The holidays are fast approaching which means increased traffic both in store and online. With 74% of consumers stating they prefer to purchase gifts in store this holiday season, the pressure is on to get associates, point-of-sale (POS) systems, mobile POS and overall store flow in top shape for peak trading season.
In a recent webinar, Mark Seyfried, Engagement Director, Oracle Retail, shared some fast and free tips for retailers to get holiday ready, here are his top 5:
- Check dates and communicate procedures: With Thanksgiving / Black Friday / Boxing Day hours—the most common occurrence is for stores to “open for the wrong date” (#NotHelpful). Make sure your point of service (POS) configuration will allow you to open for Friday when it’s still Thursday (test your specific scenario). Review the poslog response for transaction date and business date to ensure that the system performs in the way you expect for financial reporting. Communicate a list of your holiday hours well in advance to your helpdesk customer support team and your technical account manager as soon as possible. If your stores are going to be working off hours, ensure your support help desk is prepared to respond should the stores require assistance.
- Test promotions in advance: Holiday promotions based on specific days or even times of days should be tested. Especially if you are running complex promotions, you will want to ensure these are run in a test environment prior to promoting to production. For example, if you want a promotion to be effective from 6AM to 10AM you should make sure these time restraints can be seamlessly executed.
- Check the expiration dates of SSL certificates as well as the credit card cipher file expiration date: This may sound obvious, but very often teams set up SSL certs and never set up an alert to update or record the expiration date. It is worth a quick check to make sure that the certificates were not set to expire during the holiday season.
- Ensure store associates know the specific software in use should they need to contact the helpdesk directly: Associates should know where to find the name and POS version if calling for support. Many help desks support a wide array of products and having that information readily available will help speed resolution time.
- Make sure all necessary hardware is running as expected: Run a hardware checklist NOW on all systems (scanners, pin pads, handheld devices, cash drawers and yes, even ensuring that the register is plugged into the power source and connected to the network). If systems have sat idle for off-season months, this means these registers did not receive price updates, no database backups for offline mode, no patches or release updates throughout the year. In addition, these off-season machines are often used in a pinch for “spare parts” but then come go time you may be faced with downed registers.
Additional Value-Added Services
If you would like to further advance your holiday readiness and learn more about how the Oracle Retail Consulting Holiday Assessment can get you at the top of your holiday game, check out: 3 Ways to Design Your Retail Stores’ Success This Holiday
Engage with Oracle Retail Consulting to evaluate your current business processes, get suggestions for improvement and prepare for a smooth holiday season. Request a Meeting Now.