'Tis the season to be jolly and yet shopping during the holidays can turn even the merriest soul into Ebenezer Scrooge. The very idea of holiday shopping conjures up images of crowds of crazed shoppers, the feeling of stress about what presents to buy for family and friends, and the innate knowledge of bad purchasing decisions that will be made because of the rushed, pressure-filled atmosphere.
It should therefore come as no surprise that foot traffic in shopping centers has been steadily declining during holiday seasons, while online sales keep soaring. According to Forrester, over the past decade US ecommerce has grown at an impressive rate of almost 18 percent a year (Source: US Online Retail Forecast, 2012-2017, Forrester Research).
So what is a retailer to do? Fight fire with fire. Technology-enabled shopping isn't only for online. Retailers can also leverage technology to enhance the brick-and-mortar experience. Retailers who empower sales associates with technology gain a competitive advantage and win more loyal customers.
One technology that is helping retailers to do just that is Performance Support. Performance Support is an innovative sales tool that can be used at Point of Sales (POS) to speed up check-out time, empower sales associates and analyze/predict shoppers' needs – allowing retailers to provide a tailored, enjoyable and satisfying experience that will keep customers coming backing.
Here are 3 ways Performance Support can encourage your customers to shop in-store this holiday season:
1. No more waiting in LONG lines
One of customers' biggest hassles is waiting in grueling holiday checkout lines. The very sight of 3 or 4 people waiting to checkout is enough to make a person run for the door. Performance Support decreases the time customers spend at the register by expediting the cash-out process. The Performance Support application works with any POS software to guide a new cashier through the check out process and can even step in to automate tasks – saving valuable time and reducing employee errors. Faster and seamless transactions will keep customers happy while generating more business.
2. Competent and helpful sales associates
Too often companies throw seasonal workers into the sea of holiday shoppers with little or no training with the thinking that 'the more hands the better.' In reality, this does little to relieve an already stressful and hectic environment. Busy shoppers are often unsympathetic and have little patience for untrained sales associates that waste precious time fiddling with the register system or needing to wait for a manager. Performance Support provides real-time guidance and automation that performs the actions/steps for the cashier so even temporary employees are able to successfully perform their job quickly and accurately!
3. More personalized customer service
Customer data and analytics is another element that should not be solely associated with online sales. In fact according to Accenture, while 72% of retail leaders demand data-driven decisions from their organizations, only 25% say they use their data "to a great extent." The main culprit? A lack of the proper tools to gather actionable insight of their customers’ shopping experience – until now. Performance Support System identifies sales opportunities by analyzing the data on the customer and the customer's eligibility for possible promotions or sales campaigns right while they are standing at the register! The system then prompts the cashier with personalized recommendations - turning every transaction into a cross-selling and up-selling opportunity that provides true value for the customer and potentially increases the size of the sale.
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