Retail

Beyond Black Friday: Embrace Last-minute Shoppers and Super Saturday

Many retailers rely on the holiday season to bring in a disproportionate amount of annual sales, but these days holiday promotions stretch across the entire Grey November month, and even though Black Friday has passed, you need to keep up the sales momentum through January 2018.

Last year, Super Saturday, the last before Christmas, was the biggest shopping day of the holiday season, bringing in more shoppers than Thanksgiving weekend all together. In fact, Saturdays in general are still the most popular shopping day of the week, and luckilyy for retailers, there are four of them before Christmas this year!

Holidays predictably prompt shoppers to visit stores, but for every shopper who likes hitting the stores the holiday rush, there will be others who want to avoid the crowds. And for every shopper who has planned ahead, there will be last-minute shoppers trying to figure out what to get their nieces and nephews right up to the last day. A third of Gen-Z (33%) say they start their shopping after Black Friday, with 15% admitting to waiting until after December 15. Followed by last year’s surge in last-minute holiday shopping, this trend is expected to continue in 2017.

The Retailer’s Toolkit for Last-minute Shoppers

Through December, retailers should be ready to handle higher traffic and higher volumes in their stores. They should also be able to attract and capture last-minute shoppers with convenient omnichannel options such as holiday gift guides, gift baskets, gift cards, BOPIS, BORIS, and expedited shipping. Integrated retail management solutions offer four key tools to support the needs of last-minute shoppers.

A flexible POS
Cloud-based POS solutions can be easily configured to accept gift cards, store credits, and other payment methods, without having to queue in the checkout lines. They give store assistants the inventory visibility they need to answer customer questions quickly. They can also be configured to BOPIS orders and process returns, with the option for reimbursement or store credit, and processed back into the stock room or warehouse.

Agile inventory control
Retailers must also be able to rapidly and easily introduce new products into their system, group them with related products into gift baskets or bundled discounts, and make them visible online and across stores in real time. More than ever, retailers now rely on a centralized merchandise management and technologies such as RFID to manage their inventory.

Real-time sales monitoring
Because market trends and even weather can affect sales, retailers should be able to forecast and monitor sales in real time and respond quickly, such as bundling slow-selling items with popular items or ship them to a store where that item is selling better.

Reliable Shipping
The National Retail Federation projects losses exceeding $333 million due to shipping mishaps during the 2017 holiday season. Supply chain management solutions with tools such as transport optimization, task prioritization and supply chain visibility make it easier to handle higher volumes and ensure inventory is where it needs to be.

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