Black Friday is always a chaotic time, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow our easy guide and in 12 steps, your team will be fully ready to work retail on Black Friday.
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Black Friday is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing your sales floor, inventory, staff, and anyone else working retail on Black Friday.
Without careful planning and preparation for Black Friday, you can wind up understaffed, understocked, and can potentially lose a ton of money with unsatisfied customers and low profits.
But don’t get your holiday panties in a bunch just yet! We’ve interviewed a few successful retail companies on how they prepare for Black Friday. As such, we created a helpful guide to get your retail team ready to work Black Friday in 12 easy steps.
How To Prepare For Black Friday Ahead Of Time
In order to be ready for the rush on Black Friday, you must plan ahead of time. The last thing you want on Black Friday is your employees being completely confused, which will end up leading to total chaos.
Here are some tips on how to get ready for Black Friday ahead of time, before the swarm and rush even begins.
Before Black Friday, make sure to have employees working retail on Black Friday do a count of your current inventory. Once you have an accurate inventory count, you will be able to make a more informed decision on what items you need to order more of and what seasonal items need to be ordered. Take a look at past seasonal inventory sales data, see what items were sold in large quantities and make sure you have enough inventory for Black Friday.
Now that you know exactly what needs to be ordered and restocked, you will be fully prepared for the rush and have enough inventory.
Hire More Employees If Needed
If you’re finding it difficult to make a working schedule that fits all your employees’ schedule for Black Friday, then it may be a sign you need to hire additional staff to support the rush.
Have experienced employees, who have already worked during Black Friday before, train and mentor new employees. You can also make sure that during each shift there are enough veteran and experienced employees to help new employees and to ensure the shift goes smoothly.
You may need to hire seasonal workers to help with the rush (which is a common way most people working retail on Black Friday get around the peak season).
Use A Retail Management App
A retail management app can help with the tips previously mentioned and guarantee all processes are as streamlined and efficient as possible.
For example, with a robust and powerful retail management app like Connecteam, you will be able to prepare your team for Black Friday in the following ways…
- Track employee hours with a digital time clock. Employees can clock in and out directly from their mobile devices, or from a central Kiosk tablet with their own personal, unique pin.
- Easily schedule employees with just a few clicks. If there are any scheduling issues, they can be quickly addressed. In-shift attachments allow managers to provide clear notes on what is expected from them when clocking in for the job, every employee will know exactly what to do when they arrive at work!
- Efficiently communicate Black Friday policies and expectations through the in-app chat. Send a message to a specific person or create smart groups and efficiently relay your message through the chat. Attach images, videos, links, PDFs, GIFs, and more to keep communication engaging and efficient.
- Send employees daily tasks and checklists to guarantee the day goes smoothly and without any misunderstanding or confusion. Receive real-time updates when tasks are in progress and completed.
- Optimize the training process with fully customizable courses and quizzes. Receive real-time data on employee progress through the training and how well they are retaining the information.
- Have employees check and count inventory and upload photos or videos of items that are damaged or broken.
- Recognize employees for their hard work and dedication during the holiday season by posting on the social feed and increase employee engagement. Colleagues can even like, comment, share GIFs, and more to promote and encourage a positive working environment.
A retail management app will effectively streamline nearly all day-to-day processes, not only on Black Friday, but all year round. More importantly, it will make preparing and planning for Black Friday much easier and less stressful.
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How To Survive Working Retail on Black Friday: In Real-Time, With A Retail App
The first half of our guide focused on preparing for Black Friday ahead of time, now we dive into the real-time action. And our last point touched on the need for a retail management app, therefore the following tips focus on that aspect solely. However, the following tips can be modified to your current method until you make the digital switch.
Schedule Enough Employees
Make sure you’re fully prepared for Black Friday by scheduling enough employees to be able to support the rush. Because it will be busier, bringing in a few extra employees than you normally would guarantees the shift goes without complications.
You can effortlessly guarantee all shifts are properly covered and staffed with a retail management app. Send out the Black Friday employee schedule far enough in advance so that employees know exactly who will be working and what is expected of them.
Scheduling conflict alerts help managers solve scheduling conflicts in minutes, and create a Black Friday schedule in a matter of clicks. If an employee calls in sick at the last minute, they can easily reach out to their colleagues and find a replacement. You can even set specifications for who may or may not cover certain shifts.
Check Your Inventory
Once you’ve scheduled your employees, it’s time to do a final check of your inventory before the big day. Go through the inventory with your Black Friday team, make sure everyone knows exactly where items are located and the quantities.
Go through the inventory on the sales floor as well. Do a walk-through of the floor inventory with your team and make sure to answer any and all questions they may have.
For example, someone may ask… “What if a customer or an employee breaks an item? What should we do?” With an employee retail app, employees can take pictures or videos of any damaged or broken items, that way you know exactly what items need to be replaced.
Make Sure Employees Are Trained Properly For The Rush
Black Friday isn’t your typical shopping day. Make sure your employees working retail on Black Friday are trained properly for the massive amounts of shoppers. Some things you may want to train them on include…
- How to control crowds within the store.
- How to spot suspicious shoppers and avoid shoplifting.
- How to avoid return scams after Black Friday is over.
- How to handle upset or irate customers.
- Who to reach if things become too chaotic or overwhelming.
It’s a lot for employees to stay on top of, but with proper training they will be armed with the tools needed to successfully make it through Black Friday!
Again, you can use Connecteam to make training efficient and fun. Create fully customizable training courses and modules with real-time course progression status updates, videos, links, PDFs, and more. Make sure employees are retaining the information with customizable quizzes.
Communicate All Expectations For Black Friday
Make sure all employees that will be working on Black Friday are clear on what you expect from all of them that day. It’s not just about showing up for work either, they need to be able to provide the best possible shopping experience for your customers as well.
Communicate all your expectations as clearly and precisely as possible so employees will know exactly what is expected of them and that you’re counting on them to provide top notch customer service and professionalism.
Ensure Every Employee Knows Exactly What Their Tasks Will Be
Before Black Friday, make sure to speak to every employee to make sure they know exactly what their tasks and responsibilities will be during their shift. This way you can avoid any chaos and disarray.
With Connecteam you can send employees daily tasks or checklists. Employees will know what to do when arriving at work, can get started as soon as they arrive, and will reduce any sort of confusion or misunderstanding of what needs to be done.
Show Your Team Some Holiday Appreciation
Don’t forget it’s the holiday season and your employees are people, too! Make sure you show your team some holiday appreciation to boost engagement, morale, productivity, and create a little holiday cheer!
There are a few easy and affordable ways to show your appreciation…
- Provide them with a nice gift, like a holiday candle or a gift card.
- Recognize star employees that have gone above and beyond during Black Friday and the holiday season. With Connecteam, you can easily create a post expressing your appreciation for star employees on the social feed and allow colleagues to like, comment, and congratulate their fellow workers.
- Plan a holiday work party!
These are simple ways to show your appreciation for your team’s hard work and dedication during Black Friday and throughout the holiday season.
How To Manage Post Black Friday Operations
The fun doesn’t end there! After Black Friday you may find yourself with a ton of unsold merchandise, customers returning tons of items, and some tired, burnout employees. Here are some simple ways to manage post Black Friday operations.
Extend Holiday Deals
If you’ve found that there’s a lot of items and merchandise that wasn’t sold, then you can extend your Black Friday holiday deals a bit longer.
You can even promote your holiday deal extension online as well. Don’t get stuck with a ton of unsold merchandise and have it sit in inventory until the next year, it’s a real waste of money!
Train Employees About Return Fraud
Return fraud is a real thing that you should definitely be concerned about. Due to the Black Friday rush and massive amounts of items sold, criminals know it is a good time to commit return fraud.
Forbes notes that these criminals, “have a deep knowledge of different large retailers’ policies, products and returns processes — more than enough to cheat their way to a fraudulent return”.
To combat these return frauds you can train employees on how to spot fraudulent activity and communicate your return policy so everyone is clear on what can and cannot be returned by a customer.
With Connecteam, employees can easily communicate with the team if they notice suspicious activity and make sure everyone is aware of the situation.
Additionally, as previously mentioned, with Connecteam, create a training course on how to spot and address criminal behavior within the retail store and what they should do if the situation arises.
Plan Accordingly From What You Learned For Next Year
Make sure that after Black Friday and the holiday season is over that you look back at everything that was done during the year and determine what ways you could improve the situation.
Did you hire enough staff? Did you schedule enough employees? If not, you know where you went wrong and know not to repeat the same problem for next year.
This can be applied to nearly every aspect of your business. For example, go through the inventory again, learn what customers liked and didn’t like. What can you do differently next year to prevent either buying too much merchandise or too little.
The Bottom Line: How To Get Your Retail Team Ready To Work Black Friday In 6 Easy Steps
As you can see, it’s not easy getting ready for Black Friday, but with careful preparation, we believe you can do it successfully!
Before Black Friday, make sure to order enough inventory, hire enough employees, and use a retail management app to easily and efficiently manage your retail team during Black Friday and the rest of the year.
During Black Friday, make sure managers have scheduled enough employees, check your inventory, ensure your Black Friday team is properly trained, clearly communicate all your expectations, make sure every single employee knows what their responsibilities and tasks will be, and be sure to show your team some appreciation for their hard work during the holiday season.
Lastly, after Black Friday extend your holiday deals to try and get rid of as much seasonal inventory as possible, train your employees on how to spot and combat return fraudsters, and lastly get ready and prepare for the next year.
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