The Christmas rush will come early this year and retailers have to be ready if they are to make the most of the season. Peter Luff, President of Ipsos Retail Performance, gives his 3 top tips on how to achieve a happy retailing Christmas:
Get Your Promotions Ready
“The last couple of years have been really tough for the high street and individual consumers, but what it has done is condition the shopper to look for deals,” says Peter. “That means the smart shopper will shop around early this Christmas and showroom to make sure they find the best offers. Retailers need to have their winter promotions ready so that come the end of the Christmas period, they won’t be left with too much stock.”
Make The Experience Welcoming
“Having things to entice people into your store encourages them to stay longer and increases sales opportunities. Hobbs in Long Acre London, have been giving away free glasses of bubbly while John Lewis always come around with mince pieces or little aperitifs which are a nice, inexpensive touch,” says Peter. “If people part with a nice, warm experience, it builds on goodwill. We know that 68 per cent of shoppers leave a brand due to a poor shopping experience, that’s why retaining loyalty with a good experience is always less costly than trying to win them back.”
Plan For The Frenzy
“A bustling store is good; a rammed throng of stationary shoppers squashed in the aisles is not. If your shoppers are queuing then they are unlikely to be shopping and that 10 minutes in the queue is relatively dead time and not a productive use of rental space. It leads to customer dissatisfaction and a poor throughput,” explains Peter.
“Retailers need a contingency plan for these busy times. Extra staff can be part of the solution, but retailers also need to put resources in place early. One retailer I spoke to recently is already bringing more till points for the Christmas period, others will look at their supply chains, merchandising and ways to create more space. What you want is for shoppers to get to the merchandise, find what they want easily, pay quickly and leave satisfied with that overall warm customer experience.”
Ipsos Retail Performance is offering a Christmas in a Box offer to help retailers make the most of increased festive footfall and related analytics. Read here to find out more or ring us on 01908 682700 (ext 101).
**Good news for retailers – after a bleak couple of cash-strapped Christmases, a new survey reveals a quarter of mums are planning to spend more this season. (Asda Mumdex Survey)