Cost of Christmas! For some retail sectors these two months represent up to 30 percent of their annual revenue, making it essential that they leverage omnichannel capabilities to maximize their profitability during this time.

The National Retail Federation expects holiday spending in November and December to grow at least 4.3%, exceeding  a total of $717 billion. Consumers themselves will spend an average of 4.1% more, and according to PwC’s 2018 Holiday Outlook, 84% of holiday shoppers are expected to spend more.

PwC’s report also reinforces the importance of the omnichannel initiatives many retailers have undertaken in recent years. These three strategies will help retailers and deliver the speed, personalization and convenience customers seek this holiday season.

Offer unique in-store experiences to attract more customers

Most people, including 65 percent of Gen Z, the most digital generation yet, won’t make a purchase without seeing it in real life. But because the actual purchasing of products doesn’t actually have to take place in the store these days, it is more important than ever that stores actively engage customers with their brand.

Retailers have found creative ways to innovate their offerings with services, events and workshops – all of which can be easily added to purchases at the POS and encourage repeat visits. Interactive displays and showrooms offer more opportunities for customers to visualize themselves with the items on sale.

Assisted sales capabilities allow retailers to offer a higher degree of personalization in the store, while customer data management can help build relationship with the customer even after a sale is closed. As online/offline interactions are increasingly seen as one experience, and so a strong mobile strategy could be considered part of the in-store experience.

Reduce checkout lines at peak times to save sales

Whether customers ended up buying the items elsewhere, spent less, or abandoned the purchase altogether, these losses can really add up, particularly during the holidays.

Retailers can reduce checkout queues significantly by using a POS solution which makes it easy to and speed up checkout by add mobile POS devices during peak times, processing omnichannel options, accepting the latest payment options, and incorporating self-checkout terminals.

Impress customers with a fast and efficient returns process 

Last year, consumers returned about $90 billion worth of goods, which comes out to about 13% of total holiday sales (687.87 billion). And customers who have a bad experience returning items are less likely to shop at the same retailer in the future.

Data from the NRF’s 2017 Holiday Shopping Behavior Survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of holiday shoppers had made at least one return last holiday season, and most returns are done in the store. This offers a unique opportunity for customers to come back into stores and make additional purchases.

A retail solution such as Openbravo Commerce Suite will ensure in-store returns are processed as soon as the customer walks in the store, in a way that is fast and convenient. POS terminals can be easily configured to process the return faster and provide customers with reimbursement or store credit on the spot.

Want to know more about how Openbravo Commerce Cloud can help you achieve these omnichannel strategies and make the most of the holiday season? Download our e-book on Omnichannel Retailing!   

The Author:  Vanessa Hodgkinson

Vanessa Hodgkinson

In addition, Michael Brown says;

Cost of Christmas 2018

Check out the full survey here:

The key findings that I thought worked for you included:
The average American expects to spend $633 on Christmas in 2018
When the total cost is broken down, 54% is going towards presents, 21% is going towards travel, 14% towards miscellaneous expenses, and 11% towards decorations
22% of respondents are expecting to take on debt due to Christmas shopping, $554 worth of debt to be exact
Respondents that expected to take on debt are also expected to spend more to begin with, $836 instead of $633
51% of respondents will do their shopping at the store, while 46% will do it online
I encourage you to share some of this data with your readership as it offers a unique perspective of Christmas spending and they also may appreciate the tangible data.

You have my permission to use anything from the report that you enjoyed, including the interactive graphics that you can embed on your page.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you would be willing to add in the link I sent over, I would be happy to promote your article on social media, including nearly 500,000 Pinterest viewers.

Happy holidays,

Michael Brown

Research Analyst | LendEDU

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