Holiday-shopping season is just around the corner—will you be adequately staffed to handle the rush? As shoppers hit the stores earlier and earlier each year, retailers have to fight to keep up. If you’re looking at the calendar and think it’s already too late, the right technology may be able to help you prepare.
Got the Seasonal Staffing Blues?
A strong economy could affect this year’s holiday shopping season in more ways than one. According to Deloitte's annual sales forecast, holiday retail sales are expected to top $1.1 trillion this year. If shoppers will be out in full force, retailers will need to ramp up their seasonal hiring soon. Many major retailers have already started this process, in part because of the anticipated strong sales but also due to the low unemployment rate.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the challenges that a low unemployment rate creates for the retail hiring process. Since writing that post, the unemployment rate has dropped even further. This is great for the economy but makes the applicant pool scarce. Having technology in place like the retail applicant tracking solution available through TRUNO TimeForge, will help you streamline your hiring process, so that you can quickly hire the seasonal employees you need. It will also help you efficiently onboard employees and be fully prepared for the holiday rush.
The Science of Seasonal Scheduling
Once you have the team you need to handle influx of shoppers, it’s important to plan accordingly when building out the schedule. And what if you aren’t able to hire as many workers as you would like? That means making the most of the employees you have and scheduling them efficiently is more important than ever.
Data is key here, specifically the sales data captured by your point-of-sale system. By integrating your POS with your workforce management solution, you can more accurately predict when the holiday rush will be at its highest. This can help you plan the schedule for peak traffic on a particular day of the week, time of day, and even down to the specific department that will be most impacted. How will weather affect sales over the next hour? All of this is information you need to know to build the most efficient employee schedule. With advanced sales forecasting available through TimeForge, you can predict sales for the hour within 98.73% accuracy.
If holiday hiring and scheduling has you stressed, maybe you should buy yourself an early present that will make the process a whole lot easier. Give yourself the gift of a worry-free holiday season!
Since we understand the unique challenges that retailers face during the holidays, the TRUNO Team is here to help. For the five days leading up to major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, we have extended on-site service hours for our full contract customers from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. And as usual, our 24x7 Support Team can be reached at 800.657.7108.