The Golden Retail Season. Chapter 4: Delivering positive retail experiences

It goes without saying that Christmas is a critical period for retailers. A slip at any time could result in negative reviews and a social media backlash, so it’s worth investing in the tools needed to get things right first time round.

A great shopping experience will result in positive feedback 15% of the time. Positive experiences mean people will come back, so minimising negative events is vital.

Stress levels are often high come the festive season, so there are a number of areas that retailers can focus on to maximise their chances of delivering consumer satisfaction. Ensuring stock levels meet demand, websites are able to handle busy usage, and fulfilment is efficient and affordable will all contribute to an ideal purchasing experience. Other factors to consider include avoiding pestering consumers with promotional marketing such as email marketing. Be consistent, not forceful.

Play to your Strengths. Plug your Weaknesses

Retailers can learn from the innovations of others, such as Argos (see chapter 2).  61% of customers suggest that the key to delighting them is free delivery. Free delivery is not always a realistic offering from a retailer viewpoint, but fulfilment services are an area that retailers should try and improve to executive seamless transactions. Take Argos, for example, with their click-and-collect process. Here lies a fulfilment service improvement that acts as a differentiator from the normal pay and post. Explore the loopholes.

There are a number of areas similar to fulfilment services that could be explored to offer an all-round better retail experience this Christmas. Retailers must be knowledgeable of themselves. What are their strengths? Where are their weaknesses? Targeted and segmented email campaigns could be another method, or a flawless website that’s able to handle mass traffic. Web functionality is a key way to develop a retailer’s shopping experience in peak trading periods and take advantage of increased usage levels on days such Black Friday. Retailers need to ensure their IT capabilities behind it are sound.

Retailers that benefit most from the Christmas period will be those who first and foremost are able to warmly encourage customers. A well-functioning website, thorough demand accomplishment, fulfilment services, and a complete overall buying experience will form a comprehensive shopping solution.

Embracing technology during this part of the year enables retailers to achieve great things. A Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution can connect the dots in harmonising demand, delivery, and other key aspects in supply chain implementation. 

The final part of our Christmas retail series offers a final closing word from HSO; is your technology maximising success in peak trade? Microsoft Dynamics AX from HSO empowers retailers in a way unparalleled to what has come before. Stayed tuned for that, or alternatively all other chapters can be found here.


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