While no one has a crystal ball that can see exactly what Q4 will bring, it seems we’re in for a relatively solid, if not superlative, season for retailers. This uncertain economic environment means that retailers will need to squeeze as much value as they can from every holiday season interaction.
Retail industry experts agree that some of the key areas retailers should be focusing on to maximize holiday season success include:
- Pricing and promotion strategies: While store-wide or site-wide sales might bring in a rush of traffic, they are more likely to erode margins than more targeted promotions — both in terms of which items are promoted and which customer groups get those offers;
- Turning new customers into repeat customers: While this is a year-round mandate, it needs to be intensified during the holidays when consumers “sample” new brands more often; and
- Taking advantage of a longer holiday season: Smart retailers can use the elongated season both to make promotional and inventory course corrections, if they’re needed, and also to smooth out the sales spikes that stress both in-store and online retail systems.