Five Ways to Make the Most Out of Black Friday
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping spikes in the year, a kick-off to the peak holiday season for retailers everywhere. In the US, where Black Friday originated the National Retail Federation predicts a better-than-average holiday season.
It predicts retail sales over November and December will increase 3.6% to $655.8 billion this year, significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5% and above the seven-year average of 3.4% since recovery began in 2009.
While online sales continue to grow, 81% of shoppers will still do most of their spending in physical stores during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. This total increases to 95% when you include consumers who will shop at those same physical retailers’ online channels.
Black Friday and other holiday season promotions provide a great opportunity for retailers to quickly deliver an increased conversion rate or larger basket size. However, today´s retail environment is more competitive than ever. Stores must be able to leverage promotions and pricing strategies as well as handle higher volumes and faster turnover of sales across channels.
Mistakes can quickly lead to out-of-stock or overstock situations which result in lost sales and cut into profit margins. However, there are several ways retailers can significantly reduce their risk and make the most of targeted promotions such as Black Friday and Christmas.
Too many retailers still rely on intuition, manual ordering, and a tangle of spreadsheets for planning. A recent study found that 71% of retailers still do not have formal demand planning processes to support their omnichannel strategies.
The better the sales prediction, the better retailers can manage pricing strategies, stock orders, warehousing, and fulfillment needs as well as the staff to support it.
Demand forecasting solutions helps retailers estimate the stock they will need based on sales data, buyers, and other trends across store locations, regions, and time cycles. Software solutions now come with built-in capabilities to translate that historical data into recommendations for smarter inventory planning and pricing strategies.
Smarter Pricing to Drive Sales
With greater access to information and products than ever before, consumers are much less likely to pay full price for anything.
Retailers must have a clear understanding of the behaviors they want to influence and the results they hope to achieve with their promotions. Retailers should be able to identify which popular items are just as likely to sell whether or not they are discounted, and then apply bigger discounts to move harder-to-sell items.
Retailers can leverage online channels by offering store-only discounts and free in-store pickup to bring customers in the store, where they are more likely to make an additional purchase.
Get Granular with Promotions
Customer loyalty rewards are designed to reward and entice repeat customers into your stores. Sears, for example, looked to attract existing loyalty members at an exclusive pre-Black-Friday promotion with point-matching and free shipping for all purchases.
Store solutions that allow retailers to gather customer data along with sales data can target promotions on a more granular level, not only based on customer preferences but also designed to drive sales for a particular product line or store location.
Train Seasonal Staff to Meet Holiday Surge
Many stores hire seasonal staff to support the surge of sales. Hiring too many staff is wasteful, but having too few or inadequately trained staff can lead to slow order fulfillment, product returns, lost sales and ultimately the loss of a repeat customer. More accurate sales expectations means store know who they need to hire to handle the sales rush.
A modular software solution with a training mode and task management capabilities can bring new sales associates up to speed and performing tasks more efficiently from day one.
Add Flexibility with Mobile POS
A modern web/mobile POS solution offers assisted sales capabilities such as access to customer data, feature-based product search, real-time inventory availability, and cross-selling opportunities. Retailers can also add mobile devices and move them around the store to handle crowds during peak sales times.
Store associates can make better product or services recommendations and even make sales on the spot, cutting down on lost sales and long holiday checkout lines. And if the item is out-of-stock, they can order and deliver the item either to their homes or to a store of their choosing for pickup.
Today´s retail software can not only provide retailers with in-store technologies, but also come with built-in demand forecasting so that retailers can optimize their pricing strategies and get the most out of their holiday promotions.
For more information on Openbravo´s new demand forecasting capabilities, please register for the next webinar on December 1, Demand Forecasting and Inventory Planning in Omnichannel Retail (11:30 am CET)