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Prepare your business for holiday season

14 grudnia 2021

The end of each year is usually a very hectic time for store owners, especially those offering electronics, toys, home décor items. The food industry is also undergoing a siege. The upcoming Christmas season causes an increase in customer purchasing activity, thus increasing their impulsiveness and the willingness to spend more money than usual. The craze of buying gifts and preparing food for the holidays means increased profits, but also puts many obstacles under the feet of sellers.

 

Difficult years

 

Such a scheme is already a tradition that every business owner in the retail industry wants to use to the maximum. It is in December that we see the most advertisements, the most interesting promotions, and creative ways to attract customers are popping up like mushrooms after rain. However, the last two years have been different, much more difficult. Of course, the pandemic situation is to blame for this.

On a global scale, we have a problem with insufficient availability of goods, which is caused by difficulties with deliveries, factory downtime, shortages of semi-finished products and components. However, the troubles also affect the "last mile" stage, and these affect us directly. Supply chains, especially during the holiday season, are clogged to the limit, shipments take longer than planned, it is easier to get errors, mistakes and damaged shipments. All this means that with fear of failure, customers began to use traditional shopping methods and visit physical stores more often. It is estimated that this year, customer spending in stores may increase by 6.6% compared to 2020, and in the pre-holiday season, sales of clothing and jewelry will increase by approximately 50% compared to the same period last year.

However, somewhere on the side of all this, there are still public fears of direct contact with others. The pandemic, despite the efforts made, does not lose its intensity, the risk of infection is still high, and in order to reduce it, we should avoid places filled with crowds. This is in a slight contradiction to the previous paragraph, which is why entrepreneurs are looking for methods that will reconcile these doubts and allow them to face the challenges as effectively as possible.

 

The store ready for a shopping frenzy

An experienced owner of a retail outlet knows the profile and habits of his client very accurately. He knows which goods sell best in a given season and which are negligible. Therefore, being aware of the upcoming holiday season, it can take care of adequate inventory levels that can meet the increased demand.

Increasing human resources and appropriate training of personnel is also important. The holiday season is a time of intense shopping, often fueled by emotions and rush. It is extremely important to provide customers with the highest level of service and take care of their positive experiences.

The third essential element is the development of alternative, preferably non-contact and fast, methods of shopping, such as home delivery, collection at the store, or at a parcel locker.

 

 

BOPIL is a shortcut you need to know

 

Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store (BOPIS) is an acronym that is known in the retail industry and stands for picking up online orders in a brick-and-mortar store. This way of shopping celebrated its peak in the last year lockdowns that resulted in the closure of supermarkets. Stores, trying to save their difficult situation, encouraged people to place orders online and pick them up at pre-arranged points, most often at the entrances to the building. The solution worked well, and now it is undergoing evolution to the next stage of development. The name has evolved as well, replacing the word "Store" with a more appropriate "Locker". Of course, it is about collecting orders at automated parcel stations located in the vicinity of stationary stores (click & collect). This solution gives 100% contactlessness, speed, comfort, discretion and, above all, 24/7 availability. On our blog you can read a business case on the use of such devices in the Leroy Merlin DIY stores network (CLICK)

 

How does it work?

  1. The customer purchases online on the store's website and chooses parcel machine pickup as the delivery method.
  2. The service accepts, packs and places the order in a locker. The customer is notified of the possibility of collection.
  3. Pickup can be made at any time, conveniently and without contact with others.
  4. In addition, the devices have the option of returning goods in a simple and non-contact way.

 

You can adapt that advanced parcel stations precisely to your needs, both from the technical and visual side. SELFLOCKER devices (click) are technologically advanced machines that will cope with every „click & collect” task entrusted to them. Made with the highest precision, using the highest quality materials, and additionally equipped with an integrated remote service system (applications for the customer and service), they will certainly facilitate going through the demanding holiday season.

Thanks to modern technologies that we use in our devices, this way of shopping is possible even when for grocery items. For this purpose, we have created COOLOCKERS (click to find out more), a parcel machine equipped with cooling and freezing modules. This solution allows for the delivery of fresh and frozen products without the risk of interrupting the cooling line.

 

Stay ahead of the competition

 

Christmas shopping is an exciting and stressful process. Sentiments are pushed aside in favor of efficiency, accessibility, and speed in traversing this usually arduous path. The Christmas season in 2021 will be a challenge for retailers and a field for creativity in the selection of methods of acquiring and retaining customers. A responsible owner will take care of the availability of products, appropriate human resources offering the highest level of service and a wide range of delivery methods. It is worth trying to get positive customer experiences in the last weeks of the year, as they may directly translate into results in the following years.

If you do not want to be left behind, constantly keep up with the latest trends, and thus increase customer satisfaction with Christmas shopping in your store, CLICK HERE and contact the SelfMaker sales department. Our specialists will thoroughly analyze your situation and propose the best-suited self-service solutions.

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