The most significant seasonal effort for merchants will be unlike any other — and the stakes have never been greater. The campaign will seem different to previous years, but a successful season will be essential for the survival and future success for many retailers.
The retail industry has undergone unprecedented volatility during the past eight months, conventional retail planning has been thrown out the window due to the fact that many retailers are so busy handling daily sales and treading water to stay afloat.
Retailers will need to act now to be prepared for the upcoming season to increase the sales opportunity and recover the revenue deficit in the past 6-8 months. The time is short but it’s never too late to get your company ready to pivot and implement the strategies that can allow you to succeed this season and will set you up for sustainable future achievement.
How will the 2020 season be different?
The new normal is well and inserted into our daily now and this will continue into the holiday buying season and beyond. Some of the greatest changes we can expect include:
A significant part of sales will be online. While the online shopping trend was already on the upswing, 2020 will deliver more than only a steady growth, the growth will be exponential, along with your ecommerce ecosystems and infrastructure is going to be pushed to its limits.
FOMO will induce an early start to the season. Buyers have experienced delivery delays in their online shopping over this past period. “FOMO” will induce a substantial number of online shoppers^ (78 percent ) to begin earlier and most those (83 percent ) have indicated they will be starting in early November.
Consumers will do more bargain hunting and comparison shopping. An integral reason that shoppers will be raising their online spend^ would be to take advantage of deals. Concerning the discount thresholds which you would like to think about, 36 percent is the average discount necessary to activate an immediate purchase. What is also important to comprehend ^, 50 percent of online shoppers will buy at a 25% reduction and extra discounting above 50% accomplishes minimal additional sales.
Agility will be crucial to compete effectively this holiday season. The brands which will win vacation 2020 will be exceptionally agile — able to adjust their marketing messages and business processes quickly so that they may be first to respond to changing conditions around everything from stock levels to client demands to outside forces.
Ways to prepare for success this holiday season
The final point above around agility is a significant one; although agility is about having the ability to respond quickly and pivot as necessary, it requires solid preparation. With that in mind, how do you prepare for a successful 2020 holiday shopping season?
1. Make certain you have the ideal systems and technologies — it isn’t too late to put in place the ideal system that will guarantee you can increase sales during this holiday period and set up your business for future expansion. Select a partner who can provide a quick implementation support and has expert support to ensure your employees are trained and onboarded punctually.
2. Optimise your stock holdings — you will need to be certain you have the perfect balance of inventory to cater to demand. Too little will risk lost earnings and also much will risk getting your cashflow tied up with surplus stock that will cause clearance selling. Having the ideal POS software system will let you plan and optimise the ideal balance of stock investment for the duration of the year.
3. Deliver an omnichannel customer experience — the truth is that we are living in an omnichannel world where customers expect to have the ability to bounce easily between different channels and have the identical experience. They wish to investigate and find available products on the internet (and see”live stock in shop”) as a way to instantly pick up from a nearby physical shop (“instant click & gather”). Your gift vouchers and exclusive offers also have to be omnichannel for both purchase and redemption.
4. Prepare for an agile marketing program — be prepared to have a wide array of discounted inventory available from early November and pre-promote provides for special online events such as Click Frenzy 10th November, Black Friday 27th November, and Cyber Monday 30th November. Be ready to have the ability to respond to the situation on the ground at a moment’s notice.
5. Dial up your customer support both instore and online — although there could be less people packed into shopping malls this season, people that are shopping instore are there with intent to buy. Make sure your POS system makes the shooting of customer data simple and easy for your staff so that you can build a database which you can develop into loyal clients in 2021.
6. Make customer acquisition your main goal — online sales will allow the collection of information which will power new customer development programs in the new year. While there’ll be fewer people crowded into shopping malls, people that are shopping instore are there with intent to buy. Make sure your POS system makes the shooting of customer information simple and seamless for your employees so that you can create a database for continuing personalisation, loyalty programs and marketing to drive repeat sales. A client is for life, not just for Christmas.
7. Carefully plan your rosters and brief/upskill team — customer service has been the major driver of retail sales and brand loyalty in a post-COVID retail world. Ensure that your people are engaged, well trained, knowledgeable, loyal, and inspired.
The unprecedented nature of the year is guaranteed to generate a holiday season that’s unlike any other. If you’re looking for ideas or to find out how other retailers are preparing for this holiday season our team of retail experts are always happy to talk and discuss what we’re seeing across the thousands of merchants which we associate with.