Advice for Thriving During the Holidays

Merchant Warehouse |

December 4, 2013

Thriving During the Holidays

This year, 35% of shoppers plan to buy their gifts at local, small businesses.  Small business shoppers want to support local businesses and find unique merchandise within a personalized shopping experience.  "Thriving During the Holidays" is the latest infographic from Merchant Warehouse and details some ways you can put your best foot forward this holiday season.

If your business is interested in learning more about leveraging mobile payments and developing an omni-channel experience for your customers, or even just looking to reduce your credit card processing costs, be sure to contact a Merchant Warehouse representative today.

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Infographic Content 

Small businesses should use different strategies to attract the 35 percent of customers who prefer to purchase holiday gifts from local companies. A multi-faceted campaign promises to help your local business reach potential customers at different points of contact. The omni-channel experience helps companies target customers through in-store, online, and mobile platforms.

Mobile Platforms

People walking through your store or shopping anywhere might use mobile devices to research a product before buying. Your mobile website should help buyers locate a product's information, see how it compares to similar products, and access product reviews. From 2012 to 2015, mobile devices are projected to affect $689 billion in retail sales options, store deals, and consumer product reviews. Fifty-one percent of customers would compare prices on a smartphone app. Another 31 percent would purchase products with a mobile wallet. Ignoring the development and ongoing improvement of a mobile website could lead to missed sales, especially as more and more customers go mobile for shopping. 

Web Presence

Your mobile website is one facet of your company's total web presence. Since many customers are shopping online instead of visiting stores, your website must convert them. Forty-two percent of customers go online to a store's website to research products, 63 percent like the convenience of online shopping, and 24 percent say they will get better deals online.

In-Store Traffic

To increase sales, use technology to customize each in-person customer's shopping experience. Through near-field communication (NFC), recognize customers by their mobile device and give them targeted deals, suggested products, and mobile payment solutions. Keep shoppers from walking out the door by offering price matching, easy checkout, and immediate delivery of products. Online customers have to wait for shopping to receive their new purchases. 

Management of Multiple Platforms

It's challenging for business owners like you to manage marketing strategies across multiple platforms. You must provide a consistent shopping experience for every customer. On average a customer will have 2.2 negative interactions with a retail brand before leaving it. This statistic gets tougher when you're marketing to millennials, of whom 70 to 80 percent will quit a brand after just one bad experience. 

Brand Loyalty

Why not build a loyal base of customers through a superior shopping experience? Give customers what they want all in one place, including guaranteed product availability, swift delivery and pickup, and attentive and helpful sales associates. Thank customers for choosing your brand. Of your customers, 47 percent appreciate a discount on a future purchase, 18 percent like holiday gift cards, and 13 percent prefer a unique gift.

Changing Needs

Customers want to shop a brand that understands their needs change over time. For example, from 2012 to 2013, on average households planned to increase their holiday spending by 20 percent. Breaking down customers by gender, men increased spending by 31 percent since 2010. In that same period, women only increased spending by 22 percent. 

Women and men act differently in terms of responding to mobile marketing. Forty-four percent of surveyed women admitted to visiting a store after reading a mobile alert from a retailer. Men are twice as comfortable making a big purchase over $5,000 using a mobile device.

Retailers need different strategies to meet the needs of men and women. Women prefer to access coupons via social media, and men enjoy finding bargains on deal websites. Wherever customers are likely to find you, your store, traditional website, and mobile website must be ready.