As the festive season is in progress, there is a lot retailers can do to bank more sales and boost profits as much as possible. The key is to be proactively prepared. If retail businesses expect to grab larger portions of the festive shopping cake, it is up to the retailers to take charge and make it happen.
1. Have enough product on hand
Plan for sufficient buffer stock to meet the targeted sales volume for the season. Keep the warehouse inventory handy and the display amply stocked so customers have feel spoilt for choice.
2. Focus on cross-selling and upselling
Identify which potential products can be coupled for sales to add value to a sale (cross-selling) and products that have big-ticket or upgraded models that can be suggested for customers to consider (upselling). Slow-moving items can be offered as complementary products or repackaged as a special buy in combination with best-sellers to get the slow movers out the door.
3. Stand apart from the competition
Highlight the most distinctive features of the mainstream merchandise with the right communication or offer some new and unique products that cannot be found elsewhere, to attract the attention of curious customers looking for the latest in the season.
4. Deck the stores to a “happy place” to encourage sales
Set the festive ambience at the stores with the right paraphernalia to match the season – merchandise displays, lighting, colours, music and such other means to delight customers. Focus on creating a space that is shopper friendly.
5. Collect all the customer data you can
The festive season will bring in new customers. Capture every customer’s data. Further, track and analyze their buying behavior and preferences to spot which products are trending up and which are getting eluded to be able to personalize offerings and boost loyalty.
6. Know your customer
Know what customers are really looking for in terms of shopping experience in the festive season. Take the time and effort to ask questions and receive actionable feedback from all channels. Understand the demographics of the region and choose your product offerings accordingly.
7. Keep product knowledge a priority
Make sure in-store salespeople know the product features and benefits thoroughly. Moreover store staff should be well versed with the technology at the counters to be able to service customers faster. Ensure product features and USPs are clearly highlighted for easy reference.
8. Improve customer service
Focus on customer centricity by understanding customers better and then servicing them accordingly. Employ technologies to enhance customer service particularly during peak business periods and to ensure safe transactions. Enhanced customer experience can help induce repeat purchases.
9. Plan for the last-minute frenzy
Employ the right skills and technologies to handle in-store as well as online traffic on the e-commerce website. Keep the supply chain engine running through the season to ensure sufficient stock is always handy through careful planning and allocation of stocks across all retail touch points.
10. Manage finances to last the season
Plan the pre-season stock allocation and in-season procurement of inventory to last through the entire festive shopping season, which is starting earlier and lasting longer each year. This makes it crucial to handle budgets accordingly.