Retail Trends

Five Ways Retailers Can Make the Most Out of Black Friday

As Black Friday gets closer, retailers need to be readying themselves for one of the biggest shopping spikes in the year.  Black Friday,  which this year falls on November 29,  is traditionally the kick-off to the peak holiday season, which runs  to December 31 and includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

For some retailers, this holiday period accounts for as much as 30% of annual sales and the  National Retail Federation predicts that retail sales in  the US during November and December will increase between 3.8% and 4.2% over the 2018 holiday period, topping the 3.7% average  over the last five years.

To make maximum advantage of the sales boost that the holiday season promises for 2019, retailers need an integrated retail platform that can automate their business processes and boost efficiency so they can better handle higher volumes and faster turnover of sales across channels.

Better Demand Forecasting

Mistakes in inventory planning, can quickly lead to out-of-stock or overstock situations, which result in lost sales and cut into profit margins. This year, there are just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, six days fewer than in 2018, so it is more important than usual to be able to accurately forecast demand and optimize inventory during this  critical period.

However, too many retailers still rely on intuition, manual ordering, and a tangle of spreadsheets for forecasting demand.

The demand forecasting capabilities in Openbravo Commerce Cloud  helps retailers estimate the stock they will need based on sales data, buyers, and other trends across store locations, regions, and time cycles. Its algorithms translate the historical data into recommendations for smarter inventory planning and pricing strategies.

Smarter Pricing to Drive Sales

As well as getting better at demand forecasting, retailers need to look at how they can leverage pricing and promotions during this critical period. With greater access to information and products than ever before, consumers are much less likely to pay full price.

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.

Reward Loyalty 

AT at this time of the year, when the stores are especially crowded,  its is important to make  your loyal customers stand out from the crowds.

Maybe you can  use Black Friday to offer them sneak previews of items that will go on sale later, additional discounts, or exclusive early access to the store.  There are plenty of other ways to make your loyal customers feel special at this time of the year.

A retail platform  that allows you to gather customer data along with sales data means you can target promotions on a more granular level, not only based on customer preferences but also in ways designed to  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.

Openbravo Commerce Cloud has  a training mode and task management capabilities to enable you to 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.

For more information on Openbravo’s  demand forecasting capabilities, watch our on-demand  webinar Demand Forecasting and Inventory Planning in Omnichannel Retail.

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