Once retailers put away the Halloween candy, it is time to focus on the holiday shopping season.

There’s a short window during the holidays for retailers to beat the competition and maximize sales. For many brands, the yearly sales peak is during this period, and retailers are under pressure to perform. The National Retail Federation projects $630.5 billion in sales throughout November and December, which makes up 19 percent of the year’s retail sales. You need to be on top of your game with optimized retail execution, merchandising and displays to make the most of this busy sales season.

Deck the Display Halls

Many retailers add decorations and lights throughout their stores to attract customers and promote the holiday spirit. Displays and merchandising should match the season to work effectively with the store’s holiday style and contribute to the festive environment. The Salvation Army and other organizations increase appearances during the last few months of the year, yet another indication of the season..

Match the Shopping Experience to the Season

Holiday marketing strategy should adapt to the traditional expectations customers have during this season. Retailers may offer hot chocolate or samples for busy shoppers to create a more enjoyable shopping environment. Retail strategy is tied to the holiday spirit and emphasizes specific days, such as Black Friday or Christmas Day. Promotions and merchandising should tie into the holiday, whether it’s overtly through holiday-specific products or using holiday colors on packaging. Proper retail execution during the holiday shopping season is essential for standing out in a crowded market.

How Retailers Handle the Shopper Influx

When almost 20 percent of retail sales occur within a two-month window, retailers have to prepare for the shopper influx. Most stores add temporary workers to handle the extra hours and the crowds. Some estimates report that 755,000 retail employees are brought on board to meet demand. If possible, consider adjusting your merchandising and display strategies to accommodate for less experienced floor staff. Elaborate displays may sound tempting, but an under-trained employee working long hours may not be able to accomplish consistent retail execution.

Optimizing Holiday Retail Execution

Mobile data collection tools allow you to optimize your current working strategy with real-time updates and meaningful analytics. You can adjust to market disruptions to maximize holiday revenue without waiting days or weeks for data. These tools give you a head start on next year’s holiday shopping season. Some retail execution issues can’t be addressed until after the dust settles from the November and December rush, but understanding bottlenecks and other issues getting in the way of optimization is useful for future preparations. When you have full visibility into your retail execution data, you can optimize for performance and growth.

The holiday season is a highly competitive time of year with huge potential. Your retail execution strategies need to revolve around harnessing the holiday spirit and understanding how retailers shift the shopping experience to the season. A seamless alignment between your brand and the retail store helps optimize retail execution. With the right mobile data collection tools, you have the information you need to continue refining the holiday shopping strategy and improve performance year over year.

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