Does it ever seem like time speeds up over the holiday season?

If you find yourself with a long list of ‘to do’s’, wondering where the weeks have gone, you’re not alone. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the build up to the holidays can also be the most stressful – depending on how well you manage your time. 

At Ankorstore, we know what a challenge this can be, so we’re sharing our top five tips for optimal time management. Take this advice on board, and we’re sure you’ll get swept up in the whirlwind of the season without the stress.

Summary: 

1. Manage your customers’ expectations

Consistently setting realistic expectations is essential to the success of any business, but even more so during the festive season. Ensure you communicate clearly with your customers, keeping them informed as far ahead as possible regarding processing times and Chirstmas order deadlines. This is even more important if you order from abroad or customise items.  

Taking the time to communicate crucial information before the Christmas rush – whether through newsletters or social posts – will save you time in the long run.

2. Optimise your ordering process

Keeping your shop fully stocked during the busy shopping period is a must. After all, you can’t sell products you don’t have in your store. 

We suggest streamlining your ordering process by taking advantage of the tools available, like Ankorstore’s new ‘Prepared Orders’ feature. Choosing this option allows you to contact your favourite brands in the way that suits you best – whether by email, WhatsApp, phone or in person. Simply place your order with the brand, and they’ll send you a pre-populated cart. All you have to do is accept the order and proceed to checkout. Think about everything else you could accomplish with all the time saved using this method. At the end of the day, when you make the most of the hours in it, you maximise your profit potential.

3. Run a tight ship

You can’t run an organised shop without an organised team – and both are crucial to maximising your sales amidst the Christmas rush. Avoid scheduling mishaps and potential issues by looking ahead and staffing accordingly. For example, if you know that your peak weekend shopping hours start at noon, bring in an extra employee to begin their shift at that time, and think about scheduling breaks around those hectic times of the day instead of during. 

Delegate roles and assign shop positions so that every corner of your shop floor is attended to. For example, if you run a boutique, you can post a staff member to fitting rooms, one to cash, and the other to fetching sizes, folding clothes and putting items away.

When it comes to staffing, your ultimate goal is to ensure no customer leaves without making a purchase because there was no one there to help them.

4. Take pride in your shop’s appearance 

It’s not all about having the right stock at the right time and having someone there to sell it. You’re also responsible for providing your customers with the full Christmas shopping experience by creating a festive atmosphere conducive to shopping.

This means decorating your store and displaying your stock to make it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for. Decorate your shop window in an inviting way that showcases your bestselling products. Make sure special offers are well signposted and that your bestsellers are accessible and strategically placed on the shop floor. 

Don’t forget to give these products equal visibility on your website, ensuring that you design your banners and special sections in an eye-catching and festive way. 

5. Take care of yourself

It’s only natural to stretch yourself over the festive season, but record-breaking sales will never be more important than your health. 

To avoid burning out, make sure to take a moment to breathe. Ask for help if you need it, and remember to take regular breaks. Finally, don’t forget to find the fun in the festive season. Being optimistic and refreshed inspires creativity, and it’s easier to find your flow and work efficiently when you’re feeling creative

However you’re feeling this holiday season, turn up those Christmas tunes, sing along, and pat yourself on the back. Independent retailers like you are the backbone of our communities – especially during this magical time of year.