The holiday season brings with it warm promises of family reunions, gifts, shopping and baked goods but for retailers and e-commerce stores, holiday seasons comes bearing demanding work which leads to stress. It is perhaps the worse time to stress especially when you want to shop, indulge in feasts and spend quality time with your family while maintaining your productivity at your retail or e-commerce store. Keeping your customers satisfied with sales, returns, exchanges through customer support calls, chats and queries will take top most priority at your work place during the holiday season because happy customers tend to shop more and the Q4 is the time to make-up and take your annual sales number to the finish line!
Managers, sales team, customer and IT support can start with some good homework by checking up on the previous year’s business performance, identify productivity loop holes and set self-check measures. Here’s the Zendesk’s four crucial trends for the 2018 holiday season to help your business get started on what trends to expect this year around. In order to save you precious time, we did your research for you and here are our Top Five
Tips on how to stay productive in retail business during the holiday season:
- Motivation is the key!
All you need to get through the holidays with consistent productivity is a little hope! Motivating your staff goes a long way. Inc’s article talks about how it is crucial to delegate and trust the work force to keep up their end of the barter. Managers need to understand the importance of being flexible, allowing leaves and work from home especially if it ensures happy work force for your business. All year round your employees engage your customers but during the holiday time, the leadership is required to keep the employees engaged by setting realistic and transparent expectations and goals which the employees can meet. In the retail business, whether with an e-commerce store or a physical one, the employees must be kept motivated by identifying what drives them and each employee is unique based on what motivates him/her. The key for an employer is to engage his/her employees because only then will they tell positive stories about their work, not the monotonous routine but the part that excites them and the why and how of what they do!
- Working & Training before the holidays.
Companies and individuals can start with holiday preparations beforehand in order to avoid last minute stress and panic both on personal and professional end. Whether it is getting more work done before the holidays at work or taking care of all the holiday shopping in advance, each and every small task that can be done before the peak season should be efficiently done and dusted. This includes the most important one which is training the employees and managerial teams to handle the retail business holiday work load, something which a lot of employees lack. According to this insightful article by Westmornore their survey shows that over one third of managers receive no formal training to tackle the holiday season business needs of their companies. Gearing up the employees and helping them better themselves in the areas where they are uncertain will ensure that they can handle work independently during the holidays when the decision making team in the company may be on vacation or with fewer staff around to help out.
- Celebrate a little, or a lot!
Its better to accept the fact that holidays and festive season are in order. Take time to celebrate with your team at work whether it is year end or Christmas celebrations or after completing big tasks or BFCM sales, a breather to blow off some steam is crucial. Forbes suggests setting small weekly tasks to stay on top of work and then planning team celebrations which will go a long way to keep up the morale and improve team dynamic at workplace. This article has couple of interesting and creative ideas like volunteering as a group during the holidays or having fun costume parties or secret santa or even meditating together. Do a poll to determine what your employees would enjoy the most and watch everyone work hard in order to party even harder to bring in the holidays and celebrate. This holiday spirit will bring a chain reaction and automatically boost up productivity in stores.
- Don’t over-commit or multitask.
As much as we love to do it, multitasking decreases efficiency and is almost a distraction of sorts. Online shopping in the middle of a meeting is counter productive and the holiday season makes it even harder for individuals to focus. Having a distraction free work zone will allow your retail team to work efficiently and get the work done sooner so they may be able to go home early. Be sure to remind them this. At the same time do not over-commit to customers if you are understaffed as it would become a stressful situation. Try to avoid multitasking and prioritize tasks that are most important and make a significant difference like year end reports and customer support before other tasks like budget allocation and purchases for next year which can be done prior or later on.
- Set up meetings for early in the new year!
All B2B meetings such as sales, purchases and new projects can be set for the new year after the holiday fever has passed according to this productivity article for the holidays This will ensure excellent productivity as everyone will be back to work and start fresh and do their best work. It is okay to take the decision to plan ahead and schedule meetings for later instead of having poor deals when everyone is in the festive mood.
Want more tips on how to improve your retail sales during the holiday season? Business Know How has got you covered!
Your business could grow 2x-10x with our sales, marketing, business operations, application integrations and CRM support at Wyzebulb. Why overwork during the holidays when you can let Automation do the work for you? What is your favourite holiday productivity hack and tip, let us know in the comments below!