Delight Holiday Shoppers With More Products and Better Prices
Last year, consumer spending increased by 17.8 percent in November and December, fueled by consumer confidence and a successful Black Friday. As retailers prepare for what promises to be another record-breaking holiday season, they should keep in mind consumers’ shopping expectations, which are at unprecedented levels as a result of the extensive choices offered by online retailers.
A new survey from Mirakl found 55 percent of consumers have stopped shopping with a retailer after finding a competitor with a better selection of products, with a notable 70 percent of Gen Z consumers admitting to making the switch. Additionally, 80 percent of holiday shoppers said they will turn to another retailer if their preferred items are out of stock. To avoid losing shoppers — and potential loyal customers — this holiday season, retailers need to prioritize their product and pricing strategies to capitalize on the surge in sales, create a delightful customer experience, and keep loyal customers while gaining new ones.
Respond to Trends and Provide Shoppers With Choice
Offering more product choices allows retailers to initially capture the attention of potential shoppers. To cater to customers’ preference for extensive choice, retailers can create an endless aisle by using third-party sellers to provide contingency for popular products. Whether it be an Instant Pot, a pair of Nikes in the right color and size, or Nintendo Switch, retailers can leverage their seller networks to capitalize on the hottest holiday gifts without having to commit to added stock or overhead.
Additionally, more than half of shoppers surveyed said they would be interested in purchasing services alongside their products. Imagine buying an instrument and music lessons at the same time. Or buying new hiking boots alongside a guided hike. Envision a new retail where you don’t just sell products, but also the services that help people get the most out of them. It’s not only a better (and more convenient) shopping experience for buyers, but it allows retailers to become a bigger part of the customer's journey, in turn creating more loyal customers.
Drive More Traffic — Online and In-Store
The increase in online shopping orders has further altered the traditional holiday shopping scene — for consumers and retailers, alike. According to the survey, 13 percent of U.S. shoppers said they do all of their holiday shopping online. Meanwhile, 55 percent of the most online-heavy age demographic, 25-34 year olds, claimed to do more than three-quarters of their shopping online. With consumers visiting online sites more frequently, retailers can offer "click-and-collect" services to increase in-store traffic and drive additional sales by positioning impulse items such as stocking stuffers near the in-store collection point.
Avoid Out-of-Stocks and Be Experimental
Leveraging a network of sellers to increase holiday inventory helps reduce the risk of a consumer discovering the perfect gift for a loved one only to find it’s out of stock, a problem 39 percent of shoppers who took the survey experienced last holiday season while shopping online. Using a seller network, retailers can also test new products and brands online at no risk, then source directly from those sellers for in-store inventory. This can be done at a higher profit margin than drop-ship or owned product sales, allowing the retailer to win on all fronts.
Whatever the strategy, it’s key that retailers ensure they have the product assortment and availability shoppers desire. If the product can’t be found on physical or digital shelves, retailers risk a lot more than holiday sales.
Adrien Nussenbaum is the U.S. CEO and co-founder of Mirakl, an online marketplace platform and drop-ship solution.
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