The festive season is just around the corner, and more South Africans are turning to online shopping to purchase their gifts. However, festive season selling is not as simple as it seems – there are a handful of retail rules that simply cannot be ignored. The holiday season is where a retail store can either impress or disappoint its customers, which sets the trend for the year to come. In an effort to ensure that you remain the top choice for your customers, pay close attention to the following festive season retail rules:
1. Ensure that the journey is seamless and simple
One of the best ways to ensure a happy customer is to ensure that your online buying experience is seamless and simple, especially during the festive season when customers are looking for quick solutions to their gifting needs. Straightforward buying processes, a streamlined checkout process with multiple payment options, and a quick delivery service is the best way in which to keep your customers coming back for more, long after the festive season is over.
2. Give your staff time to shine
The festive season is all about giving back, and one of the best ways in which to give back to your own staff is to empower them and let them know that you trust them with various responsibilities that they would not usually get to execute. Before the rush of orders filters through, it might be a good idea to ask your staff if they have any ideas on how to improve the customer experience over the festive season. Whether you include them in speciality-wrapping, hand-written thank you cards, or managing the shipping manifest, it is important to give them the opportunity to shine over the festive period.
3. Take notes from your competitors
Ultimately, you have 11 months to pay attention to what your competitors are doing before the festive season unfolds. Take this time to learn from them, and understand their strengths, weaknesses, and what doesn’t work for them. When it comes to retail, following the trends can often work in your favour, especially if one of your competitors is thriving. While you can always add your own twist to the way in which you do things, make an effort to pay close attention to your competitors and their customers. Perhaps there is even an opportunity to win over some of their customer base.
4. Pay attention to what your customers want
Throughout the year, your customers will have the opportunity to critique your business, provide you with reviews, and submit suggestions. The best way in which to firmly solidify a place on their go-to list is to pay attention to what they have to say. Listen to what they want, and deliver on it, even if it just partially plays into their suggestions. This will make them feel heard and will show them that you appreciate their feedback and their support.
5. Provide end-to-end support services
While the festive season is traditionally the annual shut-down period, it is important to provide end-to-end services for you customers who might run into challenges. Perhaps an email system or call centre is enough to keep them satisfied until you are able to assist them in the New Year. Keep in mind that, whatever happens – even if it’s not your fault – your customers will hold you responsible if something goes wrong with their purchase.
As you gear up for the festive season, ensure that are prepared and ready before the orders roll in. For more information on our services and products, click HERE to contact us today