Retailers: Is your store ready for the Holiday season?

by Melanie Frank - January 7, 2020

According to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation, consumers will be spending an extra 4 percent during the 2019 holiday season, or an average of $1,047.83. And this season, retailers can expect to see holiday shoppers with healthy budgets to spend and high expectations to fulfill.

How can retailers prepare to deliver the best customer experience that offers service, quality, and variety, and capitalize on this prosperous prediction?

With the stakes so high, retailers who capitalize on these three operational areas, can be ready for the holidays and successfully navigate the seasonal rush.

Workforce management

During the 2019 holiday season, the retail industry will employ between 530,000 and 590,000 temporary workers. And these employees need to have the tools to perform at their best for your peak season.

Recruit early. Your store will have first pick of the best talent. Make your retail business more attractive to candidates by including professional training in your job offers. By adding training to your recruiting process, you incentivize candidates with a professional skills enrichment opportunity. At the same time, use these training sessions as an opportunity to offer your existing staff refreshers in areas like engaging customers, product knowledge, and up-selling techniques.

With more employees, longer opening hours, higher in-store traffic, your workforce management efficiency will drive the quality of the service your customers receive. Scheduling issues like late arrivals and no-shows, which can occur more frequently with less engaged, seasonal employees, can be reduced to a minimum using modern workforce management solutions.

When employees are given access to their work schedules well in advance, and their employer provides tools that enable them to communicate with other employees to swap shifts, they become engaged in what they do, and show up for work more consistently.

Features in today’s leading retail management solutions facilitate employee sharing. These options provide flexibility for the multi-store retailer and their employees who may want to pick up some extra shifts for the holidays.

Inventory Tracking

Predicting sales was already a challenge when brick-and-mortar stores were the only way to shop. With omnichannel retail, it is increasingly complex to prepare your stores for the holiday season.

Forecasting tools integrated in leading POS systems can help retailers use historical data to accurately project demand, track and manage inventory, and identify current trends both in-store and online.

If your current POS does not have inventory tracking capabilities, your access to inventory control data is limited by time-consuming manual reporting. Any successful omnichannel retail strategy must integrate POS an ecommerce operations and data, so that you can make the timely inventory decisions that help your store stay ahead of demand.

Legacy POS systems have limited capabilities to support inventory data using real-time information. Leading inventory management solutions provide functionalities to manage merchandise, control purchases, store transfers and operate receiving and distribution. That means peace of mind that you don’t have too little or too much product in your store… and the right products for your customers.

Loss Prevention

Using store traffic and conversion rates (the proportion of traffic that actually translates into a sale) can provide context and insights around results. Smart retailer can leverage these analytics to focus on those areas that are driving results and take measures to improve them.

Consider staffing levels, for instance. Staffing your store based simply on sales transactions is misleading. Sales data does not account for the number of customers who visited the store and did not buy—in other words, lost opportunities.

Using the data produced by the traffic monitoring tools available with leading POS systems, retailers can adjust staffing levels relative to customer traffic or sales opportunities in the store.

Traffic monitoring tools are well worth the investment, even when used only for the purpose of staff scheduling. When you also factor in the value of the data across other functional areas like marketing and merchandizing, store traffic and conversion data retailers can support informed, revenue-generating decisions, that give retailers of any size and category, a significant return on their investment.

Talk to one of our experts about solutions that can make your retail business holiday ready.

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