Preparing for the holidays: Christmas tips for retailers

If you’re running a retail business, it’s never too early to start thinking about the Christmas rush and Christmas promotion ideas. After all, the season of gift-buying is likely responsible for a large chunk of your total annual sales every year.

But while planning summer sale ideas and an anticipating a spike in sales inquiries and store traffic, it’s easy to get caught off guard. We all know that Christmas is likely to be very busy for retailers, but you may underestimate just how busy it will get, especially if it’s your first Christmas as a retail business owner.

However, there are Christmas business tips that you can put in place now to take some of the pain and panic out of the Christmas trading season. Let’s look at each and how they can help you make the most of Christmas trading.

Reduce your exposure to risk this festive season

The Christmas trading period can be extremely hectic for retail business owners. There will be more customers and more stock in your retail store. You’re also likely to hire more staff to handle the increased foot traffic and extend your trading hours.

What all of this means is that you may benefit from reviewing your Public Liability cover before Christmas trading arrives. If you don’t, you may risk being underinsured, which occurs when you don’t have adequate retail insurance* coverage in place.

If you are found to be underinsured and a claim is brought against your business, your insurer will only indemnify you for covered sums up to your policy limit.

With all the planning that goes into a successful Christmas trading season for retailers, it can be easy to forget about your insurance coverage.

All of these changes to your retail business can create the perfect storm for accidents and mishaps to happen – as if the festive season isn’t already hectic enough for retailers as it is!

However, turning a blind eye to the increased risks facing your retail business during the festive season may not be the best approach. Instead, this is the perfect time to implement strategies to help reduce your exposure to risk, and the ideal place to start is by reviewing your existing business insurance coverage.

Review your retail insurance and avoid a ‘set and forget’ approach

In the lead-up to the Christmas trading period, circumstances in your retail business will look a little different than usual. There will likely be more customers in your retail business, more staff on hand serving these customers, and more stock in your store, all of which can increase your exposure to risk.

Before the full-blown arrival of the festive season, a handy Christmas business tip for retail business owners is reviewing their existing retail insurance. The following are three types of business insurance that retail business owners may benefit from reviewing and updating ahead of the Christmas trading period.

With retail’s peak trading season nearly upon us, now is the time to take a closer look at your existing business insurance policies – as you may benefit from reviewing and increasing your cover for the busy Christmas trading period.

Here are three types of retail insurance that retailers may benefit from reviewing in the lead-up to the busy Christmas trading period.

Public Liability

Public Liability insurance insures your retail business against claims for business-related injury or property damage to the public. This could include clients, customers, delivery people, or passers-by.

You may also be covered if you’re liable for injury or property damage to a third party caused by:

  • your business’ defective products; or
  • an accident involving a customer at your business, such as slips and trips.

You may also be covered in the case of injury or loss to third parties while you’re out and about conducting your business.

Cyber Liability

Cyber crime costs Australian businesses $1 billion annually, and unfortunately retail businesses are considered easy targets for cyber criminals. Cyber Liability insurance helps to protect your retail business from claims and supports your profitability in the event of a cyber breach or attack.

Cyber Liability covers costs related to defending a cyber claim against your business.  Cyber Liability can help retail business owners with inadvertent loss or release of customers’ personal information, cyber crime, cyber extortion/ransomware, and business interruption due to a cyber event.

Business Insurance

Business Insurance (also referred to as a Business Pack, or BizPack) protects the essential assets of your retail business. It can provide cover for loss or damage to items such as business equipment, and furniture belonging to you at your premises.

Other important Christmas retail trading considerations

Hire more staff

It’s important to plan ahead and hire additional casual staff for the festive retail season as needed. And while you are at it, consider creating contingency plans for when temporary staff don’t show up. During peak festive trading, having staffing options is always a good thing.

Enhance your supplier relationships

Leading up to Christmas trading is a great time to strengthen relationships with your existing suppliers. Reach out to them and discuss any challenges they may be facing during this hectic holiday season. Talk to them about how to schedule shipments in advance and secure delivery.

Upgrade your technology

Retail customers have high service expectations, especially during Christmas trading, so make sure your technology can handle the Christmas rush. Take some time before the holiday season to test your checkout and payment process. For example, you may need more EFTPOS machines to meet the increase in customers.

Stock up on Christmas merchandise

Stock up on the newest trends and gifts with a unique brand or design that will make your products stand out. It is bad news to run out of the most popular gifts; turning paying customers away is a nightmare for retailers, so have a plan to manage it. Ensure that you are able to access your bestsellers easily and widely.

Increase retail sales this Christmas with promotional offers

Australians are very savvy shoppers and creating Christmas promotions is a great way to reward loyal customers and attract new ones. Customers are always looking for sales and discounts because they know that businesses are competing for their business.

Early planning can help you to find ways to appeal to your customers’ desire to save as much money as possible when doing their Christmas shopping.

Make gift suggestions easy

Customers may become more frantic as Christmas approaches, so be sure to make Christmas shopping easy for them by creating holiday bundles and Christmas promotion ideas or new year promotion ideas that combine multiple products into one gift.

To increase retail sales this Christmas, create an email campaign that includes gift ideas. Gift suggestions can be personalised based on past purchases, or you can showcase gift hampers that are unique or popular. Offer a discount or bonus on gift bundles.

Remember that your retail brand is only as healthy as the customer service it provides. When you do it well, your customers will be satisfied and much easier to manage.

These steps can help ensure that your Christmas trading season will be successful for your business and you will have a great start to the new year with the best after holiday sales in town.

And remember the golden rule of business insurance: when circumstances in your business change, you may need to review your business insurance to maintain the same level of coverage.

Choose BizCover for retail insurance made easy. Compare competitive quotes for your business and get covered online in minutes, not hours. If you prefer to chat, give us a call on 1300 920 867.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

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