5 steps to successful Christmas peak planning with retail traffic data

Article
by ShopperTrak on 14-11-18

Christmas is coming, but are you operationally ready for action?

The pressure is on for European retailers to drive sales growth during this vital annual shopping peak. From Black Friday to New Year’s Day, there’s a massive opportunity to attract and convert store visitors, and failure to do so amounts to make-or-break for many retailers. Thanks to historic traffic data, individual stores can benefit from having a personalised roadmap to achieving peak trading success. The key is to know and trust your data, and not be swayed by the market hype which often distracts retailers at this frantic time of year.

  • Pinpoint your festive Power Hours

Retailers with historic traffic data can schedule store labour in line with past customer behaviour, and known Christmas shopping Power Hours, adjusted to this year’s calendar. With the optimum number of employees hired, trained and ready to make the most of these golden opportunities, conversion rates should rise. Upselling can be a big focus here too. Past data will reveal which days during peak have previously proved the best for spending time with store visitors to recommend add-on products and seasonal accessories.

  • Ramp up store service levels for mega days

Retailers who learned from previous years’ customer behaviour data are more likely to meet expectations on this Black Friday (November 23rd) and other peak days. Black Friday weekend is slated to be one of the busiest weekends of the year for European retailers, so ignore it at your peril. If you’re running Black Friday promotions, but don’t want endless queues at the checkout, stock outs and angry customers, consult your traffic data from last year, and plan out the pain points. As we get closer to Christmas, Saturdays in December will also see traffic surge, with ‘Super Saturday’ falling on 22nd December. Knowing store-by-store what happened in recent years on these days will allow the right levels of staffing to be planned, and therefore sparkling service to be delivered.

  • Improve Click-and-Collect services for peace on earth

If retailers want to maximise in-store foot traffic this festive season, they would be wise to focus on Click-and-Collect services, experts are saying. Past years have seen chaos in stores as collection points were overwhelmed. Check you have the product, the staff and the training to deliver this service efficiently. What did you learn from the last three years of Christmas Click-and-Collect? More specifically, when was peak demand for these services and how can you encourage add-on sales when dealing with these visitors?

  • Celebrate the four pre-Christmas Saturdays in 2018

Saturday shopping in December is a bumper opportunity for retailers, so employee resourcing, store operations and events should be tailored for the four Saturdays that fall before Christmas Day 2018 (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd of December). Essentially this year there will be an extra peak shopping Saturday for your customers to enjoy, so make it count! Use past traffic data to know when the Power Hours will come and have your best staff, or a spectacular promotion or event to add sizzle to that extra Saturday.

  • Pinpoint ‘too-late-to-shop-online day’

Traffic data from recent years will very likely reveal to retailers which day shoppers gave up on web shopping for Christmas gifts, and switched allegiances to store shopping, worried that deliveries would not arrive in time. Last year ShopperTrak calculated this to be around 21st December, what became known as ‘Panic Thursday’. This insight poses another fantastic opportunity in stores, so be ready with a host of problem-solving gift ideas, and last-minute holiday items that will leave shoppers sighing with relief.

Traffic data takes the mystery out of operations planning for peak. Knowledge regarding the successes and failures of past holiday seasons is the gift that keeps giving to retailers, and will be the key to festive cheer on European shop floors this November and December.  

Key Dates for Christmas 2018

  • Black Friday: Friday 23rd November
  • Black Saturday: Saturday 24th November
  • Cyber Week: 22nd to 28th November
  • Cyber Monday: Monday 26th November
  • Super Saturday: Last Saturday before Christmas (22nd Dec)

ShopperTrak helps retailers plan for known trading peaks, using traffic data to identify trends and maximise opportunities in the retail space. Find out more here.

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