When Should You Start Preparing for the Holiday Shopping Season

September 5, 2019

As the weather begins to cool down and kids go back to school, it’s time for business owners to start thinking about the holiday shopping season. Every year Canadians shop in record numbers to find the perfect presents for their loved ones during the winter holiday season, but when that shopping actually begins is up for debate.

Even if seasonal shopping comes down to personal preference, our MonerisMetrics Spend Reports have shown that for the past two years, October and November have more spending growth than December does. So what does this mean for business owners, and when do you start to prepare? Consider the following!


September is the perfect month to start finalizing what your strategy will be for the busy months ahead. Once the back to school shopping rush has settled, you will likely have a few weeks of calm before Thanksgiving to figure out the details of what you’ll need.

As you go over your holiday to-do list, consider things like:

  • Will you need additional holiday staff? If yes, now is the time to draft job descriptions and post the positions online.
  • Will you be offering seasonal promotions or sales? If yes, consider which products will be the most popular, what types of sales you’ll want to run, and when they’ll be the most impactful.  
  • Are you going to sell seasonal holiday products or offer holiday services for busy shoppers? If you plan to sell gift boxes, stocking stuffers, offer wrapping services, you’ll need to start sourcing and ordering these items.
  • Are you going to sell custom holiday gift cards? If you’re considering it, make sure to learn more about the Moneris Gift Card Program.
  • Is your payment system set up to be protected from fraud? If you’re not sure, now is the time to call Moneris to learn about what options are available to you.


October is the time to ensure that your month of planning was a success and everything from your to-do list in September is crossed off. As Thanksgiving comes and goes, Canadian shoppers will start to focus on the holidays ahead and consider when to start their holiday shopping.

Take some time in early October to double check that you’ve set yourself up for success. This includes items like:

  • Make sure that you’ve ordered a sufficient amount of backup supplies like carryout bags, receipt paper and gift cards.
  • Make sure that new staff are properly trained on your customer service standards and how to use your point of sale devices.
  • Make sure weekly schedules have been finalized, including the appropriate amount of on-call staff if needed.


By November, most Canadians will have started to make their shopping list and their search for the perfect items. At this point, your holiday preparations should be completed and you should be stocked, staffed and ready for the rush you’re due to receive. Remember to be mindful of shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that fall during the end of the month; though these days were once just for American shoppers post thanksgiving they’ve migrated into Canadian businesses as well.

If you’re interested in learning more tips about holiday preparedness, don’t miss our articles Holiday Survival Tips for Merchants ft. Angela Brown, Moneris' President and Chief Executive Officer and What is “Line Busting” and Should You Be Doing It.

The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed

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