstations on hand to make sure lines stay reasonable and customers don’t become disgruntled?
If not, consider a solution like a tablet POS that can double as a fixed-based POS or as a mobile unit to bust lines on the sales floor. Tablet POS workstations are great for seasonal uses, since you can easily scale up or scale down with them based on customer demand.
NCC offers powerful tablet POS that can be used on its own or in combination with a fixed terminal. Our solutions increase speed of service, customer engagement, and productivity, ensuring you are well-prepared to handle the increased business this season. For more information on our products, contact the experts at NCC today.