The festive season is upon us, and with the holidays comes holiday shopping. In fact, research conducted by Statista, a consumer data analyst firm, found that globally online shoppers are estimated to spend more than $200 billion during December. So, while a lot of hype is placed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday every year, the festive season also draws large numbers of shoppers and shouldn’t be overlooked. In this blog we’ve laid out some information to help guide you and your business through this busy shopping period.
Preparation is vital in order to see your business through the festive period. And managing expectations is crucial for your business and its employees, especially as productivity decreases due to what’s known as the ‘holiday click-off', the end-of-year fatigue associated with a stressful year. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report, disengaged employees could cost businesses a combined $7.8 trillion.
It’s vital then that merchants ensure staff are not only well-rested ahead of the upcoming holiday retail slog, but that they remain engaged.
One way to tackle employee fatigue – especially in retail – is to look at bringing on additional staff, if budget allows. These can be temporary support staff, or in-store workers, to offset shifts and give staff a much-needed rest.
By resting staff and staggering shifts, you also give yourself the opportunity to make use of extended trading hours.
Aside from managing expectations during this already busy period, stock management should be another priority. As a brick-and-mortar store this might be slightly easier, as most stock will already be on hand, with access to more merely an order away.
For online stores however, the situation is slightly different. Extra logistical steps such as early orders need to be considered, to ensure there are no delays with stock movements. This is especially true in the event of stock deliveries which can be disrupted by unforeseen circumstances during holiday periods, often extending the time it takes for the product to be delivered.
Better than a standard delivery time frame, which usually takes around two or three days, is same day delivery, which data shows is a major draw card for customers. A recent study by conversation rate optimisation firm Invesp found that 96% of respondents consider “fast deliveries” to mean same day delivery. Additionally, the study also found that 61% of those surveyed would pay extra for same day delivery.
Much like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your payments and checkout systems need to be on point during the festive season. Stalled checkouts lead to frustrated customers, which can negatively affect the overall buying experience. A recent study conducted by the Baymard institute found that roughly 69% of carts are abandoned due to long and complicated checkout processes.
Whether you run an eCommerce store or a physical retail space, your payment solution needs to be as seamless as possible. Easing the friction of customer payments not only increases customer satisfaction, it can also reduce the number of abandoned carts and shorten checkout lines.
To assist with seamless payments, Ozow’s intuitive solution utilises Pay by Bank (a form of instant EFT), making the process of paying not only easier, but significantly quicker than traditional payment methods. With a multi-functionality approach to transacting via QR codes, clickable links and API technologies, customers are able to make a payment at the till, before the payment point, or even at home, allowing them to skip queues entirely.
Once a business has overcome the festive rush and trading begins to slow down, the pressures of stock control, managing staff and expectations begin to shift as well. There's often a quiet period after the festive season and this down time is perfect for regrouping and reflecting on the performance of the past year, while preparing for the year ahead.
By evaluating your businesses performance during the year, you can use this downtime to analyse any data that might have been captured, which can often yield new insights and pose new ways to evolve your offering and promote growth.
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or are looking to delve further into eCommerce, one way to adapt to an ever-growing digital market is to take your business online, either as a core offering or an addition to your physical space. With digital platforms such as Shopify to create your site, or Xero to handle the accounting side of your business, it’s never been easier to capitalise on a digital market.
For those who already have a budding eCommerce site, these tools have the same impact by automating what are often manual and tedious processes, freeing up time to focus on improving revenue.
If you’d like to learn more about how Ozow can benefit your business during the festive season, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.