With the holiday rush finally behind us, it’s time to start planning for the year ahead. Take advantage of the post-holiday lull by tackling those business initiatives you’ve had on the back burner. If you’re not sure what you should be focusing on this year, here’s a list of five things worth prioritizing:

1. Mobile Payments

If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace mobile payments. The technology is much more than a passing fad. With tech giants like Apple and Google leading the way and many big name banks starting to create their own solutions, mobile payments are sure to play a major role in payments this year. That’s a great thing for retailers because mobile payments benefit businesses in a number of ways — faster checkout times, increased revenue and better inventory tracking, to name a few. If you don’t already have a payment terminal capable of accepting contactless payments, now might be the perfect time to make the switch. Plus, if you’ve been putting off upgrading to accept EMV payments, consider this move to be two upgrades in one.

2. Social Media Engagement

Social media platforms are a great outlet for staying connected with customers after they leave your store. Now that the holiday rush is over, you’ll have enough time to create and properly maintain your social channels so that your brand is top of mind for customers no matter where they are. Try tweeting about upcoming sales, social media-exclusive coupons or poll your followers on their favorite products. It’s an especially effective loyalty building technique if your target audience is Generation Y or Generation Z.

3. Personalization 

Set aside some time to personalize your shopping experience this year. Consider creating special sales and promotions tailored to customer purchase history. Doing so will build loyalty and encourage customers to come back for more. According to an Infosys study, 86 percent of respondents said that the things they buy are influenced by personalization. You can even bring a personal touch to your POS by pushing branded images and content to your splash screen.

4. Loyalty Programs

Rewards programs are key to securing lifelong customers. That’s why it’s important that your loyalty program is in tip-top shape this year. Conduct a thorough audit of the programs you offer, and the programs your competitors are running. Ask yourself what you can do to make these programs more appealing to first-time visitors and returning customers. First and foremost your loyalty program should be easy to use. There’s no benefit to having a loyalty program if customers don’t use it. It should also offer special deals that aren’t available to other customers to create a feeling of exclusivity.

5. Employee Training

Whether you hired new associates to help with the holiday rush and kept them on through the new year, or you want to refresh your sales approach this year, it’s time to set aside some time for employee training. Even your most seasoned sales associates can benefit from a training session, especially if you’ve recently adopted new technologies or systems. For the best results, create a customized training program that speaks to your business’ technology stack, key audience and style. Try making the session interactive and tap into seasoned employees for expert advice that will resonate with new workers.
 
What is your business initiatives are you prioritizing now that the holiday rush is over? Leave us a comment and let us know!
 
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​​5 Things You Can Finally Prioritize Now That the Holiday Rush is Over