There is plenty of advice out there for retailers on how to get ready for the shopping frenzy that they experience and if managed right, enjoy during the festive shopping season every year. Buzzwords such as mobile optimization and omni-channel experiences are good to hear, but when it comes down to milking the cow during the most revenue generating part of the year, the transaction is at the heart of the holiday season shopping experience.
Customers worry about price, secure transactions and right product availability when spending their festive dollars both online and offline (in-store) and they are depending upon you to dispel those fears. For retailers, that means addressing the four fear factors that concern shoppers:
Product: To realize maximum profits, it is of optimum essence to plan your pre-season and in-season omni-channel merchandise and inventory right. Even at a time when the offline and online are merging to enhance shopper experiences, customers prefer to complete their festive shopping hassle free, one stop. So it is vital to stock the right product in the right channel and the right quantity at the right time. This will also help you to get through the entire festive season effectively, avoid stockout situations which usually result in unhappy or lost customers and ensure that you do not end up with excess stock at the end of the season.
Pricing: With many retailers offering similar products across multiple channels, shoppers are spoilt for options. In this situation, price usually becomes the deciding factor between a sale and a no-sale. Hence, along with the right inventory, you need to price your merchandise right across each channel. Additionally, you need to analyze the profit margins on individual seasonal products. If you can’t make a profit after the season is over with the left over merchandise, you may want to consider offering a markdown on the time sensitive products during the season.
Promotions: A steady number of shoppers are seen to be actively planning their festive shopping early, looking for deals and promotions to compare their best buying options. They have more locations to purchase from, both online and in-store including pop-ups, more discounts to compare and more information at their fingertips about the products they want. Hence, it is imperative that you plan, roll-out and modify your festive promotions and campaigns early as well as on the fly in-season.
Protection: With a plethora of transactions taking place due to the rise in shopping activity during the festive season, it is necessary to protect shoppers’ payment card data and ensure secure transactions across channels. You must take measures to make payment card transactions safe for your customers, no matter which channel they use for buying from your retail business, by employing a payment application that helps you do just that by protecting the heart of the festive shopping experience – the transaction.
ETP’s Omni-Channel Retail Solutions can help you put to rest all the above fear factors effectively and efficiently. The ETP Merchandise Planner helps you plan and manage cross-channel merchandise and inventory taking cues from previous seasons and industry data. It also enables you to manage pricing for all your products across each channel. The ETP Accelerator equips you to define, plan and roll-out retail promotions based on your business rules, and start, stop or modify them on the fly. The ETP V5.5 Omni-Channel POS solution is certified as PA-DSS v3.1 compliant by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). It means that retailers can now feel more secure with the ETP V5.5 POS solutions to provide a secure payment card-related transaction process for their end users.