Webinar Recap: Revving up for the Holidays | RetailNext

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Webinar Recap: Revving up for the Holidays

Ray Hartjen
Ray Hartjen
Director, Content Marketing & Public Relations

Planning for Holiday 2014 starts with understanding current trends affecting the industry, and includes an understanding of several unique opportunities present by this season’s calendar.

Revving up for the Holidays

In a busy Holiday shopping season, retailers can differentiate themselves, optimize the shopper experience, and improve store performance by following these 6 tips:

                1. Captivate early shoppers
                2. Engage with, and inspire, shoppers through their journey
                3. Make Thanksgiving work for you, whether you’re open or not
                4. Take advantage of the weekend before Christmas
                5. Use or lose the “golden opportunity” of December 26-28
                6. Listen to most loyal customers

These were the concluding messages delivered by Shelley E. Kohan and Chitra Balasubramanian as they wrapped up the August installment of the RetailNext webinar series, “Revving Up for the Holidays:  A Brick-and-Mortar Guide to Maximizing Holiday Sales.”

Captivate early shoppers

With Halloween falling on a Friday, it sets up a rare opening holiday weekend in November, with the added complication of the ending of Daylight Savings Time. Retailers have to walk a fine line of working one holiday at a time, but being prepared for Holiday immediately after Halloween concludes. This “Hallo-Holiday” will be the first challenge retailers must overcome – missing the first weekend of November runs the risk of falling behind to the point of not being able to close the gap.

Engage with, and inspire, shoppers through their journey

Once shoppers are in the store, retailers will be tasked with keeping their attention by engaging with them through their purchase journey. Technology will play an important role, and not just through connectivity and shoppers’ mobile devices, but through hi-tech fixtures, displays and fitting rooms.

Make Thanksgiving work for you, whether you’re open or not

Thanksgiving will continue to see more retail stores open, but retailers need to focus on getting a bounce back for Black Friday and the weekend. Historical data shows a certain “cannibalizing” of weekend sales, recording sales on Thursday, but “giving it back” with lesser performance over the weekend. For those stores hope, strategies need to be deployed on how to have one’s cake and eat it too. For closed stores, social messaging strategies should be deployed to communicate the value of why the store is closed.

Take advantage of the weekend before Christmas

The “mega” shopping days this coming Holiday will be the weekend before Christmas, and retailers need to 1) market to drive Traffic to the store, and 2) extend offers that compel purchasing and raise Conversion. An “extra” day in the week versus last year should alleviate some of the shipping nightmares experienced by many retailers.

Use or lose the “golden opportunity” of December 26-28

Christmas Day marks an inflection point in the Holiday season, and with it, a “golden opportunity.” The day after Christmas has trended to be a high Traffic day at retail, and this year, it marks the beginning of a three-day weekend that should send Traffic and Sales metrics soaring.

Listen to most loyal customers

Lastly, with Traffic trending down year over year, costs associated with acquiring customers have continued to rise. Loyalty programs are critical in driving retention and customer loyalty, and increasing the value of the shopper relationship. But, loyalty means more than marketing and extending offers. It means listening, and responding to feedback as shoppers look to co-develop the brand.

In addition the tips reviewed above, Kohan and Balasubramanian also covered new trends in retail, as well as looked at recent industry metrics around Traffic, Sales, Conversion and Average Transaction Value (ATV). If you missed this webinar, or any of the sessions in the RetailNext webinar series, please go to our Webinars page to access a recording.

If you have questions or comments for Shelley, she’s love to hear from you ~ please reach out to her on Twitter @RetailShelley.

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