Many assume Black Friday or Boxing Day is the busiest shopping day of the year — but they’re wrong.
According to Moneris Payment Solutions, it’s actually December 22 a.k.a. Super Saturday a.k.a. Panic Saturday.
In 2017, Moneris predicted 600 transactions per second on December 22. Or, one transaction for every adult Canadian. In 2016, Canadians spent $1.2 billion on the day alone.
Many gift givers leave their holiday shopping to the last minute. At that point, it’s too late to buy online so there is only one option left — in store.
This applies to all retailers — including grocery stores, discount retailers, and retailers selling beer, wine, and liquor.
It’s good news for bricks and mortar retailers, but also requires planning.
With that in mind, here are five tips to cope with the crowds and make the most of the busiest day of the year.
- Put Quick Grab Items Front and Centre
Shoppers hitting the stores on December 22 are in a rush — so make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for.
Group merchandise by gift idea. For instance, “gifts for Dad,” “gifts for home cooks,” or “stocking stuffers.”
Put smaller items near the cash so buyers can grab them on their way out.
If there are items you want to get rid of before the holidays end, you could use this time to offer a discount.
Signage matters, too. Help direct customers through the store so they know where to look. You can also use this to your advantage by strategically placing merchandise you’re hoping to move off the shelves near these locations.
- Offer Gift Wrapping Services
Last-minute shoppers tend to not have much time left for other holiday traditions… like gift wrapping.
Offer to do it for them in store by setting up a gift-wrapping station. You can either offer this for free with every purchase as an incentive to shop at your store, or you can do so for a fee.
If you don’t have the staff to spare, you could also place gift wrapping supplies near the cash registers for shoppers to pick up on their way out.
You could also offer pre-wrapped gifts. Show a display of what’s inside, but shoppers buy the product already wrapped up.
- Ramp Up Staff
Of course, when the store is busier you will need the people power to match it.
You’ll need experienced customer service staff on the front-end to manage long lines. You’ll also require people familiar with the merchandise to keep shelves stocked all day long and to answer questions from stressed-out shoppers.
If you haven’t hired seasonal staff for the holidays, consider using a company that provides temporary staffing solutions, like Storesupport.
- Look for Payment Options That Cut Down on Lines
One of the main complaints customers have about shopping in-store is the long wait time to check out. But with today’s technology, you can cut down on some of that.
Consider looking into retail tools like mobile point-of-sale machines so sales staff can check customers out while they are waiting in line. You could also set up several more checkout kiosks around the store using this technology.
Moneris and Interac found that more consumers than ever are paying with debit and credit cards and using the “tap” option.
Another method you might use is in-store pickup — allowing customers to order online and pick up on site. You could have a designated register for this purpose.
- Create a Coupon
You know that people are going to be shopping on December 22 – so why not create an offer for the day? You could offer an in-store coupon with a discount for the days leading up to December 22 and 23.
This might disperse some of the traffic and also incentivize your store against the competition.
You could also offer an early bird discount for shoppers who come into your store before noon. Sweeten the deal with some free coffee for all!
December 22 can be a great opportunity for retailers. But the only ones who should be panicking are the customers. Storesupport Canada can help your store prepare.
For instance, we offer temporary staffing solutions with trained cashiers, customer experience experts, and inventory assistance. We also bring in-store merchandising expertise, product display help, and more.
Don’t wait until December 22 – contact us today. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.