Technology Planning for the Holidays

5 steps to a Frustration Free Christmas in Retail

This is the time of year where it is crucial you don't have technology issues. Every hour there is a problem, might as well be three hours any other time. Going into the Christmas season, you want to make sure you have a plan to get you through the Holidays. We've outlined a few simple things you can do to make sure technology doesn't get in the way. Also, this is your chance to impress new customers during the stress of shopping and make them come back later. You want offer the best customer experience of their holiday shopping.

1. Have your inventory under-control

The last thing your customers want is to stand there while you figure out why the item you are holding shows "no inventory". This creates a bad experience and can be confusing for your sales people and the customer. Go into the Holiday season with the right data for your in-stock inventory and ensure that everything is tagged with up-to-date barcodes and pricing. This is also a great time to check your product categories and how you are organized with your point of sale; great organization will lead to great data for better purchasing in the future. 

2. Have a trained staff

You're busy, we're busy and so are your customers and training can be really hard to get to, especially for a temporary employee. Take the time to train them well so they know how to use your technology, understand procedures and feel comfortable. This temporary employee is the face of your brand for many customers and in many instances is your best customer. The girl that wants the job while home from college has probably been a regular for years; make sure she wants to come back when her employment is finished. 

3. Have a back-up plan

Do you know what you'll do if your internet goes down? Does your staff know? Make sure you have a clear plan in place for moments like this. If you are using a server based tool (ex- Lightspeed Onsite), how will you process payments? You may want to get a LTE iPad to process credit cards. If you are on the cloud, do you have a hotspot you can use to get online? You can get these at your local cellular (ATT, Verizon etc.) store. 

4. Have Support in Place

You don't have time to deal with technology issues when you are trying to help customers during the busiest time of the year. Make sure you have a local technology company familiar with your system and process available to help during these critical months. Most companies will work proactively to make sure all your systems are good to go before things go wrong. 

5. Don't change anything

If your process is working, this is not the time upgrade operating systems, switch computers and re-do your website. Work like that is best done during your slow seasons so potential downtown has the smallest chance of lost revenue. If you are able to keep things the same, you won't regret it.