The holidays represent one of the most important times of the year for retailers. For businesses both small and large, the holidays represent a time to increase sales and make up for any slower times during the year. But it helps to know in advance everything from when to hire extra workers to the reason for Christmas stockings. 

Numbers from the National Retail Federation show the importance of Christmas season sales. They include the following:  

  • 20% to 40% of annual sales for small and mid-sized retail businesses happen in November and December. 
  • Holiday sales in 2017 totaled $687.87 billion, 5.3% higher than 2017] 
  • Surveys indicate consumers will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the holiday season 

The importance of the holiday season is something online MBA students will learn. It’s especially important for those who plan to work in a retail environment, especially for a mid-size or smaller business. Point Park University designed its online program with busy professionals in mind, allowing them to balance their work schedules with earning a degree. 

Faculty with industry experience teach MBA courses, giving students relevant, practical skills to solve real-world challenges. 

Tips To Prepare For The Holiday Season 

The Christmas season can make or break the year for many retailers. Here are some tips to keep in mind. 

Hire Seasonal Workers Early 

If you think you will need additional workers to handle an increased number of shoppers during the holidays, start the process of advertising for them, hiring them and training them as early on as possible. By the time the holiday season rush starts, you want a group of well-trained workers who can support your full-time employees and help you meet customer needs. 

Create Attractive Christmas Displays 

An appealing window display or in-store display can draw customers into your store and put them in the mindset of buying gifts. They can make customers feel both festive and ready to share that feeling by purchasing a great gift.  

Provide a Gift to Customers 

This is one of the best ways to give your customers an extra incentive to show at your store. Provide them a free service such as gift-wrapping, free shipping or delivery (if your store is online), gift cards or a special Christmas discount. 

Christmas Stocking Stuffers 

Another potential area for sales is in promoting Christmas stocking stuffers, which remain a popular way for people to give gifts, especially for younger people or for college students living for the first time away from home. Think of the latter as a sort of a care box with a holiday theme. 

The history of Christmas stockings dates all the way back to the beginnings of the holiday when legend has it that St. Nicholas threw gold into stockings hung above the fireplace to dry. The trend today is to give numerous, small gifts. These are typically impulse or last-minute purchases, so the key is to make them as convenient as possible to buy. 

That includes placing Christmas stocking stuffers near the point of purchase, using visuals to advertise stocking stuffers locations within the store and upselling expensive items that may otherwise get ignored. Stores also can bundle items together. 

Use Social Media 

In the modern business world, your marketing efforts must reach customers where they “live” online. That means creating a marketing campaign that makes use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

These ideas, from modern marketing to offering excellent Christmas stocking gifts, can help a business make the holiday retail season much better. It’s one of many aspects of business where MBA students can develop expertise.