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Six ways for retailers to make the most of the Easter rush

This article first appeared on the Sureswipe website.


The second-highest grossing holiday on the South African retail calendar is around the corner. Here are some ways you can prepare for consumers’ Easter shopping list.


The Easter weekend is usually four days long for consumers in South Africa, presenting the opportunity for retailers and business owners to boost their bottom line. Sales are known to increase by up to 50% during the Easter long weekend, indicating that the first major holiday after the Christmas season is a significant opportunity for retailers to generate sales.


Did you know?


Consumer activity tends to increase just before the Easter weekend, continuing into the following week, according to the Experian Footfall: Global shopper trends report. This gives you the opportunity to get your business ahead in earnings.


Get ready for Easter in these six simple steps


The Easter break is the best time to cash in on customers’ extra time with friends and family. Make sure they’re shopping for this occasion at your store by applying the following techniques to your sales efforts during this period:


1. Up the ante on your promotions


Shoppers are always drawn to sales and discounts, but attracting consumers is only half the work. To ensure each potential customer makes a purchase, your shop floor layout should encourage customers to browse and pick up items they wouldn’t have originally bought.

Having your discounts and loyalty programmes pre-programmed into your POS system also adds to convenience for shoppers who don’t want to spend their day off in a long queue waiting to pay for items and earn rewards or points.


2. Increase your presence online


Foot traffic no longer determines sales volumes. People are still buying, but they’ve moved online. In-store shopping is on the decline as it makes way for the convenience of shopping online. Consumers are opting for this method to avoid the hassle of long queues, road traffic and the general busyness of malls.


22.8% of Easter shoppers who are smartphone owners research products on their devices, while 14.9% will use their smartphones to make purchase a of products found either in-store or online.



In addition to traditional physical signage, add mobile promotions and marketing to your sales efforts. Make it easier for customers to buy the specials you promote online by offering online orders through a basic e-commerce app.


3. Increase points of payment to meet demand


Instead of relying on a few fixed points of sale, give your card paying customers the option of using Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) technology from anywhere in your store. These devices can help you reduce the lengthy queues that frustrate customers during this period.


Your differentiator this Easter can be quick and superior service – customers that don’t need to wait in long queues to pay for their purchases are likely to return, even after the holiday rush.


4. Speak to your customers in pictures


Forget the Easter bunny and other traditional symbols of the holiday. Try creating an emotional connection with lifestyle photos or images featuring your products and people in situations potential customers will relate to.


According to the NRF Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights, consumers celebrate Easter in a number of different ways:


· 58% will visit family and friends

· 56% will cook a holiday meal

· 51% will go to church

· 16% will go to a restaurant

· 31% of consumers plan an Easter egg hunt

· 14% will open gifts


Consider these scenarios when planning online or traditional campaigns for your Easter drive.


5. Take advantage of the post-holiday mood


While going all-in during the run up to the Easter rush is key, your business can see up to 25% more sales directly after a public holiday than two weeks prior to it.


Don’t be caught off guard while resting and recovering from the upsurge in sales over the holiday period. Put the same amount of effort into preparing for the post-holiday period so your business can cash in on holiday shopping.


6. Be prepared for the next round


The best way to do better next year is to take notes now. For example, if you know when you’re likely to be busy, you can put procedures in place to ensure you are able to meet customer service standards and demands. Take down important observations such as:


· What your customers are buying

· Peak trading times and days

· What went well and what didn’t

· Areas of improvement


Consider seeking advice from another established business owner in the area.

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