What tools do stores need to prepare for the holiday season?
November 21, 2013

Many small and medium-sized retailers are about to experience a significant increase in business activity over the next several weeks as consumers around the nation check off their holiday shopping lists. The online publication MarketingProfs cited data from the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express that found many consumers now prefer to shop at local enterprises to purchase gifts during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year, 47 percent of shoppers who were aware of Small Business Saturday events in their neighborhood bought items from small stores. In fact, total revenue from that day alone surpassed $5 billion.

It's not too late for business to prepare for the holiday rush. However, the ability to maximize revenue requires the right tools and infrastructure.

Gift card programs and loyalty programs
Consumers prefer a variety of options - especially when they're shopping for gifts for family members and friends. One way for small and medium-sized businesses to easily satisfy these demands is to offer high-quality gift card programs. Instead of running the risk of selling out of popular items or losing business to shoppers who can't decide what they want to purchase, gift cards are an effective alternative that ensures maximum revenue in the long run. As stores attract new customers during the holidays, they can also invest in dynamic loyalty programs that encourage continued visits even after the season.

Mobile credit card payments
Small and medium-sized businesses can also benefit from enhancing the point of sale experience during the holidays and beyond. According to Newsday, mobile technology will play a significant role in determining sales success this year. Tools that make it easier to accept mobile payments will not only increase convenience on the consumer end, but they will also offer stores unique opportunities to efficiently incorporate multiple payment channels into daily operations.

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