Are your retail clients ready for the holiday season? Holiday spending is projected to increase, but in order to get a slice of the pie many retailers are offering deep discounts and specials to entice in shoppers.
With mobile shopping and sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday reshaping the retail landscape, it’s time for some new strategies. As a Vend partner, this is an ideal moment to consult with your clients about how they can make the best of their holiday season without losing sight of their bottom line.
Prep the sales team with the right technology
According to Think With Google, 75% of smartphone shoppers plan to use their phones in-store this holiday season – to check prices, get recommendations, or look up information. Many of those shoppers have researched products for hours on the web before heading into a brick-and-mortar shop.
This creates super-knowledgeable customers, who may be more inclined to consult their smart phone instead of asking an employee. To compete, retailers need to have employees who are just as knowledgeable, and just as connected.
Your clients need to make sure their employees are on top of their game when it comes to their knowledge products and services, as well as store policies on guarantees, returns, and more. Make it easy for the sales staff to answer questions and place orders on the floor by arming them with smartphones and tablets, and ensure that they’ve been well-trained in using the mobile POS to make the customer’s experience a stellar one.
Stock up and showcase inventory
The holidays can be a notoriously tough time to forecast for inventory. Retailers need to make sure they have enough of their popular products in stock, but need to avoid tying up too much capital, or purchasing more product than can be sold. Work with your clients to sort through last year’s sales data to identify best sellers and other high-demand products they should stock up on.
With your client, take a look at customers’ shopping habits over the past year to discover any products that are usually bought in tandem (such as a battery-operated toy and the batteries it needs). This can lead to insightful ways of bundling popular items to boost sales and save customers time.
You can also identify popular, high-margin items for your clients to showcase in endcaps and checkout stands in their shops, or in banner ads and cross-selling widgets in their mobile stores.
Build customer loyalty
Over the holiday season, many consumers are looking for a specific product at a good price, often placing higher importance on that than on store loyalty. Now is a perfect time for your clients to reach out to their best customers and entice them in for their holiday shopping. Offer promotions tailored to repeat customers and rewards club members, such as a dual coupon for the customer and a friend, or a free thank you gift with a certain dollar amount of purchase.
The flip side of consumers shopping for specific products is that they’re often willing trying some place new. If that place is your client’s store, this is a huge opportunity for them to win a loyal customer. Make sure your clients are set up to track new customer data and capture information like postal code and email. Sending out an email blast thanking new customers for choosing your store and wishing them a happy holidays will differentiate your client’s shop from all the others during the holiday rush.
Want to learn more about working with SMBs? Check out our Vend Partner programs. Not only do we train our partners on Vend and retail, but we also offer business coaching and development. Learn more today.
About Tara Benedict
A former retailer (and unabashed nerd) who daydreamed about integrated POS software, Tara now delightedly recruits, promotes, and enables Vend's wonderful channel of add-ons and partners. An ardent sharer of Vend news and events, connect with Tara on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ and never miss an opportunity to meet up with the affable Vend team.