For most retailers, manufacturers, and distributors, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year. Many large players in the industry are beginning to prepare for the upcoming surge of shopping. How companies choose to prepare for the holidays varies depending on a number of factors such as the type of company, type of product, and the availability of employees. Although the holidays are still a few months away, it's important to begin preparing now to ensure your company can make the most of this busy retail season. Knowing what the holidays have in store for your industry is essential to effective planning for the holidays.
What to expect
The holiday season, which begins to wind up in early November and reaches its peak in late December, is a major period of sales for retail companies. Each year, e-commerce continues to play a larger and larger role in the holiday season, making direct-to-customer distribution a more important role. However, e-commerce makes up only 7% of the total retail sales and therefore distributors and retailers which focus on brick-and-mortar stores continue to dominate sales during the holiday season. Canadians spend an average of over $650 during the holiday season, and Americans are expected to spend a total of over $43 billion on the holidays this year. Trends suggest these numbers are unlikely to drop off in the near future. This means that the holiday season will consist of lots of consumers purchasing lots of goods.
How to Prepare
Many companies experience increased demand for their products or services during the holiday season and therefore prepare with an increased number of staff members to meet demand. Some companies, specifically retail stores, often hire seasonal employees to fill in times which may be too busy for the year-round staff to handle on their own. Other companies invest in additional workspace or warehouse space to house products which can be made and stored in advance to prepare for the increased demand during the holiday season. A common solution by distribution firms is to place a deadline on orders for the holidays, to ensure that orders made before that date have the best chance of reaching the retailer or customer prior to the holidays when most gifts are given. All these strategies help to ensure that your company can take full advantage of the increased spending during the holiday season.