Enticed by the abundance of vowels and motivated by a spirited delight in facilitating personalised and human visitor experiences, Hakim is a digital content strategist at Wavetec. She specialises in the articulation of queue management and self-service solutions, edifying them to wider networks of businesses.
In This Blog
- What opportunities does this holiday shopping season afford you as a business?
- How can you take advantage of these opportunities?
- Is maximizing holiday sales the ultimate goal of retail businesses?
Holiday shopping and its impact is no joke! In 2020, holiday shopping accounted for 19.5% of total annual retail income (National Retail Federation, Digital Commerce 360), and the winter shopping season is a close second to back-to-school-shopping season in terms of average holiday spending per person (National Retail Federation).
Holiday Shopping Season and the Opportunities It Provides
The winter holiday retail season begins with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and ends with Christmas and New Years. And it is ideal for businesses as a means to maximize holiday sales and widen their profit margins. It also provides the opportunity to:
- Trial of new customer management technology
Given the wide and abundant array of customers descending on shopping malls, outlet stores, brick and mortar stores, etc., there is more than enough foot traffic to trial new management technology and generate statistics of use for better and more sustainable decision making.
If your retail business has been wanting to trial curbside pickup, or Whatsapp Appointments or People Counting cameras, this is the best time to do so. You will find detailed and empirically-backed reasons to deploy or refrain from deploying said technology. Does it make the visitor journey smoother? Is it scalable and integrated?
- Find the balance between online and in-store presences and efforts
Digitization and the digitally onboarded customer are part of a future that sees them sharing managerial efforts with in-store presences and journeys. Holiday season gives you the ability to see what balance works best for you and the needs and requirements of your business, with customers making online purchases and purchases in-person.
You can choose to offer services like buy-online-pay-in-store (BOPIS) to test how well non-digital customers can onboard, and how effectively digital customers can adapt to the best-of-both-worlds situation. By doing so, you are entering the world of digitized services and products, while serving and supporting all walks of customers along the way!
Holiday retail season brings large volumes of customers and the likelihood of higher sales is abundant. But in the face of competition from other retail businesses, it is essential to stand out and offer visitors comfort and convenience enough to convince them of beginning and continuing a modern retail patronage of your business.
How To Maximize Retail Sales This Holiday Season
The goal is to direct and retain holiday foot traffic. And the solution is modern services being made available for the modern and digitized client.
Given the rise of yet another variant of the Covid virus, it is imperative to afford customers the opportunity to avail of varied collection services. Curbside pickup is one of the most contactless means of doing so, and allows customers to buy and purchase online, while arriving at a designated pickup location to collect their parcel.
This also means the pickup location and time is decided in accordance with the schedule of the customer, giving them more control of their interaction and experience shopping at your retail establishment. This is a sure recipe for satisfied customers, increased referrals and abundant sales with added profits. Think of the comfort of your car, the ease of scheduling and the safety of contactless interactions - what is there to not love!
WhatsApp Appointment Scheduling
Continuing the theme of safe and contactless customer and business interactions, appointment scheduling is another solution that is worth mentioning. Paired with the world’s most popular messaging application, WhatsApp, this solution allows customers to visit your scheduling portal, select a date, time and store location that suits them and confirm their appointment.
They then receive regular notifications with reminders, and must simply check in on the designated day and be served!
WhatsApp Appointment Scheduling cuts the length of queues in-store, reduces wait times, affords customers personalized service dispensation and improves relationships. It streamlines and optimizes staff allocations too.
As one of the most holistic visitor management solutions, by virtue of the multitude of purposes it serves, digital signage is a means of informing and guiding customers inside and outside the store premises. It additionally retains customer attention and reduces perceived wait times.
Digital signage is a cost effective means of disseminating key information that would otherwise have required a staff deployment to impart. It is engrossing, effective and centrally controlled and pre-scheduled for your convenience and preparation!
Some possible uses of digital signage for your retail business
- Displaying Covid Standards of Procedure (SOPs), information about occupancy limits, store timings, sale or promotional details, etc.,
- Guiding customers around store premises to streamline their journeys and reduce time spent waiting and queuing,
- Keeping the queuing customer entertained with engrossing displays, information, marketing materials, product or service menus, details or descriptions, and improving brand value, while attracting new and existing customers,
- To market and advertise holiday promotions of your products and services, in the hope of cross- and up-selling offerings.
- Reduce customer wait times, actual and perceived
- Shorter queue lengths and in-check occupancy limits
- Optimized staff allocations
- Greater customer satisfaction and improved customer experience
- Increased digital onboarding
- Higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
- Improved Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Centralized control and management, leading to swifter decision making and implementation
Retail Priorities this Holiday Season
Maximizing sales is a priority for all businesses, for it keeps the lights on, facilitates further research and development and makes the endeavor successful. But it is not the only priority!
Retail businesses hope to attract new customers, convince them to onboard, purchase, spread the word and return for more interactions and sales. They also hope to retain old customers, giving them reasons to hold on to customer loyalty and committed to the brand and the business. Therefore making customer satisfaction, contentment and convenience essential to the holiday season goals of your business!
Additionally, the goal is also to prove how seriously committed to safety and adaptation your business is. Customer needs and demands have evolved following the pandemic and retail businesses that recognize and adapt to these are the ones retaining and attracting foot traffic volumes.
New technology adoption, like predictive AI solutions, are also needed as a means of anticipating consumer behavior, wants and likes and dislikes. These will help boost annual sales, maximize holiday retail efforts, and target the required consuming audiences.