Is your store Christmas-ready?
If your technology lets you down in the run-up to Christmas, it could have a huge impact on your year. Here are the things to look out for – and advice on what you can do now to put the right things in place.
Be ready for Black Friday
Black Friday used to be a phenomenon that was restricted to the USA, but over the past two or three years, it has taken serious hold in the UK retail market too. Now, you need to be ready, because this is what kicks off the major Christmas spending period.
Black Friday falls on November 25th this year, which means you have a scant 6 weeks to get ready. This is a particularly tricky day for online retailers – you’ll need to be sure that your systems are robust enough to cope with demand, and that you have all your agreed deals in place. Know what your customers are going to want to make savings on, and headline those items – now is the time to be creating Google Adword campaigns to drive new and existing customers to your store.
Pay close attention to your stock levels for this day. You might want to restrict availability in order to drive demand, but you need the technology in place to be able to keep a real-time eye on stock levels so you can supply customers wherever they are.
Your customer’s journey
We can’t over-exaggerate the importance of this in the pre-Christmas period. If the buying experience is interrupted or badly planned, people will simply buy elsewhere. Make sure that everything – from your product descriptions and individual Google listings to your stock control, packaging and returns policy is in place, works smoothly and gives your customer the best possible outcome.
This is crucial – you’ll lose sales if you can’t supply what your customer wants. You should be stocking up now for your Christmas sales period, and you should know exactly where your stock is, how much you have and when you’ll need to re-order. You’ll also need a system in place that allows you to see stock levels at point of sale so that you can let customer order in store and deliver to their chosen address – this will increase sales and your reputation. If you can’t do this at the moment, look into systems that give you this vital capability.
Keep your offers up to date
Christmas is the perfect time for introducing special offers, seasonal deals and bulk-buying discounts. Whether your store is online or on the high street, you’ll need to make sure your systems are keeping up with changes in pricing. This is particularly true with bundles, where customers may see an in-store offer and go looking for it online, or vice-versa. Make sure you have a system that is easily updateable so that there’s no confusion for your customers.
Of course, it’s not over when Christmas comes – as a retailer, you’ll need to deal with returns, voucher spending, if you offer them, and customers looking for New Year sales deals.
Today’s retailers live in a world of constant discounting and deals, as customers become more discount-savvy. Having a plan for your best-selling products, and for those that sit on the shelves for longer should help you to continue to drive business to your store once the festivities are over.
To find out more about how Modulus software can integrate with your existing systems to help you manage Christmas better, just contact us today.