In 2022, the landscape of the Holiday season is changing once again. As concerns about inflation rise, the National Retail Federation has reported that consumers have begun holiday shopping earlier than ever to save money and avoid potential inflationary price hikes. Whether shopping in-store or online, consumers seek deals and inspiration, from experiences to expert content, to get into the holiday spirit. But despite the challenges of this festive season, retailers expect an increase in holiday shopping. Retailers have risen to meet their needs, launching offers starting in early October. And the sales will only continue throughout November and into December.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are always a big deal in today’s retail environment, and 2022 seems to be an exciting year for online and offline retail stores. To help your retail stores prepare for this holiday shopping season, here are 10 steps from experts and experienced business owners to help you get the most out of season.
10 Tips for Businesses to Increase Holiday Sales in 2022
1. Plan and Establish Seasonal Goals
There are a few ways to keep your holiday sales special and unique. One way is to plan and set seasonal goals. For example, if you are a retailer with a shoe store, you should plan to sell several shoes a day during the holiday season. This will help keep your sales fresh and unique. Another way to keep your sales special and unique is to offer a unique experience to your customers. This can be done through seasonal events, unique décor, or personalized gifts. Spend some time researching your major competitors’ holiday sales strategies and determine your marketing strategy to reach your target customers. One last way to make your holiday sales special and unique is to ensure your products are unique. This way, your customers won’t go to other stores and buy the same items.
You should also take the time to review online strategies that have been successful for your business in previous years and explore how you can apply them to the upcoming year’s plan to help your business succeed online. Choose the best items for discounts, and staggered sales and discounts remove the “rush” and keep customers happy and safe.
2. Review and upgrade technology.
You must ensure that your technology is ready and capable of handling the onslaught of online shoppers, especially during the holiday season. By upgrading your technology, you can add new features and make your store more appealing to consumers. You don’t want to lose prospective clients because your website is down or you are unable to accept credit card orders. This includes spending time to upgrade security software, check checkout and payment processes, review the usability of search features, and make sure your site is user-friendly and able to handle increased traffic. This can make a big difference in the success of their business during the holiday season. You should also consider leveraging apps for your store during the holiday season.
To succeed and survive during Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to go it alone. By opting for a point-of-sale solution like ChainDrive Retail and ecommerce, you’re counting on a multitude of apps that integrate seamlessly with your system.
3. Embrace omnichannel customer experiences
Omnichannel customer experiences offer customers a seamless experience across the different channels they use to shop. It’s important to have a website that provides customers with a great experience when shopping online. It is also important that you provide the customer with great customer service and a unique experience when they enter your store. If you do this, your customers will be more likely to shop with you again and tell their friends about your great holiday sales.
One of the major trends impacting holiday sales is omnichannel retailing, which is described as an integrated sales technique that delivers a seamless buying experience for consumers, whether they are shopping from a computer, mobile device, or store. For example, these customers can buy online but pick up the item in-store, or they can use a smartphone app to compare prices before making a purchase on a company’s website. One way for businesses to be responsive to omnichannel shoppers is to honor online coupons and in-store offers interchangeably.
4. Use social media to promote your brand
Embrace social media to help promote your holiday sales. You can use social media to help you spread the word about your sales, attract customers and increase the number of shoppers in your store. You should also consider using social media to help you identify your best customers. You can use this information to target the people who buy your product best and offer products to them. You should also consider using social media to gather feedback from your customers. You can use this information to set up email marketing campaigns and cultivate online sales to improve your products and services.
Set up email marketing campaigns that feature your holiday deals and send emails to your existing customers, and create a sense of urgency so that they act quickly. Then make sure to use segmented email to offer your loyal customers exclusive deals that they might like.
Focus on search engine optimization and increase your SEO efforts to attract customers to your store. Make sure your store information is set up correctly on Google My Business, improve your website speed, and revamp your website security to drive traffic and sales.
5. Add contactless options
Many retailers are starting to offer contactless options to their customers. Contactless payments are a convenient way for shoppers to pay for their purchases without having to pull out their wallets. Contactless payments are an easy way to keep your customers happy and interested in your store.
BOPIS and curbside pickup are excellent strategies to entice people to buy. If your business doesn’t offer free delivery, curbside pickup is a simple and quick option that provides a safe and convenient experience. By offering your customers the ability to schedule their pickup without leaving their vehicle, you avoid in-store queuing and crowded areas while being completely touchless. It’s an easy-to-implement solution that helps avoid shipping delays during the busy holiday season.
When crafting your messaging for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, be sure to highlight options such as contactless payments, free shipping or curbside pickup, and contactless pickup.
6. Market to loyal customers
Retailers should keep their loyal customers in mind during the holiday season and market to them during the holidays. They can do this by offering them exclusive discounts, special promotions, and special events.
Tailor your messaging for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to meet the changing world of retail. Retailers can ensure that holiday sales remain special and unique by engaging with the new customers they made over the holidays and reaching out to other potential customers.
Planning for the post-holiday business can be just as essential to ensure that regular sales can resume once the holiday rush is over.
7. Stock up on holiday inventory
You need to make sure you have enough inventory, but you also need to make sure that the product is unique. This means that the inventory you have does not contain the same items as other stores. You also need to make sure that your inventory is very diverse. This will help customers find what they are looking for and keep them coming back to your store. Make sure your online store is well stocked and that your best-sellers are readily available.
Stock up on your most popular and best-selling items, the latest trendy items in your industry, and specially designed or crafted gifts to make your merchandise stand out. Talk to dealers and see if you can get discounts for large-quantity purchases or extended payment terms.
8. Plan your shipping strategy
Shipping is a significant part of the holiday season. You can stand your business apart from your competitors and win the hearts of your last-minute shoppers with free and fast shipping options.
Offering competitive delivery options help you to avoid a lot of stress and keep you on track. Additionally, retailers who are concerned that online sales will overshadow foot traffic during the holidays can offer an in-store pickup option for online purchases. This way, shoppers save on shipping costs, and merchants earn an additional form of revenue while encouraging safe shopping.
9. Provide exceptional customer service
To keep your holiday sales special and unique, you need to provide exceptional customer service. To do this, you need to provide a personal touch to each customer, show your appreciation, and offer support across all channels.
Strengthen your customer support across all channels. In-store, you need to make sure you have enough staff to handle an influx of customers and plan accordingly based on your recent foot traffic and in-store customer limit. Online, your customer service information should be easily accessible. Stores need to prepare for an influx of digital orders but also guide first-time shoppers through their purchase journey in the days leading up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday. You can also offer a unique experience to your customers. For example, offer a live social media event with a celebrity or offer a digital holiday gift card to your customers. These are just a few ways to make your holiday sales stand out.
Adding a live chat feature is also a great way to handle all of your customers’ messages and positively impact your bottom line. Try assigning different channels to your team members and try to respond within an hour or less. By making sure you cover all bases during the holiday shopping season, you’ll gain your customers’ trust and build lasting relationships with them.
10. Ensure adequate working capital
Having enough working capital during the holidays is necessary to increase inventory, hire seasonal staff or install holiday displays. This will allow you to make the necessary investments in your business to keep it profitable. The success of your holiday sales will depend on your ability to manage them profitably. It is important to find the right balance between marketing and sales.
In addition, business owners should contact their payment processors to discuss a possible increase in transaction volume or negotiate a higher credit limit.
The holiday shopping season will be very different from previous years, so make sure your business is prepared for increased online sales. By following the tips above, such as understanding your customers, improving your SEO, establishing and reinforcing a customer-centric mindset, and preparing early, you can set your team up for success. You can ensure that your business satisfies both new and existing customers and makes the most of this busy time for e-commerce.
Want to see how ChainDrive can help you this holiday season? Contact our retail software experts today for a live demo.