As a customer, you can understand the frustration when you quickly pop to the shops on your lunch break to make a last minute Christmas purchase, tackling the hordes of people on the street to then be faced with long queues in store, or even worse, find that the merchandise is out of stock! Before you know it your time is up and it’s back to the office, sometimes empty handed.
So, why is it that after a year of planning that retailers aren’t any better prepared for the Christmas rush, ensuring that they are well stocked and that enough staff are available on the shop floor and on hand to help, armed with the knowledge and capability to cater to your needs?
Retailers need to utilise the customer and transactional data that they receive daily. Capturing and analysing this sales data would enable them to identify key trends in customer shopping habits, such as products in demand, so they can better prepare for the replenishment of goods that fly of the shelves. Special requirements for the sourcing and logistics of products in demand should also be agreed prior to Christmas, so when specific stock is low it can be quickly replenished to avoid customer disappointment.
On the shop floor, sales staff should be armed with mobile devices with access to product information so they can answer customer queries and provide additional information, also with capabilities to interrogate systems to check stock across the retail estate and if need be complete a transaction on the spot to prevent long queues at the till. This is also a great way for staff to interact with customers and upsell complementary merchandise.
It’s impossible to predict the exact future of customer demands and requirements, but ensuring that the shop environment and staff are well prepared for the Christmas rush will certainly result in increased sales, and ultimately a satisfied and repeat customer!