5 Tips for Supercharging your Sub-season Sales
NIEUWEGEIN, June 30, 2016
Spring, summer, autumn and winter are so last year. From Sinterklaas to Christmas and Valentine’s Day, sub-seasons are the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them retail periods that can provide a welcome lift to your sales and profits.
Recently published quarterly figures from the ‘Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek’ showed that the food sector was very successful around Easter. By contrast, many retailers missed out on sales because the Dutch football team did not qualify for the European Championships. Fortunately, Dutch success at the Olympics still offers opportunities to sell orange gadgets. Smart retailers are prepared and stay on top of consumer trends. Retailers are looking for a differentiator to stand out from the crowd. Sub-seasons often rely on discounted promotions, but what if you could offer discounts and the convenience of quick delivery and multiple ways of buying? The goal is to make every purchase frictionless.
We give five tips that will help retailers boost revenues and loyalty, making every sub-season commercially rewarding.
- Make it personal
Customers love useful customer service. Imagine the scene: a customer is looking for a Valentine’s gift for his wife. He’s unsure what to buy, but the store associate pulls up his details and reminds him what he bought the previous three years. The associate can also make suggestions for this year’s gift. There is no one-size fits all model for personalisation, but the key to achieving the right model is a recognition of just what the customer wants and, perhaps, an awareness of how bad in-store experiences to date have affected customer attitudes.
- Sprint ahead with speed
For some customers, even next-day delivery is too slow: 50% of online shoppers say they’ve abandoned a purchase due to unsatisfactory delivery options, making responsiveness a major competitive advantage. When back-to-school season hits and school uniforms are in greatest demand, you need to find inventory from your wider network – and find it quickly. Multichannel agility is the key to speed and success.
- Scale, scale, scale
Whether you operate purely online or across both bricks and pixels, your customers are exploring new selling and delivery methods every season, from social commerce to same day delivery. Standing in your way of supporting these new methods are lengthy time frames needed to update each selling and delivery system you operate. What’s needed is a system that reduces this lead-time by centralising business rules and system processes, keeping your selling and delivery systems in sync and nimble enough to meet customer demand.
- Empower your people
For every retailer, sub-seasons are a golden opportunity to increase revenues and transform customer experience. But to give customers what they want, when they want it, you’ll need to adjust your customer service approach to meet the demands of the fast-paced multichannel world. Doing this increases the number of multichannel order exceptions, and as your contact centre agents are the frontline support for these enquiries, they need to be fast, informed and helpful. They need immediate access to enterprise data, such as customer transactions, product availability, and order fulfilment status, in order to operate efficiently and effectively.
- Focus on what matters
It’s important to embrace every sub-season and maximise the value of each. To do that, you need to focus on what’s important: product merchandising, customer service, and profitability. Complexity shouldn’t get in the way of maximising the number of customers you can serve.
From the ‘fitness’ season that hits in January to Hay fever season in late Spring, sub-seasons provide the perfect excuse for retailers to jump ahead and give customers what they really want. So what are you waiting for?
Manhattan Associates makes commerce-ready supply chains that bring all points of commerce together so you’re ready to sell and ready to execute. Across the store, through your network or from your fulfilment centre, we design, build and deliver market-leading solutions that support both top-line growth and bottom-line profitability. By converging front-end sales with back-end supply chain execution, our software, platform technology and unmatched experience help our customers get commerce ready—and ready to reap the rewards of the omni-channel marketplace.