As another holiday season approaches, it’s time to ensure there’s a plan in place to maximize holiday retail sales. 2019 is projected to be the busiest yet, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) projecting that upward of $730 billion will be spent by U.S. customers, a 4% increase over the 2018 period.¹ Understanding consumer behaviors, tendencies, and preferences can help retailers increase market share during one of the busiest times of year.
Although retailers have been planning for the holiday rush for several months now, there are several key strategies that brands can leverage to increase holiday retail sales. It’s important to ensure inventory accuracy across channels, optimize store layouts to improve the customer experience, offer expedited delivery services, and more.
Ensure Inventory Accuracy Across Channels
Inventory management is a critical component of driving holiday retail sales. Effective inventory management systems enable store managers to identify quantities of items on-order, on-hand, received, or in-transit and determine whether more of a specific item needs to be ordered to meet demand. Conducting an ABC analysis can pinpoint both low-cost best-sellers and higher-cost items that do not sell as frequently.
Whether in-store or online, it’s important to ensure inventory accuracy across channels to increase customer satisfaction. Siloed inventory management can lead to data inaccuracies that may leave the customer unhappy if they do not receive their orders in time to wrap as holiday gifts.
Omnichannel retail software helps retailers manage inventory across channels and connects to a point-of-sale system, creating a seamless purchase journey for customers. The technology ensures that retailers have the information to make inventory management decisions and customers receive their purchases in time for the holiday season.
Related reading: 4 Retail Inventory Management Tips for the Holiday Season
Optimize Store Layouts To Improve Customer Experience
While more shoppers today prefer online shopping than ever before, a large percentage of purchases are still made in-store. Knowing that customers will flock to retail locations frequently throughout the holiday season, store layout optimization can improve the customer experience, resulting in more sales opportunities.
Customers who come into a store come for three reasons: pick up an online order, make an in-store purchase, or just to browse. An optimized store layout that places best-sellers and popular holiday gifts toward the front of the store can increase customer engagement.
Another concept retailers use with store layout optimization to increase sales is point-of-purchase placement. Including smaller items, especially stocking stuffers during the holiday season, near checkout counters allows shoppers to continue to browse while they wait for their turn in line. Some may be encouraged to add these items to their shopping cart before checkout.
Offer Expedited Delivery Services
During the holiday season, people who order gifts online want them as soon as possible. Retailers with the infrastructure to offer expedited delivery at lower costs are more likely to earn a prospective customer’s business. In addition, the cost savings from shipping may encourage shoppers to spend more on actual merchandise.
Given that time is of the essence, customers will choose a store that gets them their purchases quicker. Integrating inventory management and point-of-sale systems with an omnichannel e-commerce management and fulfillment solution enables retailers to offer lower shipping costs and streamline order processing. The integration simplifies retail management with geolocation and fulfillment automation to get shipments out faster from the nearest retail store location.
Runit’s cloud-based integrated inventory management and POS system pairs seamlessly with an omnichannel order fulfillment solution designed to expedite the process from start to finish. Retailers that use this technology can ensure online orders are fulfilled on time, and customers are always satisfied.
To learn more about increasing holiday retail sales, contact a member of our team today.