Between the flashy store window displays and barrage of email promos, retailers everywhere are putting forth their best efforts to raise brand awareness during holiday season. The good news is, these tactics tend to pay off with an increase in sales volumes and traffic. However, getting customers to your store- whether it’s online or in-person- is only half the battle. The next step is to create a positive shopping experience that will stick with people, and not disappear when the decorations come down. Here are 4 helpful ways to make a good impression so your customers will come back year-round.
Make Them Feel Welcome
Show appreciation to your visitors. If it’s an in-person experience, smile when they walk in and ask how you can help. Ensure that your site or store is easy to navigate, and avoid sales gimmicks that will leave them feeling deceived. For face-to-face interactions, be proactive and available. If someone looks confused, go over and offer to help. If your customer is ready to pay their dinner bill, they shouldn’t have to hunt you down. Last of all, say thank you at checkout!
Gather Contact Information
This is an important way that you can keep track of customers and stay in touch. At checkout, ask for contact info so you can send out greetings, sales alerts, and coupons. For online purchases, it’s also great to gather contact info, but don’t require them to enter in every little detail because it could be a deterrent to completing the sale. Consider only asking for their name and email address, and anything beyond that should be saved for optional account registration. Whether it’s online or in-person, make it clear that account info is used to their benefit, and not to spam their inbox.
One of the best ways that you can encourage your customers to come back again is by providing them with a bonus at checkout. For example, offer a free sample or gift with purchase, or a gift card or coupon to be used towards a future sale. This way, they’ll feel that they’re getting more than what they paid for and will look forward to shopping again.
Streamline The Checkout Process
Stores tend to get crowded during the holidays, but you don’t want your customers to feel stressed when they should be happy with their purchase. For in-person shopping, ensure that enough staff and checkout lanes are open so that everyone can be taken care of as efficiently as possible. Implement the newest technology that puts the customer first, such as wireless POS systems that allow staff to complete the checkout anywhere in the store, and terminal devices that are touchscreen and customer-facing. Also, accept a variety of payment methods, including mobile payments, which will both speed up checkout and satisfy customers. For online sales, you should make sure that your site is straightforward and that checking out takes just a few clicks. Don’t surprise customers with extra fees or required registration at checkout; they will just feel tricked and look elsewhere to buy.
Keep in mind that holiday sales success isn’t measured by your revenue; it’s measured by your ability to make an impact and increase customer loyalty. As long as that’s your focus, you’ll not only increase sales, but you’ll increase your fanbase and future sales- the whole year round.