6 Store Operations Essentials for the Holiday Shopping Season
Each year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are chalked out on the retail calendar. It’s a pre-seasonal time of immense opportunity for the retail sector and shoppers alike, and it’s also the perfect stage to prepare for the big holiday shopping season ahead.
Compared to a normal day, the global average increase in sales is 663% – with much higher growth rates in some countries.
As well as opportunities, this surge in sales presents a number of challenges for retailers – whether they operate physical stores, e-commerce channels or both.
What is the best way retailers can prepare for this sudden peak in activity?
In this blog, we explore the six ways to help scale retail operations and guarantee sales associates and distribution center teams have the flexibility to fulfill orders this coming Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping season.
1. Plan for the peak period
Waiting for the peak to begin is too late. Savvy shoppers will be researching deals early, and there will be a scramble across the retail sector to access finite resources.
Plan the following aspects of store operations as early as possible:
- Communicate special offers early and manage inventory accordingly.
- Ensure store associates have the flexibility to cope with the extra fulfillment demands.
- Opt for technology – like barcode scanning smartphones – that gives store associates flexibility and can be integrated quickly.
- If required, be in a position to onboard temporary staff quickly.
- If you use third-party shipping, ensure suppliers have additional capacity that you can tap into.
2. Stock up with smart data capture technology
Initially, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were limited to just two days. Now, the event is drawn out, with many retailers starting their sales early. The frenzy then of course continues well into December with the full holiday shopping season.
Be prepared for those early deal-hunters, so that orders can be fulfilled earlier than might be expected. Equally, some retailers are now extending their offers over weeks and even across November.
Choose the products for Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion well in advance – particularly if they have long sourcing lead times.
Increased demand places extra pressure on retailers to have more fulfillment capacity and stock available.
Adopting technology like Scandit’s Smart Data Capture on smartphones for store operations gives store associates complete transparency on stock availability anywhere in the store.
Employees can capture barcodes from multiple items on a shelf in a single scan with 100% accuracy and view real-time stock information on the device screen using MatrixScan AR.
3. Maximize staff resources with added flexibility
Extra capacity is one thing. But getting value from an existing store labor force, especially during holiday shopping seasons, is another, since resources are often limited.
Scandit Smart Data Capture gives every store associate a pocket assistant and the flexibility to do an array of tasks with one device. Employees managing shelves can easily switch to order picking for example.
Scandit’s enterprise-grade software turns any smart camera-enabled device into a reliable high-performance barcode scanning tool, so staff can flexibly switch between daily tasks to meet fulfillment demands.
See how easy in-store picking is with Scandit’s SDK barcode scanner and MatrixScan AR on a smartphone app:
Because smartphone scanning can be used on an employee’s own mobile device (BYOD), it’s easier to enlist temporary staff during the holiday shopping season, leveraging the gig economy.
Without needing to purchase additional scanning devices, any employee with a camera-enabled mobile device is ready to go, meaning you can scale up quickly.
See how The Warehouse scaled up order fulfillment in just 4 weeks here.
4. Offer additional fulfillment options
Not everyone wants to shop in-store or to have their goods delivered to them.
Offering a choice of delivery options might be the difference between a consumer choosing you over another retailer.
For instance, according to research, the global Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) market is expected to reach $703.18 Billion by 2027, expanding with a double digital CAGR of 19.3% during 2021-2027
Whether BOPIS, curbside pickup, or same day delivery, they all require an efficient customer pick-up service.
Retailers are turning to smartphone scanning with the addition of technology like Scandit’s MatrixScan AR to help.
Employees can scan multiple orders in one go and identify a customer’s order in seconds. See how quickly:
5. What’s trending?
It’s obvious retailers will want to highlight their best-selling products during the seasonal peak.
But some goods will trend depending on what is happening in the world.
For example, home office equipment, exercise equipment, leisure wear and beauty products all trended in the last couple of years due to the pandemic. For 2022? Are electric blankets the must-have item? Who knows, but smartphones and other smart devices always make a nice present…
6. Add smart data capture well before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season
Scaling up retail operations to meet demand in time for seasonal peaks is quick and simple with smartphone scanning from Scandit Smart Data Capture.
The Scandit Software Development Kit (SDK) works in any lighting conditions, including the harsh glare typically found in a store and the low lighting found in distribution centers and back-of-house facilities. It also works on over 20,000 different smartphone models and can scan any barcode type including non-barcoded items.
Integration of our Web SDK into an existing web app takes just a few hours. And after thorough testing to ensure user acceptance and widespread rollout, a store associate scanning application can be ready within a few weeks.
Scandit teams are also on hand to provide support at every step from evaluation to day-to-day operations.
If you want to get your retail operations ready in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, contact us today.