This year, the FGRT’s UK Christmas Retail Outlook predicts that total festive retail sales will reach a staggering total of £78.7 billion—a nearly £4 billion increase on last year. This increase will partly be due to shop-price inflation but we will also be seeing meaningful real-terms sales growth as shoppers up their spending to keep ahead of inflation. The predicted increase can also be attributed to the fact that December 2017 includes four Saturdays that precede Christmas Day. Though last year’s festive period also had four Saturdays, “Super Saturday” (the last Saturday before Christmas) fell on Christmas Eve, with relatively few shoppers leaving their Christmas shopping so late.
Whatever the reason, this season’s festive shopping is about to get busy. Though this influx of shoppers can provide a great financial boost for retailers, it can also cause huge headaches. With infrastructure built to serve the steady flow of customers from January to November, many businesses struggle to find the extra capacity when December rolls around. This can cause long wait times at tills, lost customers, missed profits and general dissatisfaction. If you’re feeling the pressure this December, here are a few things you can do to ensure that the stress is left in 2017!
Make sales faster
Ultimately, making sales faster means more people through the door, more money through the tills and a better customer experience. Earlier this month, we shared how you can make a sale in just 11 seconds with NP Retail—no lag, no fuss, just sales. If you find yourself constantly apologising to customers for the wait at the till perhaps it’s time to consider a new solution. You might also think about accepting new payment methods such as contactless payment and Apple Pay to speed up the process.
Take the till to the customer
If your problem is long queues at the till consider abolishing the till altogether. Mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems can be carried around the store with your employees as they engage with customers. This makes sales much faster and eliminates the Great British queue.
Offer intuitive cross-sells and upsells
Just because shops are busy, doesn’t mean customers shouldn’t receive the best possible experience. Arming your employees with the tools to offer personalised, data-driven suggestions to shoppers could boost customer satisfaction and encourage spending.
Consolidate your inventory
Ever had to tell a customer that an item is out of stock, knowing that there may well be a few left in your warehouse or assigned to your online store? This becomes all the more common around Christmastime when items sell out twice as fast and returns come in like clockwork. Consolidating your inventory allows you to see a real-time picture of all your stock across multiple locations. If an item is available in another location, you can offer it to a customer for pickup from any store or home delivery; saving them a wild goose chase and adding to your December profits.
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This post is part of #12DaysOfNAV, our challenge to share a new blog post every day from 1st-12th December.