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Decking your store for the Christmas holiday magic and rush (Part 1)

The holiday shopping season, spanning from November through December, is a crucial period for retailers, marking a substantial portion of their annual sales and profits. Characterised by major shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales, this season witnesses a surge in consumer spending as shoppers hunt for deals, gifts, and festive purchases.

Retailers, in turn, strategise months in advance, stocking up on inventory, offering competitive promotions, and enhancing customer service to capitalise on the increased footfall and online traffic. The performance during these weeks often sets the tone for the retailer’s financial health, making the holiday shopping season a pivotal time for the retail industry. In this article, we will assist you with making your holiday season a successful one.

How to create an enticing shopping experience for Christmas shoppers

Understand your audience

The holiday period brings all types of shoppers to you simultaneously, and tailoring to each can be difficult. There’s the early bird, who is often ahead of the holiday rush or the holiday season in general. This type of shopper requires your stock and promotions to be advised as early as October. Then there is the last-minute shopper, who is almost always pressed for time and would benefit from clear signage and bundled deals. This shopper pushes retailers to maintain high standards up until the final moments of the holiday rush.

Finally, you have the bargain hunter, often out looking for the best deals and relying on advertisements and competitive promotions from different retailers,  necessitating them to adopt competitive pricing and extensive marketing campaigns to capture their attention.

a shop owner circling their target market audience out of a group of customers

Window displays

Creating an impactful window display that is both festive and brand-consistent is essential for attracting shoppers during the holiday season. This can be achieved through many different sorts of signage and promotions tailored to each type of shopper listed above. Creating a preview of future items and promotions creates anticipation, which entices them to return. This creates a stronger brand identity, attracting footfall and sales.

Phrases such as “Last Minute Gifts Here” and “Quick and Easy Festive Shopping” can grab the attention of those with little time. Also, displays that highlight already pre-wrapped gifts or highly desirable items can grab attention, but you must ensure that your inventory is easily accessible and in stock. Furthermore, prominent advertising of promotions and creating displays that highlight ongoing sales, value and loyalty discounts can be beneficial to those on budgets.

Point of sale (POS) systems

During the holiday season, Point of Sale (POS) systems and  Electronic Point of Sale systems play a pivotal role in managing increased customer traffic, transactions, and tracking inventory. Retailers can utilise POS systems to implement promotions, offer personalised discounts, and provide efficient customer service, ensuring a seamless shopping experience.

Enhanced payment options and rapid checkouts facilitated by POS systems are crucial for accommodating the holiday rush and boosting sales and customer satisfaction. The POS counter can even be decorated with a Christmas theme, and additional offers placed by the systems to gain additional sales at checkout.

customer paying with a credit card on card pos machine at a retail store
customer paying for product at christmas stall using contactless payments

Contactless payments

The use of contactless payments has surged in recent years and has been revolutionary. They facilitate swift and secure transactions during the holiday season and are crucial during high-traffic periods with lots of money switching hands. Additionally, the ability to expedite transactions and issue e-receipts can save on environmental waste and lead to less time spent in queues during busy times.

QR codes

Utilising QR codes or NFC tags to offer exclusive holiday deals or product information directly connects customers to promotions and details, enriching their shopping experience. This method not only boosts customer interaction but also alleviates the demand on staff, ensuring efficient communication and potentially increasing sales throughout the hectic holidays.

customer scanning a payment

Loyalty programs for repeat customers

Offering Christmas specials or discounts for repeat customers creates loyalty and encourages return visits. These loyalty programs not only enhance the shopping experience but also boost sales and customer retention, proving crucial for business sustainability and growth during the competitive holiday season and beyond.

Additionally, a ‘Christmas Preview Night’ could be held for loyal customers to grab a deal before the big rush and could be marketed to entice sales before the holiday season. The possibilities shouldn’t only be limited to your business – you could hold joint promotions with other local companies to assist the local economy and gain customers that otherwise wouldn’t think to shop with your business beforehand.

Engage online and offline

Additionally, you must also ensure that your online presence mirrors your in-store presence. You can do this by ensuring that some offers are available both in-store and online and tease in-store exclusive promotions or events to tempt shoppers into your business. Furthermore, social media is a valuable tool that can be used to promote certain items coming into stock or even add social media-only deals.

Conclusion

These are simply a few of many potential ideas for preparing for the Christmas rush – a lovely time but also a stressful one. One thing for sure is that Trust Payments will be ready to make your Christmas rush a smooth one. 

Look out for our second Christmas article dealing with data insights in the coming days!

Don’t be caught up in the Christmas rush without a payment and promotional solution – get in touch for help implementing a system tailored to your requirements.

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Security is our top priority at Trust Payments and we strive to ensure that all data is kept secure at all times We keep all customer data safe with AES256 encryption, SSL Certificates, and a minimum of TLS1.2, between your website and our datacentres.

Our systems are scanned quarterly using the Qualys PCI Platform, an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and approved vendors – Omnicybersecurity (UK) & Forgenix (US) – to ensure compliance with the security requirements of the card schemes.

We follow a number of rigorous security procedures on a daily basis including, but not limited to, continuous monitoring of our perimeter, dark web monitoring, and internal checks to ensure that CIA triad is maintained at all times.

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