Responsiveness will win over customers this holiday season
The holiday season is vital to the success of most retailers. The National Retail Federation has suggested some merchants generate 40 percent of their sales during this time. As such, sellers carefully plan their holiday customer engagement initiatives far in advance – some even begin planning for the next year immediately after the conclusion of that year’s holiday season.
However, as Multichannel Merchant noted, while forward-thinking and preparation are important to making the most of the holiday season, it is crucial to realize that retail is a dynamic industry and how retailers respond to unexpected circumstances this holiday season will set them apart.
Merchants must be responsive to item popularity during the holidays, supply chain problems, and weather conditions. This holiday season will require retailers to adapt on the fly. Whether this means rethinking marketing efforts, changing order fulfillment processes or reworking global supply chains, it is imperative that merchants remain flexible throughout peak periods.
Merchants saw last year just how much unforeseen circumstances can negatively affect the bottom line. Many shipments missed the December 25 estimated delivery time due to poor weather conditions at the end of 2013, which delayed transport and shipping operations. This angered many customers and forced merchants to find a way to make it up to shoppers, even though the problem was largely something they could not have predicted.
Retail is a dynamic industry. Although pre-planning is helpful, merchants need to be flexible and responsive to sudden changes and customer expectations.