3 Common Holiday Retail Challenges & How to Solve Them
The 2016 holiday season is officially upon us! As a retailer, you know that the holidays can promise a steady stream of revenue, and put a high demand on your retail operations.
So what can you do to ensure your holiday challenges don’t become New Year’s losses? Be prepared and leverage your point-of-sale system to track sales and inventory, manage promotions and staff, and gain critical insight into your customers’ behaviors to stay ahead of the holiday rush and realize huge profits.
Here’s a list of 3 common holiday challenges and how you can solve them with an integrated point-of-sale system.
Challenge #1: Managing Crowds & Unpredictable Demand
Making the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year” requires retailers to pay close attention to the details in order to successfully meet demand in this busy season. As the holiday’s inch closer, malls and stores will begin to get more and more crowded. Retailers across industries must be prepared to deal with the holiday rush, but how do you plan for something that is often seemingly unpredictable?
How You Solve It
Utilize your omnichannel point-of-sale system to become a data-centric business. By observing current trends as well as your store’s historical holiday sales data, you can more accurately forecast demand and predict inventory needs to maximize profits. Armed with a statistical, comprehensive picture of your business, you can take the guesswork out of inventory management, reducing the possibility of running out of stock or being left with overages.
An omnichannel point-of-sale system, like NCR Counterpoint, will also allow you to expand sales across a variety of platforms – physical, online, and mobile – to reach your customers, according to their preferences, so you never miss an opportunity to sell. Operating under a single, centralized system also allows you to effectively manage inventory across all your locations to transfer stock where it’s needed the most.
Challenge #2: Selling to the Holiday Shopper
Holiday shoppers need a streamlined, intuitive, and direct shopping experience. As a retailer, you need to be able to anticipate their needs and adjust your products and services to solve issues before they arise. So, what can you do to meet their expectations and successfully sell to the holiday shopper?
How You Solve It
Enable ecommerce, mobile pay, and gift cards to increase your speed of service and simplify the buyer experience to optimize sales. The best way to satisfy a shopper is to give them the service they expect and more. Modern consumers want to be able to quickly find, shop, and buy the gifts they need easily and efficiently. By creating or using an online store in addition to your brick-and-mortar location, you can deliver your products to a wider audience and accommodate their individual shopping habits – whether they prefer to shop in-store or online on a laptop, tablet, or mobile device. This allows you to spread demand across multiple places, so no one location is overwhelmed and stock can be strategically sold.
You can also increase your speed of service by investing in mobile POS stations or tablets. Short lines and efficient payment systems keep customers, especially those who are new to your store. Having the ability to sell products anywhere in your store as well as process mobile payments helps keep check-out lines shorter, reduce wait times, and lessen the likelihood of customers reconsidering a purchase.
During the holidays, gift cards are a retailer’s best friend. In fact, research has consistently shown that people using a gift card to make a purchase spend 20% more than the value on the card. Aside from this profit incentive, gift cards are also a convenient option for customers coming into your store who may be unfamiliar with your product. As gift-givers, holiday shoppers aren’t always your typical clientele, so offering gift cards can be a great way to make your product more approachable, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales. You can easily sell and manage gift cards on an advanced point-of-sale retail solution like NCR Counterpoint.
Challenge #3: Providing Effective Store Promotions
Holiday shopping has become synonymous with the word SALE. With increased demand comes high competition, which means everybody is slashing prices in hopes of attracting big crowds. However, you can’t just discount everything in your store and expect to meet your bottom line. You need to be able to leverage your promotions strategically so your sales boost profits. Well, how, do you ask?
How You Solve It
Use sales reports and customer insights to personalize your promotions and manage inventory effectively. Leverage a POS system that integrates sales data with customer engagement tools to capture crucial opportunities for your business. With a comprehensive POS solution, you can identify your loyal customers, view their purchase history, and send them coupons tailored specifically to their needs. Understanding when, how, and what they purchase gives you the competitive advantage to offer promotions they’ll want when they’ll want them – motivating further interaction, online or in-person. You’ll also be able to identify your best sellers to strategically price products so they fly off your shelves!
Make the holiday season merry and bright – see how RCS can help you choose and implement a complete point-of-sale solution that will increase sales and improve operations!