The countdown for Christmas is already on. For retailers, this time will be the greatest selling opportunity of the year, but also a big challenge due to the surged number of customers coming to the store. Here is the thing: it is not the product itself, even significantly discounted, that keeps customers happy, but the experience they remember having. That is why you should put more effort into preparing a memorable in store experience for a successful Christmas for your customers this holiday.
Upgrade point of sale display
Christmas is all about festive mood, so ensure that your stores can deliver the vibe to customers. Upgrade the point of sale, including your window displays and indoor decoration to a consistent festive or winter theme. People in recent years have started to pay more attention and even anticipate retail window shopping, so this is the chance for you to stand out.
You can think traditionally with Santa and his reindeer, or snowy Christmas trees, but why not think out of the box. Think penguins and polar bears, think Nutcracker, think mitten trees, coat hanger trees, sweater trees, or book trees instead. If you go for a country Christmas theme, think of natural tree branches, hand-scissored snowflakes or white linen table cloth. If you go for a city theme, stay with lightning, silver and gold glitter, and why not give it a try to create your own “gingerbread” city and houses for your window display? Another idea is the create a surprising and mysterious window display, which contains puzzles each covered with red linen cloth, and every day each segment will open up to reveal a little part of the whole display frame which will fully come out on the day of Christmas. This is not only a good way for the Christmas countdown but also an attempt to keep customers curious, predict and talk more about your stores. All in all, your point of sale display is the first impression that will pull customers inside to “see more”, so it’s better to stay festive and unique!
Carefully map out your store layout
Once they come inside your stores, make them see immediately something nice, impressive or something they are very likely to buy. Keep decorations items, essentials, best sellers or popular gifts on the aisle at the front of your store, or at easy eye-level shelves to keep them visible and easily accessible.
Also, Christmas is a serious time to plan for the crowd. You would want to create space for your customers to easily move around so don’t turn every aisle into Santa’s Grotto. A fresh and bright store layout using small decoration items that can make use of vertical space is highly recommended, especially for busy shopping holidays like Christmas. Another important thing to make customers understand your store layout so that they can know exactly where they want to head to. It is easier to use visual aids to map out your store layout. If you still don’t have a store map, make one to identify entrances, exits and highlighted sections. Doing so will also help you plan how to manage traffic flow, where to place fixtures and equipment, and where to position your staff.
Plan and replenish your stock
Many Christmas shoppers prefer to surf the product online, then come to a physical store to try it on and buy it, so make sure you have it in your store stock. During this period, stock will sell out quicker than usual, so be prepared with a higher stock level.
Apart from refilling your stock, you also need a smart, fast and real-time update inventory management solution, especially if you have multiple stores or an omnichannel retail business. You definitely don’t want to disappoint customers by telling them to go get a product in store, then make them go to your physical stores but get nothing instead of being told that the product already runs out of stock. That is why you need a solution like ConnectPOS which can immediately update stock in real-time, or more especially can check the stock at store depot level instead of general base depot, so that you can effectively answer customers’ inquiries if any about the stores they should head for to get the products they want.
Make use of technology to create a better in-store experience
If you want to give more support to customers, but only have limited staff, let technology give you a hand. There are some not-to-miss technology advances for all retailers to upgrade their in-store POS system and thus enhance customer experience including Facial Recognition & Product Recommendation and Progressive Web App (PWA).
PWA is a hybrid or a bridge of a regular website and its mobile app. Just imagine that it looks like a web, acts like a consumer app but does not require customers to download any extra app. When customers scan or take a picture of the QR code or barcode, a web-like interface will pop up in their mobile phone home screen, showing all the product information. Customers can also surf other products, add them to the cart, receive other product recommendations, do the checkout or even book a delivery all by themselves on their own phone. This releases the burden for in-store associates, while speeding up the checkout process and still provides full support for customers.
Meanwhile, with the hottest feature “Facial Recognition”, cameras installed in the store can scan customers’ faces and thus recommend suitable products. This recommendation will also pop up by PWA on customers’ phones. In this way, you have turned technology into an excellent store associate! The good news is that all these amazing features are being integrated into the ConnectPOS solution. So if you want to deliver an unforgettable customer experience not only this holiday but also in the long term, check out ConnectPOS amazing features and Book a demo!