8 Last Minute Tips to Succeed this Holiday Season
Let the countdown begin! With only 09 days to Black Friday, the shopping event that marks the start of the hectic holiday season, it’s officially time for shoppers to start their gift hunting and for retailers to get the final preparations in place to have their best holiday season yet!
A recent survey conducted by Brightpearl revealed that a staggering 70% of retail decision makers will hire extra staff or extend opening times to manage sales spikes during the holidays. Whether or not your retail business will add extra staff and extend opening hours, it’s important to focus on how to make the most of your resources to ensure you deliver the best customer experience.
There’s a big opportunity to capture new shoppers and turn them into loyal and returning customers over the holiday season so you need to be ready to give them the very best service and meet those demanding customer expectations.
Customer service is so closely linked with your back office processes as you need to be able to fulfil your online orders quickly. That’s why we’re sharing our quick-fire tips to get those last minute preparations in place for the peak season.
Make a lasting first impression
Researchers have revealed that you only have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression from your website, so it’s crucial that you make those milliseconds count by using attention grabbing tactics above the fold on your homepage. We suggest creating banners specifically showing off your Christmas gifts or putting your offers at the forefront of your site. Be sure to change this frequently to keep those returning visitors engaged.
Create a consistent omnichannel experience
It’s predicted that it takes 7-13 touches to deliver a qualified sales lead making it important for your customers to see you everywhere and in today’s omnichannel world, it’s even more crucial that you make the customer journey consistent across all of your channels. Ensure you’re offering the same prices, create marketing campaign materials that have the same look and feel, and be prominent across all of your sales and marketing channels. The more your customers recognise your brand, the more likely they are to convert!
Set delivery time expectations
Consumers care about how long it will take to receive their order so set realistic expectations. Ensure you’re aware of your couriers’ holiday shipping schedules and update your website to match so your customers know when they can expect to receive their order. Give accurate estimated delivery dates on product, checkout and FAQ pages, as well as in your order confirmation email. It may seem like overkill but consumers appreciate communication when it comes to delivery.
Clearly outline your returns policy
It’s a matter of fact that shoppers look for returns policies before purchasing, especially when it comes to buying gifts for others. Make sure your Christmas returns process is clearly displayed on your website for all to see. Again, it’s wise to include this on your product and FAQ pages. It’s likely that you’ll be offering an extended returns policy over Christmas so don’t forget to switch back in the New Year.
Pick your orders by warehouse location
Improve efficiency in your warehouse by sorting your orders by warehouse location, allowing your warehouse staff to pick multiple items of the same product and fulfil several orders without having to walk back to the same area again and again. It may seem pretty simple but we often see retailers processing orders inefficiently by dealing with them in the order they were placed. If you have the warehouse management system in place, you can easily pull picking lists that prioritise orders by location.
Don’t let receiving get in the way of shipping
If possible, it’s more efficient to schedule incoming deliveries for days when your shipping volume is historically light. I’m sure you can quite easily identify which days are your quietest for fulfilment in a typical week so plan for those days. This ensures that your incoming stock is put in the correct place in the warehouse as soon as possible, without letting your delivery times drop. This will also make staffing decisions easier as you can keep a consistent frequency at most times.
Put an end of day process in place
The “end of day” warehouse process can often be overlooked or seen as unimportant but it’s a great way to stay organised and on top of the mountain of orders. If it’s realistic, make sure all orders are picked, packed and completed before your staff leave for the day. If it’s not possible, make sure it’s clear which orders need to be picked the following day. It’s advisable to empty totes and carts and return them to their correction location ready for a fresh start. Make sure all warehouse staff are aware of the processes in place.
Measure those important KPIs
When it comes to the retail industry, nothing stands still for long so you need to be constantly measuring your most important KPIs and be ready to react to any noticeable changes. We advise always keeping track of your gross margin, stock turnover rate, sell-thru rate, Average Order Value, units per transaction and sales year-on-year to date.
Those are our last minute tips to succeed this holiday season! If you’re after further expertise around warehouse and order fulfilment software as well as additional retail advice, then why not check out our partners, Brightpearl? If you’re wondering how to improve your digital marketing before Black Friday, then why not get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01793 238 697