Year-end season is a vital period for retailers, and it comes with lot of goodies and its own challenges.
While consumer spending reaches its highest levels during the year-end season, retailers grapple for position in an increasingly competitive offline and online markets. So, how can you ensure that your retail business is well position for this festive season?
Work on how to stand out offline…
Competition on the High Street is particularly fierce during the year-end period, and it is important that you take steps to stand out.
First, think about your premises. Is it capturing the festive season spirit? Many retailers have already begun decking their premises out with festive decorations, and you should do the same. Consider how you can ensure that your premises looks as appealing (and as ‘Year-endish’ & ‘Christmassy’) as possible. This might involve decorating both the interior and the exterior of your property. Have a look around the area in which you are based, and think about ways in which you can decorate your premises in a different manner to that of the competition.
It is just as important that your online presence gets its own festive injection. Year-end shopping is increasingly moving online, and if you are competing in this busy field it is important that you give yourself the very best chance. Consider adding some Year-end/ Christmas decoration to your website, and make sure that your most attractive items are given due prominence. Remember, though, that it is not all about your website. You also need to think about your other online presences, paying particular attention to social media. Consider changing profile and header images, adding a Year-end/ Christmas theme to each. You might also like to add a festive twist to your tweets, using hashtags #BRG.
Given the viciousness of festive season competition, you should think about running promotions in order to attract customers. Your strategy here will depend on business-specific factors like breadth of assortment and markup. However, you might consider undercutting competitors on what you think are likely to be the most popular items in your field. You should also consider ways in which you can encourage repeat customer purchases, bearing in mind that you are likely to see an increase in the number of first-time buyers coming to you over the festive season. Pay attention to store design, your visual merchandising, store cleaningness and general look and feel of the store. Make sure that you place anything that might constitute an impulse purchase near to the tills.
Look at staffing
Staffing is one of the key challenges facing any retail business owners, especially during year-end periods. Creating excellent customer experience is the secret to success of any retail business and your staff are at the heart of it.
First, you need staff with the right mindset, skills, attitude and values to professionally attend to your customers, engage with them, build relationship, serve them in a way that they leave satisfied and with the right experiences. So, at this period, you might want to consider upgrading the skills of your Retail Associate either through short internal training programs if you have the capacity to, or engage a reputable retail training organization to provide quick year-end intervention and year-end focus programs.
At Bervidson Retail Group, we’ve put together some special year-end intervention retail workshops specifically aimed at supporting you to increase sales profitably during this year-end season. (see program below). All workshops are designed to provide your store manager and team with requisite skill and expertise needed to improve productivity while leaving the customers with memorable experiences that will keep them coming back, bringing their friends with them also. The good news is, these Workshops are offered to you at a heavily discounted rate off our regular prices. This is our own little way of saying THANK YOU for supporting us throughout the year 2017. Read more.
Second, it is not unlikely that your staff may want to take time off during year-end and enjoy the season’s holiday itself. This presents important considerations like rota management. In addition, though, you should remember that you are likely to be stretched even further by increased footfall. This may require you to take on more staff on a temporary basis. Consider getting in touch with the Retail Academy now if you believe you might need extra hands, as demand for short-term staff is high over Year-end/ Christmas. (The Retail Training & Internship Program – RTIP of the Retail Academyrequires students to participate in an internship program as part of course curriculum
All the Success!
Bervidson Retail Group
PS: Retail Technology Solutions