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Predict Christmas shopping habits and boost seasonal earnings

By: Maria Werner-- 2015-11-16 7:30 am --

The holidays are nearly here, leaving many Americans buried beneath an endless list of shopping and seasonal errands. Despite the joy of the season, the holidays result in elevated stress for most people. However, with the National Retail Federation predicting a sales increase of 3.7 percent this season, retailers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. With adequate preparation, storeowners can anticipate a profitable season and a great start to the new year. To ensure your store is prepared for the consumer invasion, you need to educate yourself about the habits and trends of shoppers. By answering these four questions, you can formulate a business plan that will reel in customers by the horde.


How Much Inventory Do You Need?

With sales anticipated to rise across all industries, retailers need to adjust their inventory accordingly. By assessing the sales data of previous years, storeowners can make rough estimates of projected sales. AlixPartners, a consultant firm, is predicting that this year’s retail sales will be weaker than past years. Due to the fluctuating stock market, shoppers plan to spend less money. Many will also postpone their shopping until the week before Christmas in hopes of cashing in on some last minute deals, so retailers need to remain fully stocked throughout the holidays.


What Type of Inventory Will Sell the Most?

Electronics, books, movies, and toys are the hottest Christmas purchases among shoppers. Compile a list of the most in-demand brands and items that your store offers. By reviewing sales data of previous years, you can gain a more coherent picture of the most popular seasonal items in your inventory.


Is Your Marketing Strategy Sufficient?

Your marketing strategy is the largest determiner of business success. It’s essential to begin your Christmas marketing early, and place a strong emphasis on the most popular brands in your store. With bulk discounts on wholesale goods, you can offer special promotions and holiday discounts that will attract a wider array of clientele. One of the most fatal errors among businesses is the tendency to postpone holiday marketing until late in the season. Many shoppers begin their Christmas shopping as early as June or July, and businesses need to be ready to accommodate the early birds, as well as the stragglers.


Are You Ready for Black Friday?

Black Friday sales rose tremendously between 2008 and 2012, from $41 billion to $59.1 billion. However, 2013 and 2014 noticed a marked decline in sales, which industry experts attribute to a lack of preparation among retailers. Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and retailers need to keep their shelves stocked and offer a plethora of discounts to maximize their earnings. By purchasing inventory in bulk, you can slash prices even more and outsell your competition.


With the holiday season in full swing, retailers have one last chance to prepare their stores for the mobs of holiday shoppers. Black Friday is the biggest retail day of the year, and November and December always experience considerable increases in sales. By predicting the shopping trends of your customers in advance, you can ensure your store is ready to embrace the Christmas mobs.