The reality is that, although you work hard all year, your business will likely experience its busiest seasons curve alongside the rest of the world. For example, if you’re in the travel industry, then summer will be busier, and winter may be quieter. If you’re into fashion, then September is a big month for full shopping carts — but December isn’t.
Whatever your business does, there are ways to maximise sales during your busier seasons — here are some of our best tips for doing so. We’ll also go over some great ways to make a lot more money than usual during this time!
1. Look back (and plan forward)
You know your business history better than anyone! Look back at what happened last year and anticipate what you need this year. Which products were popular in most shopping carts during busy times? How did you manage staffing during the long days? Which days of the week or times of the day were most demanding?
Then start your planning as early as possible. Set bigger but realistic goals and also try to anticipate unique issues that might arise during these specific times. Plan for the upside and the downside, and go with the flow.
2. Keep your staff happy
Busy seasons are usually physically and emotionally draining. Reward your hard-working staff with promotions, bonuses, or perks, and anticipate future staffing needs. An overworked and unrewarded team is not a happy bunch, so make sure they can keep up with the demand and that you keep up with making them happy. Be clear about what you expect of your employees during the peak season and how they can help.
Invest in expanding and training new staff before the busy season and introduce time tracking and scheduling tools to help them get adjusted to working patterns. Lay out clear guidelines for how you manage the business and what to expect when things are slow or busy.
Encourage your team members to double down on the busy season with you by holding contests, giving away prizes, or doing other fun activities.
3. Promote, Promote, Promote
Get the word out about your business to reach your seasonal customers. Start with the low-hanging fruit: offer discounts in public review spaces like Google Reviews, Yelp, or Facebook for Business. You can also partner with local businesses, hotels, cafes and restaurants to offer discounts for their clients to increase your visibility in the local business community.
Get people through the door with a free gift promo and a mid-season discount to add to their shopping cart after peak season. Offer discounts or referral schemes to customers who refer others or make a buzz on social media by asking customers to share their thoughts. During peak season, offer discounts and free services to attract new customers – this will make your business stand out from your competitors.
4. Encourage reviews
We all know that online reviews matter – customers trust other customers. It’s terrifying to ask your customers to leave them, but it’s standard practice for most businesses. And one of the best ways to earn a positive review is to treat every customer with respect and address negative experiences promptly.
Keeping an eye on customer reviews on social media, encouraging their feedback, and directly engaging with them will help your business succeed. Remember to also put customer service first on your list – troubleshooting shipment issues, taking the time to answer questions about your busy season promotion and helping them with any product issues will only make their shopping carts fuller.
5. Focus on your star products or services
This may seem obvious, but if you are only able to sell your products or services for 3 months out of the year, focus on increasing your revenue to the point where the off-season is not a problem for you. In order to make this work, determine how much you need to sell to compensate for the off-season, and then strategise on how to improve your sales to achieve this.
Make sure you consider your prices: being the lowest price does not guarantee success for your business, but pricing within the right range does. Innovative retailers are using mobile apps, location-based promotions, loyalty programs and more in-store benchmarking to ensure that the price that was posted online is also available on the brick-and-mortar storefront.
Need a force multiplier for your eCommerce efforts this busy season? Try Stor for everything you need to successfully sell online, and never worry about the small details!