Thanksgiving is right around the corner, marking the holiday season’s opening bell. It’s not too late to make sure that your checklist is prepped in order to make the most of the holiday season. Here are six steps you can take to quickly assess if your holiday plans are going to yield the greatest returns and a few tips on how to make adjustments to optimize your holiday feast.
Make a Menu
Take some time to thoughtfully review your goals for the upcoming weeks and see what’s feasible and what goals may be a stretch, and come up with your “menu” for success this holiday. Great quarters, like great meals, are planned and executed flawlessly. There is a lot of pressure for high performance during this time of year, but truly consider your top business needs so you don’t overstretch your resources. It’s better to do a few things really well than execute many things superficially. Maybe social media plays a more important role over the next few months, or does your SEM plan need to be readjusted? Or perhaps you’ve noticed a lot of traffic coming to your site from social and search. Recognize what works for your business and make the necessary plans.
Use Quality Ingredients
Great meals start with great ingredients and great revenue starts with trusted, quality partners. Once you figure out your plan, review your current partners to see who will help you reach your goals. It goes without saying that you should work with reputable vendors who ensure brand safety, work with quality buyers, and of course help you earn revenue. It is more critical than ever that you inspect your value chain and not just solely focus on the bottom line. Do some research on the company – how long have they been in business? Are the respected by the industry? Are they transparent? Don’t get blinded from the smoke and mirrors that some vendors may use to capture your business. If you are hesitant with some of your answers, you may have to reevaluate some of your relationships.
Get Your Invite List in Order
Now that you’ve narrowed down which partners you can trust, let’s take a closer look at which ones can work together on your site. It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing industry landscape and knowing which partners can work together in harmony to keep the best user experience and drive optimal fill. Go back to your priority list and let that guide you as to what is most essential for your site. Sometimes the best meals are the most simple, and delivering a solid five-course meal may yield a better user and revenue experience than a 15-course waterfall of distraction in the hopes of a few incremental dollars. All of these things could lead to a bad user experience and turn visitors away from your site.
Finalize Place Settings
You’re not quite done with your vendor review. Now it’s time to rank them to see who can work the hardest for you and should get top priority. Think of this similarly of how you would do your own Thanksgiving table setting. You want to have the most gregarious people at the center of your table that can lead the conversation and make sure that there is harmony amongst friends and family. Do the same with your inventory partners and prioritize the ones that can work alongside everyone else.
Season to Taste
Remember that no menu should be just set it and forget it. Monitor how each component is working and what needs to be adjusted in your plan as the quarter progresses. Use your own judgment for how long your testing period should be and be ready to be reactive to make any necessary changes. You’ll need to constantly optimize your plan to ensure the best outcome every day.
Share Your Recipes
Last but not least, share your plan with all of your associates. Transparency with your partners allows you to work better together so that you can understand each other’s goals and objectives. The more your partners understand your overall plans for the quarter, the more they will be able to over-deliver to ensure your holiday meal is bountiful. Don’t keep your most valuable players in the dark.
Like most, we’re starting to plan that Thanksgiving feast now and many of the same steps hold true for your holiday inventory planning: make a menu, use quality ingredients, get your invite list in order, finalize place settings, season to taste, and share your recipes. Follow these six steps and you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic holiday season.
Image via Shutterstock.
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