There’s a chill in the air, trees are bare, and the days are getting shorter. November and December, especially from Black Friday onwards, are huge months for retailers—90% of consumers celebrate the winter holiday, and plan to spend an average of $998 on items such as gifts, food, decorations and other holiday-related purchases.
We looked at our retail customer experience data from last year’s Black Friday to see what challenges customers faced while shopping on this key trading day for retailers, and these were their top 10 pain points:
- Wait time (26%)
- Customer service (21%)
- Product availability (14%)
- Price (9%)
- Cleanliness (8%)
- Staff friendliness (7%)
- Staff knowledge (6%)
- Staff availability (6%)
- Product selection (3%)
- Product quality (<1%)
To make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year and keep your customers happy, here are 5 quick tips to set up your retail stores for success!
1. Ensure your front-line staff is ready
Is your front-line staff prepared to handle an increased number of shoppers?
It’s up to them to ensure each shopper is acknowledged, has their questions answered, and goes through checkout as smoothly as possible. The competition is no longer about price or product – customer experience is the number one differentiator between brands.
Your front-line staff should also aim to help customers discover additional products—not just to increase sales, but to help them get the most out of their purchase. Doing so will increase customer satisfaction, build trust, and make shoppers want to keep coming back to your store. After all, 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after a great experience
2. Prepare your store for increased demand
Forget spring cleaning—now is a crucial time to declutter your stores and make them spotless. Create more space for shoppers and remove any items that block their pathway. Place all products within easy reach, and display high-profit items so they stand out.
Pinpoint specific areas of your store that need improvements, and address these issues before Black Friday.
3. Test your website
Just as you should prepare your store for a surge in shoppers, you also need to ensure your website can handle an uptake in demand. A website glitch can seriously cost your business—test your site before Black Friday to make sure it’s fully functional.
Since most people shop on their phones, your site should also be mobile responsive. Test how your store looks on mobile, and ensure it’s easy and intuitive for users to make purchases.
4. Be ready for worst-case scenarios
Are you prepared for any tough situations that could arise this Black Friday? Think of everything that could go wrong and create contingency plans.
What will you do if your shipping company gets too busy? What about if your inventory runs too low? One of the worst things that can happen is running out of stock faster than expected and being unable to meet customer demands. One idea is to equip your front-line staff with tablets so that shoppers can easily order via your website.
It’s better to create back-up plans than to be left scrambling in the midst of your busiest time.
5. Let customers know you care about their experience
One way to show shoppers you care about their experience is by asking for feedback. Whether your customers are shopping online or in-store, you need to provide means for them to share their experience. How else would you know what to improve next time?
Turning their feedback into actionable changes will help you build trust and promote customer loyalty.
To learn how to create a better in-store shopping experience with customer feedback, download our “Ultimate Retailer’s Checklist: 5 Secrets to Happier Customers”.