Holidays are fast approaching. With them the masses flock to your stores and website.
Every retailer’s goal is, of course, to capitalize on the increase in foot traffic and do whatever it takes to be in the black by New Year’s Eve.
The pressure is on – especially given the retail industry’s globally lackluster YTD performance.
But the happy increase in foot traffic to your stores and sales opportunities inevitably brings with it a not-so-favorable descent in chaos and disorder, even to the sharpest of managers.
Entropy at its finest.
But a little preparation goes a long way in combat against chaos. It’s in finetuning the details that you’ll find compounding efficiency gains, and a little sanity in the staff goes a long way toward keeping up good customer experiences.
So here’s a quick checklist of ways to get your store tech and staff armed and in shape for the holiday rush.
1. Think through your POS workflows
Tighten up your POS workflow for faster, more efficient checkout. Shave off critical seconds from each transaction by getting rid of unnecessary clicks and integrating steps you need for smoother returns with tracking for return reasons, easier customer and inventory lookup, and faster loyalty enrollment.
In Retail Pro POS, you can use HTML files to customize your workflows in the user interface to mirror the workflows your staff would use in real life. Tailor both the transaction workflow and pop up prompts for your staff to hit all the points on your customers engagement check list at checkout.
2. Ramp up employee training for faster checkout experiences
Build up employee product knowledge so they can be quicker at looking up items by their alternate names or numbers at the POS.
Retail Pro Prism gives sales associates flexibility to look up inventory using not only the SKU but by description as well.
This will help associates save time and find the product in the system if a barcode is missing, rather than having everyone wait while another sales associate finds the product on the sales floor.
3. Train employees to collect customer emails
Incentivize your employees to collect emails for in-season and post-holiday deals. Now is the time to capitalize on the increased foot traffic to build connections with customers and invite them back for more after the holidays.
You can train your associates to a workflow that includes taking down a customer’s number in the integrated AppCard for Retail Pro loyalty and personalized marketing platform.
Because the technology is integrated, your staff won’t need to navigate between applications to enroll customers, saving time for your team and for everyone else in line.
4. Simplify inventory lookup on the sales floor
During the holidays the store fluctuates daily between chaos and order, so having a centralized inventory system that keeps detailed accounts of what is on the sales floor, in the back room, or in transit will help associates get customers what they need.
They can easily look up what the customer needs and place an order for them if the item isn’t in stock. You’ll save the sale and your customer will go home with one more person checked off on their holiday gift list.
5. Set up stations for self-serve inventory lookup and send sales
Set up a mobile POS station for self-serve or staff-assisted inventory lookup and send sale. If a customer needs something you don’t have in store, help them find and order it on your website or at a different location.
Send sale functionality in Retail Pro lets your sales associates send the sale (just like it sounds) to a nearby store that has what your customer needs in stock, so that item is put aside for them when they come to pick it up.
6. Get your best staff on mobile POS for clienteling & line busting
Clienteling is extremely effective for engaging with customers in a way that leads to loyalty and a better overall experience with your brand.
Help customers find what they need faster and finish the transaction on the spot, without waiting in line. You can email receipts to decrease the need for ancillary mobile hardware like receipt printers.
And when checkout lines start to wrap around through the store, ramp up more points of sale on mobile to ring up transactions faster and get customers on their way before frustrations rise.
7. Track sales performance with KPI reporting
Use real-time KPI reports to stay on target and ramp up sales efforts when you’re falling behind. With Retail Pro Decisions, powered by the Targit BI and visual analytics platform, you can analyze your data from every angle based on KPIs important to your strategy.
And with Retail Pro Reports, you can pull the data you need to monitor performance on the go. With clear dashboards and easy filtering, you’ll have an on-the-minute update whenever you need it, so you can keep your finger on the pulse and make sure you’re hitting targets.
Yes, there’s very little time left, and more to do than there are scheduled hours to do them. Focus on implementing a handful of optimizations that will help your team most to work more efficiently and ring in more sales.
They might not thank you for it, but your bottom line will.
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