The decor is stored, the stockings are stashed. It’s 2021, and retailers want to know, how are we going to make more cash?
Maybe you’re one of the few who enter the new year bright eyed and bushy tailed, full of gumption and excited to take on January. Or—more likely—you’ve got a lingering feeling of holiday burnout. And hey, we don’t blame you.
It’s easy to fall into a post‐holiday slump. The weather has turned, the crowds have dwindled and the returns are looming. How can retailers bottle up that peak‐season motivation and carry it into 2021? Let’s dive in.
Use Holiday Returns to Your Advantage
While no retailer likes to see a negative number pop up on their dashboard, it’s reassuring to know that an average of 64% of returns are converted to sales. To encourage that, though, you’ve got to make the in‐store exchange process:
Easy. You’ll undoubtedly run into gift returns without a gift receipt present, but cloud POS software with built‐in customer profiles lets you reference sales history in a matter of seconds.
Seamless. Embracing an e‐commerce POS integration makes buy online/return in store (BORIS) a breeze: You can reference the online order and customer profile from the store, source the return to the website and put the inventory directly back in your POS, instead of having to reconcile later.
Pleasant. Show empathy, and ask why the item didn’t work for them. Understanding their preferences will help drive a new sale. Refrain from asking if they’d like to look around for something else; instead, take action first:
“Let’s find something else for you.”
“l’ll get you the correct size.”
“Did you see that it comes in this color?”
If the return doesn’t convert to a sale that day, fear not: A positive experience is likely to lead to continued patronage, whereas a negative one is a turnoff you don’t want to risk.
Target customers through email campaigns based on purchase history
Whether they bought for themselves or others, segmented messaging around a particular brand or category is great for making your way back to the top of the customer’s inbox—and shows that you’re paying attention. Send recommendations for other items from that brand, new clothing pieces to make a full outfit or even content‐focused, like “three winter recipes to try with your new stand mixer.” All of these past purchases can be identified through POS reports.
Did you run a bounceback coupon promotion in December? Run a report of customers who earned them, and craft an email campaign reminding them that it’s time to spend before they expire!
Give your store a new‐year facelift: Take down holiday decor as soon as 2021 hits, re‐style your windows and re‐merchandise your displays. People respond to fresh and stimulating experiences, so even if products have been lingering, repeat customers may notice them for the first time should they be styled differently come Q1. The same goes for your integrated e‐commerce site: Refresh your homepage, update graphics and create new product collections built around themes like, “new year’s resolutions” and “work from home essentials.”
Continue to prioritize convenience
Consumer hesitation around in‐store shopping didn’t end when the clock struck midnight on January 1. Until all of your customers feel safe browsing in store, continue offering conveniences like curbside and window pickup, BOPIS and BORIS, private shopping appointments, phone orders and video shopping.
Start planning for other holidays now
Look at your inventory and cost on hand to form your markdown strategy, draft your email campaigns and solidify your promotions for the first half of the year. Dates that may lend themselves to Q1 and Q2 sales and promos include:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Super Bowl Sunday
International Women’s Day
Daylight Savings Time / Pi Day
April Fool’s Day
Cinco de Mayo
You love to hate them: It’s physical count season.
Have you conducted yours yet? Let’s take the pain out of PIs—use this guide to prepare your store and staff for a painless physical inventory!