Retail Rush Guide: Preparing for the December 21/22/23 Shopping Blitz

We are almost past the hectic shopping rush of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but the retail season isn’t slowing down yet – in fact, it might be speeding up.

Studies show that the busiest shopping days of the year happen in the coming weeks. Specifically, December 21, 22, and 23. In Canada, Moneris projected 600 transactions per second on December 22, 2017.

And that number has only gone up. As many shoppers leave their holiday purchases to the last-minute, December 21, 22, and 23 are their final chances to buy presents. And with the deadline looming so close, many consumers flock in-store as most online purchases won’t be delivered on time.

Last-minute holiday shoppers are in a hurry, which can work in your favour – if you make sure that your products are in the best possible position.

Here are some ways to do just that.

1. Have your own people in-store doing product checks.

Backroom product won’t sell unless it’s on the floor. But in the holiday rush, retailers may be too swamped to keep up with stocking empty shelves. To make sure that your product is being stocked as you want it, it is wise to have your own team in store to verify.

In addition to making sure the product is on the floor, you also want to guarantee that it’s priced correctly, in good condition, and visible.

If you can’t spare the staff, you might consider working with a national retail merchandiser like Storesupport Canada. We can go into stores for you to make sure that your product is being displayed the best way possible.

2. Look for ways to add value.

As busy shoppers hit the stores, you can help ease the shopping process for them. Consider making it simple to grab small or popular items through eye-catching displays – like a POP display filled with stocking stuffers.

You could also create displays out of items that might appeal to last-minute shopper demographics. For instance, studies show that men are more likely to procrastinate purchases, so you might consider setting up a “Gifts for Mom” or “Gifts for Your Wife” display. Or make gift cards easy to grab and go.

Some brands offer special sales and discounts for last-minute holiday purchases. You might consider setting up a gift-wrapping station or providing pre-wrapped packaging to save busy shoppers even more time.

3. Focus on speed.

The retail rush is the retail rush for a reason – people are in a hurry! This is where customer experience management is critical. Make sure that checkouts run smoothly, shelves are being re-stocked, staff are on floor to answer questions.

Too few open checkouts is a major source of frustration for shoppers in the off-holiday season. Don’t let it become an even bigger issue during these busy days.

Manufacturers may not necessarily be able to control the checkout experience or customer flow, but they can engage a service, like Storesupport Canada, to go into a store and provide support in stocking shelves so the retailer can focus their staff on checking out and answering questions.

4. Online is out – so focus in-store

While you might be pushing e-commerce in the weeks leading up to the holidays, on December 21, 22, and 23 the focus should be squarely in-store, unless you can guarantee on-time shipping.

In your online communications, clearly state the cut-off date for shipping orders to arrive before December 25. In the same communications, you could direct shoppers to your in-store locations or offer in-store discount coupons.

Overall on these busiest shopping days of the year, you want to make sure that your product is in the best possible positioning. Take advantage of the retail rush without being steamrolled by it with Storesupport Canada’s help.

Ask about our rapid response services, in-store brand management, and more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.

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