10 Clever Tips on Engaging Customers with a Limited Sales Crew

Filling sales positions can be a challenge year-round, but it is especially important during the holiday season. According to a recent survey from MultiMediaPlus, executives are rushing to try to find solutions to the employee shortage—in addition to facing issues with the supply chain.

“We’re in a tighter labor market from an unemployment standpoint than last year,” says Matthew Lavery, director of talent acquisition at UPS, told Barron’s. “Candidates are more difficult to find.”

A lack of help can lead to lost sales, which is the last thing a retailer wants, especially during the holidays. Luckily, there are some simple, yet creative, steps you can take to make sure your profits are up even when staffing is down.




Start sales early.

Most businesses start offering their best deals from Black Friday and beyond. In fact, nearly 13 percent of all retail sales in the U.S. take place between Black Friday and Christmas. But why not start your holiday discounts and promotions before everyone else to get customers in the door earlier? With prices at an all-time high, 37 percent of Americans (42% worldwide) plan to start buying holiday presents earlier this year.



Use social media.

If you don’t have enough sales staff to promote your products in-store, make sure you are engaging your customers through your social media platforms. Promote sales, highlight products, and give customers the option to order online if possible.




Deals for followers.

Encourage customers to follow you on social media by offering those that follow your business exclusive deals and discounts. You can even have selected store hours just for your top engagers on social media.



Organize a gift wrap center.

Holidays are a busy time and giving customers the chance to check multiple tasks from their to-do list is a great incentive. Wrapping all those gifts can be a stress inducer, so give customers a place to do it before they even leave the store. From tissue paper to wrapping paper, gift bags and tags, tape and more, you can easily set up a grab-and-go station.





Gifts for a cause.

The holidays are all about giving, and consumers feel good about giving back. Showcase a selection of gifts that support different causes, allowing customers to support a charity that is important to them.







Give gift suggestions.

The holidays can be super stressful for people who have no idea what to buy for people. You can easily curate a list of gift suggestions for distinct groups (men, women, teens, coworkers, etc.), print them out and have them handy for customers to grab before they start shopping.



Offer free stuff.

It’s no secret that people love free things, so figure out a way to offer up something at zero cost for the customer. Some ideas include free shipping, free samples, free returns, etc.




Gift Cards.

Offer in-store gift cards and packaging (gift bag, tin, etc.) for that one-stop shopper. In 2021, gift card sales surged 114 percent from November through mid-December, compared to the same time period the year before. And people have gotten more generous with their gift card giving, with the average amount being spent on a gift card going from $220 to $250 last year.




Set up self-serve areas.

Use technology to your advantage by having a few tablet stands set up around the store so customers can look up the location of an item or easily order something to be shipped to their homes.


Create a photo op.

It’s all about selfies these days. Create a holiday-themed photo backdrop where customers can snap a photo and tag your store on social media.