The 2015 holiday shopping season is off to a strong start with the National Retail Federation reporting over 151 million shoppers on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Reflecting the increasing total sales projections from the beginning of the year, eMarketer predicts an annual 5.7 percent increase in shopping sales. While many retailers focus on conquering Black Friday and Cyber Monday, last-minute holiday shoppers provide a sizable opportunity. Use these tips to attract those shoppers looking to complete their gift lists right before the holidays.
Retailers should examine their store layout and optimize it for the holiday season. In-store analytics provide retailers with visibility into their store floor and other important details. Last-minute holiday shoppers do not have time to spare with their down-to-the-wire shopping, so ease of navigation is a critical factor in servicing their needs. Consider the following tips when planning your store layout during the holiday season. Put the hottest items of the season near the front of the store so you attract foot traffic. Add related items nearby to drive additional purchases. Use prominent signage and displays to guide shoppers quickly to sales, specific aisles and other popular products.
Easy checkout provides a quality customer experience for shoppers in a rush. Web-based point of sale software can offer retailers tools to improve the checkout experience. One feature is a mobile POS, which cuts down on the bottleneck at the registers. Floor staff can go to the customers and provide convenient, no-waiting checkout services.
Digital wallets are another way to streamline the checkout process and keep the wait times down.† A POS system that can accept mobile payments helps increase the speed of checkout as shoppers wonít have to look for cash or credit cards and employees wonít have to provide correct change or run credit card transactions.
Finally, an integrated customer management system helps retailers quickly retrieve pertinent information on shoppers such as name, size or color preferences, loyalty program membership and other data.
Gift guides are another way to attract last-minute holiday shoppers as they search for gifts. Campaigner reports 28 percent of retailers are incorporating informational content into their marketing campaigns to capture consumer attention. Retailers can match gift guides to specific audience segments, such as family member, age, or price point, to drive increased engagement and increase the possibility of sales for the featured items.
Customers move between channels during their holiday shopping experience, with Google reporting 54 percent of shoppers plan to make holiday purchases from their smartphones. eCommerce integration reaches the consumers planning to stay out of the stores and purchase their last-minute holiday gifts online. Retailers can offer home delivery or use site-to-store pickup for last-minute shoppers who missed shipping windows.
The last-minute holiday shoppers provide significant opportunities for retailers to close out the holiday shopping season on a high note. These customers often get lost in the shuffle during Black Friday preparations, but savvy retailers can use these tips to increase their revenue by targeting this market.