It’s that time of year again: time to examine your holiday shopping season strategy as consumers begin their deal-hunting in earnest. The next several weeks are going to fly by but it’s not too late to implement new ideas to improve the holiday shopping season. See how these seven tips for retailers can make your holiday merry and bright.
Revisit Last Year’s Traffic Numbers
As you begin planning for the holiday season, consult your foot traffic data from last year to identify trends and patterns that can inform your strategy for this November and December. Black Friday is always a big draw for shoppers, but maybe there are other key days when you can entice customers to visit your store.
Prep Your Inventory for the Holiday Crush
No shopper wants to be disappointed during the holiday season. Empty shelves will turn off potential customers and hurt your bottom line. Good tips for retailer include preparing your inventory well in advance to ensure key hot items are always in stock and looking for automated reordering solutions that will help guarantee products continuously flow into your store throughout the holiday season.
All Hands on Deck
Customer service always is important but is critically so during the highly lucrative holiday shopping season. As consumers make a mad dash for the season’s must-have gifts and gadgets, they’re likely to need assistance finding products and confirming price information.
Do you have a plan in place to ensure your store is adequately staffed to handle the increased demand? Bring on some seasonal workers and train (or retrain) all staff to provide the most enjoyable holiday shopping experience possible. Great service, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, creates a lasting impression and can encourage shoppers to return to your store when the holiday hubbub dies down.
Set Up Your Sales Schedule
The holiday shopping is a big deal for shoppers. Most of the excitement is focused on the marquee mega-deal days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you can break out of the mold by creating a cadence of promotions that will attract a steady volume of shoppers all season long. Tips for retailers: Get creative and leverage foot traffic numbers from past holidays to reveal days that featured high and low traffic. Also roll out promotions that will have a strong impact on high-traffic days, using foot traffic data to maximize the exposure of your in-store promotional display. Consider offers that can boost traffic on low-volume times of the week, perhaps a buy-one-get-one deal, which 52 percent of shoppers love.
Cater to Every Generation of Shoppers
Do you know your customers? Better yet, do you know what they want? Research shows that millennials and baby boomers exhibit different shopping behaviors. During the holiday shopping season, don’t make the mistake of doing what you think customers want. For example, millennials wait to start their shopping until Black Friday, and love the thrill of a flash sale; on the other hand, baby boomers begin their holiday shopping much earlier, looking for deals in September or even before that.
And despite the traditional “doorbuster” sales that retailers use to drum up traffic, just 28 percent of shoppers actually like this kind of promotion. Target your audience with a blend of promotions that caters to their specific interests and behaviors instead of promoting offers that fall flat.
Time for Tablets
If you haven’t already, deploy a tablet POS solution to accommodate the holiday shopping season crowds, especially on peak days. You can give employees rugged tablets to carry around or have these devices installed as temporary fixed terminals. Tablet-equipped staff can check out shoppers anywhere in the store, helping to keep lengthy queues to a minimum. What’s more, workers can use these mobile devices to provide better customer service, looking up product and inventory information quickly and easily instead of having to disappear into a stockroom. Using technology to your advantage creates a happy holiday season for retailers.
These handy tips for retailers can help you ensure the holiday shopping season is pleasant, productive and profitable — for you and for your customers.