Make Your In-Store Operations Stand Out for Black Friday
In the US, Black Friday has traditionally been the single biggest shopping event of the year, and it’s still the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. However, with new shopping days have started competing globally, like Single’s Day in China or El Buen Fin in Mexico. At the same time, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of Cyber Week have gained in popularity. Black Friday is now just one retail event in a month of big retail events leading up to the Winter holidays and the end of the year.
As a result, brick-and-mortar retailers are looking at strategies to make their Black Friday promotions stand out without burning out sales staff too early or giving in to holiday fatigue. Here are three strategies to simplify work for associates and balance the added workload from holiday promotions and increased store traffic.
Improve Store Communications for Omnichannel Success
One of the biggest changes to Black Friday is omnichannel shopping. While Black Friday is still popular in the US—and has even gained popularity globally—shoppers are participating more online, rather than exclusively in stores. Nearly half of shoppers will shop both online and in-store, so having a strategic omnichannel approach to Black Friday is key in today’s retail environment.
Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and other omnichannel services offer customers the convenience of online or mobile shopping with the instant gratification of an in-store purchase. However, store associates need to be equipped to deliver on the promise of convenience—having orders picked, packed, and ready on demand. Mobile-first, real-time communication and task management solutions help ensure that a store associate is alerted when an omnichannel order is received and can fulfill it efficiently, so the customer doesn’t experience any delays.
Execute on In-Store Experiences
While discounts and deals are obviously a top motivator for Black Friday shoppers, they aren’t the only factor driving purchases. Brick-and-mortar retailers in particular can capture the magic of the holidays in ways that online retailers can’t. From festive decorations to curated gift displays, there’s lots of options to create holiday enthusiasm in-store.
But whatever your holiday promotions are, it’s key that they’re executed consistently. Streamlining, consolidating, and prioritizing communications for store associates enables them to quickly view and complete projects. For example, with a real-time task management platform, you can send step-by-step instructions with planograms or other visual guides. Store associates execute holiday displays accurately and send back a picture of the end result, so managers catch mistakes in real time and customers get a more consistent and magical experience without mislabeled or half-finished displays.
Set Store Managers and Associates Up for Success
With a shortened stretch from Black Friday to Christmas, it’s important to make every moment count and ensure that store staff spend as much time as possible engaging with customers, without being overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. Intelligent labor forecasting, powered by AI, lets you to accurately model your staffing needs based on drivers like store traffic, sales, and in-store workload, enabling you to optimize scheduling for the holiday rush.
Additionally, automating first-pass scheduling reduces the amount of time store managers spend drafting schedules that account for associate skills, knowledge, and availability; instead, they can focus on training seasonal hires and coaching associates. With more support from their managers, associates are able to work more efficiently and experience fewer frustrations. Ultimately, engaged, knowledgeable associates ensure that customers have a better in-store experience.
To learn more about how to simplify store execution and optimize labor, join Reflexis at NRF 2020!