November is the new peak month
“The idea that November is to surpass Christmas as the month for festive shopping isn’t unthinkable given how successful last year was. The run up to Black Friday showered shoppers with a plethora of deals, and this year November seems likely to be even bigger. Black Friday is clearly here to stay as consumers have grown accustomed to receiving special offers in November, and retailers have even begun to create their own peak days in order to spread the load and gain that customer traction and loyalty.
“November clearly offers a wealth of opportunities for retailers, but if they are to embrace it for its full potential, they need to ensure they are well prepared for it. Firstly, to keep operations running smoothly and to ensure transactions are processed quickly and efficiently, retailers need to make sure their point of sale systems are updated with modern technology. For example, equipping staff in-store with mobile devices that enable them to take payments on the shop floor will reduce queuing, speed up the checkout process and create a more enjoyable Christmas shopping experience.
“However, with online shopping dominating the sales figures last year, it is also vital retailers ensure their omni-channel offerings are up to scratch and can cater for all customers: both in-store visitors and digital-first shoppers. Retailers ought to be testing their web and mobile sites rigorously in the months prior to ensure they are well equipped to handle high volumes of traffic, as any outages will cause shoppers to go elsewhere. Additionally, retailers should have a holistic view of all their inventory so need to have a network system that aligns stock in-store, online and in their warehouses in order to manage their product during the busiest time of the year.
“The festive period can either grow or kill a business, so it is vital that retailers focus on ensuring operations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible to deliver the best customer experience, if they are to reap the rewards of the peak season and Christmas shopping.”