Retail Resources

Conquer the Chaos: 5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

Nov 30, 2016 — Qwynn McDowell
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As a wireless retailer, you are probably simultaneously excited and dreading the busiest time of the year in retail: the holidays.

While the promise of increased traffic, increased sales, and increased promos from the carrier make the season seem bright, the challenges associated with handling that traffic, ensuring an excellent customer experience, and the increased risk of theft and fraud may leave you saying “bah humbug.”

You’ve worked hard the last few months to prepare for the rush, the last thing you want is to miss the mark on your sales goals. Or worse—botch your customer experiences or turn a blind eye to theft and fraud. Don’t let the chaos overwhelm you. #SurvivetheSeason like a pro with these helpful tips.

Increasing Sales

The holiday season presents the biggest sales opportunity of the year, and you’ve likely labored over plans to capitalize on that opportunity by capturing consumers’ attention and getting them in the store with appealing promotions and offers. Make sure you’ve effectively trained your staff on the benefits of each product, and consider offering incentives for promoting upsells and accessories. Video intelligence and POS integration can reveal trends in store sales based on promotions you’ve run in the past so that you can make more informed predictions about which types of offers and promotions would likely spur traffic.

Upselling High Margin Items

Empower your staff to stop simply taking orders from customers and maximize opportunities by promoting add-ons: chargers, cords, wearables, cases, ear buds, etc. A few employees will come with a natural ability to sell and to upsell, but others may need more guidance, training, and tools to help direct them. Ensure that your staff understands successful techniques in the art of upselling to amplify your profit margin. But don’t stop at sales training—close the loop by reviewing video of your staff’s missed opportunities with them and providing real-time tips for improvement.

Seasonal Staff

Staffing challenges manifest themselves in a number of different ways. Not only is the recruiting and selection process time-consuming and cumbersome, but you have the added burden of making sure that employees stay through the end of the season. Make sure that your new employees are up to speed and appropriately trained on your products, techniques, and policies. Video intelligence can be used as a training tool to show new employees examples of correct or incorrect sales methods and to spot-check performance.

Mitigating the Risk of Theft & Fraud

Increased store traffic may mean increased sales, but it also opens the door to increased risk. Between the rush of customers, training temp staff, and managing your inventory, hundreds if not thousands of dollars in profits may be walking right out your door. Enforce a culture of accountability with a zero-tolerance policy of fraud, and watch your sales and inventory numbers closely to catch discrepancies as quickly as possible. Or, be proactive in your loss prevention approach and stop theft in its tracks with video-based business intelligence.

Inventory

Even with the best planning in place, sometimes it seems like you need a crystal ball to make sure that you have the appropriate amount of product on hand. The last thing you want to have happen when you’ve teed up an impulse buy with a customer is to not have the item in stock. On the flip side, come January 2nd, you don’t want to be left with 200 outdated power cords. Keep a close eye on your inventory levels and be ready to pivot with your orders as necessary. Or, you could use POS data and video intelligence to track trends in your item sales to make proactive, data-driven inventory predictions.

The Customer Experience

Are you accessible to your customer? Consumers now shop online, on their mobile devices, and in the store. Make sure you are accessible and are communicating with consumers on all channels to nurture and close the sale. Plus, your in-store experience needs to be so spectacular that your customers will come back to you the next time they have a wireless need. Mobile CRM/POS providers like iQmetrix make it easier to offer a mobile-friendly experience and to complete transactions with in-store customers anywhere on the floor, freeing your team from their registers so they can offer more personal interactions and better engage customers.

Bringing It All Together

We learned plenty of valuable lessons from the 2015 holiday season, and surely the 2016 season will have more in store. There are tools and resources that can help you make smarter business decisions that have a direct impact on your bottom line. From point-of-sale exception reporting to retail video analytics, tools are available to help you maximize your operations and make data-decisions based on real-time data. Plus, these tools can be an asset not just during the holiday rush, but also for the entire year.

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Topics: Video Based BI

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