Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What retailers can learn from the 2015 holiday season

Author: YI mobility

Retailers can learn a lot from shopping trends demonstrated by the 2015 holiday season. After a slow Black Friday, ABC News reported holiday sales are projected to grow a little from 2014 but not as much as previously hoped.
Across the board, most stores project consistent business but are still slowly losing ground to e-commerce channels. By studying what 2015 holiday shoppers like about online channels and want from physical stores, businesses can design more effective retail spaces for 2016.
Stores' advantages during the holiday season
Small Business Trends suggested numerous consumers still favor visiting physical spaces over shopping online. Some of the benefits shopping in stores provides include the ability to speak with product experts, try out merchandise and not having to wait for delivery.
These advantages can really stand out in the holiday season when people buy products for friends and family that need to be available by specific deadlines. People visit stores to get their hands on presents they can take home for Christmas themselves instead of leaving delivery to outside parties. Shoppers need help with merchandise because they buy for other people, so they ask questions about brands they themselves have no experience with.
Some stores can go the extra mile by offering decorations and displays that delight young shoppers and families. With the right marketing and interior design, a small business can turn its location into a holiday destination.
When stores get desperate
Despite numerous advantages, some stores struggle to provide the convenience and personalization of online retailers. The National Retail Federation report for the 2015 holiday shopping season predictedalmost half of all gift purchases will be made online. E-commerce holiday spending has been growing steadily for the last 10 years.
To compete, CBS News reported, many stores go to extreme measures to make physical spaces just as convenient as online stores. Some businesses plan to stay open much later on Christmas Eve for last-minute shoppers. It may not be long until stores stay open on Christmas Day itself.
When sales really start to slow down, stores have to slash their prices and offer promotions that may put them in the red.
Offer the same convenience as online shopping
Businesses need to find more effective ways to compete with online stores during the holiday season and throughout the year. TechCrunch suggested physical spaces can use technology to offer online convenience through cost-efficient and innovative means.
The NRF report found more shoppers should use mobile devices to browse for products while debating whether to make a final purchase online or in-store in 2015. Not only that, but if shoppers do visit a physical space, they will likely use their phone or tablet to compare options and search for the best deal.

If a business uses an in-store tool like beacon technology, they can offer the simple and personalized experience of online shopping, but with the advantages of a physical space. Business can push special holiday promotions and greetings to every shopper that enters their store through his or her preferred mobile device. It gives customers another reason to make a shopping trip a fun winter tradition.

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