How the Retail Industry is Prepping for the Holiday Season
As we enter an unprecedented holiday shopping season, consumers are curious about how retailers plan to prioritize safety. The truth is, e-commerce is booming, and an attractive option for many shoppers. However, there are other ways that retailers can give their customers peace of mind.
Display Your Cleaning Process
According to a recent study, consumers are more likely to trust retailers that not only have a sanitization process, but also let shoppers know what it includes. If you want more people coming through your doors, have a quick rundown of what you're doing to keep them safe. People appreciate sanitation zones with hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes at store entrances. It says to the customer that you're taking their safety seriously.
Keep it Flexible
Gone are the days that any retailer can offer a one-size-fits-all shopping experience. Consider offering an online shopping option, fast and easy returns (both in-store and online), and remember to keep your online inventory as updated as possible. Many people are opting to completely skip in-store shopping for the time being, so make sure that if you have an e-commerce option, it's as updated and easy-to-use as possible.
Consider Shipping Time
Shipping during the holidays is always a hectic matter. Add in a pandemic, and you should expect a lengthier shipping time. To keep your customers happy, create a shipping policy that's fast, affordable and realistic. Smaller retailers may need to offer shipping weeks in advance to ensure that gifts arrive on time.
Communicate With Your Customers
Buying habits are changing right now. Ensure that you know the types of products and services that your customers are looking for this year. The pandemic changed how people spend their time, so it’s only practical that buying habits will reflect that. Consider reaching out to your customers to learn what type of items are at the top of their wish lists so you can be sure that your inventory reflects their current buying trends.
The holiday season is a busy time of year that evokes a variety of emotions from consumers. Consider how some shoppers may be spending more time alone or breaking away from traditions so that they can still socially distance. Think of clever ways that your customer can still experience all the joy of the season despite the pandemic. Some quick tips may include making sure your website is as holiday ready as your store as well as offering holiday-themed virtual experiences to help people get into the holiday spirit.
The holidays are always a hectic time of year for retailers and consumers. Of course, the pandemic will pose its challenges. The most important thing to remember is that consumer safety is the priority. Communication and flexibility will make all of the difference as people try to navigate this holiday season. While this year will pose its challenges, retailers that consider this unique consumer experience will have the best outcome.
Ronn Torossian is CEO and founder of 5W Public Relations, a top 10 independent, full-service PR agency in the U.S. known for cutting-edge programs that engage with businesses, issues and ideas.
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Ronn Torossian is CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations, a top 10 independent, full-service PR agency in the U.S. known for cutting-edge programs that engage with businesses, issues and ideas.
He is a crisis management expert who has more than 20 years of experience working with national and international brands that go through disruptive and unexpected events that threaten to harm the organization or its stakeholders.