Add sparkle to your bottom line this holiday season
It’s that time of year when businesses start checking stock, filling shelves, and staffing up ahead of the holiday rush. And, while all industries still face economic challenges, these can turn into opportunities that add sparkle to your bottom line.
Challenges by industry:
Retail: higher prices may prompt consumers to buy less and spend less.
Health and wellbeing: people may ‘let go’ subscriptions to save on outgoings.
Hair and beauty: customers may visit less frequently.
Travel: people may put off travel or choose less expensive destinations.
The more you prepare, the better equipped you’ll be to turn these challenges into opportunities. Keep reading for an overview of the economic headwinds facing you and your customers this holiday season. Let us help you make this year your best holiday season yet.
Everyone's feeling the pinch.
Inflation has changed customers’ shopping habits. Rising costs have led 42% more shoppers worldwide to buy gifts earlier this year1.
They're cutting spending overall, putting off major purchases and shopping for discounts. While there are exceptions in some regions, pandemic restraints continue to disrupt the economy.
Take-out: Give shoppers discounts and more ways to pay.
2. Supply chain disruptions
Will Santa still deliver?
Supply chain disruptions are impacting countries around the world. Out-of-stock items have caused nearly 80% of US customers to walk, rather than wait2, for stores to restock their shelves. These figures are likely to be similar in our part of the world.
Even if you’re in a service-based business, supply chain issues can put a dent in the service your customers and clients have come to expect. Remember how the shortage of rubber gloves impacted all sorts of businesses during the height of the pandemic!
Take-out: Stay one step ahead of supply chain disruption with a tech-leading inventory management solution, providing real-time data to help your business keep shelves stocked.
3. Staff shortages
Where have all the workers gone?
A recent study predicts a global talent shortage of more than 85 million workers by 20303. That’s roughly the population of Germany!
When you find good employees, retention is key, and technology can help. Automating manual processes can help reduce employee frustrations. It also frees up valuable time that employees can use to focus on better serving your customers—a win-win for you, your customers and your team.
Take-out: Get the latest digital solutions and payments technology, like integrating payments into your business management software, to give your employees the power to complete tasks quickly and efficiently.
4. The pandemic
The gift that keeps on giving.
The pandemic continues to add to the underlying causes of inflation, supply chain disruption and staffing shortages. But there's also a significant long-term impact—its lasting effect on global commerce.
COVID-19 has altered commerce permanently. Worldwide, customers now expect businesses to offer a variety of ways to shop—in person, online or on-the-go. And they expect businesses to provide a variety of payment options, especially contactless payments.
Take-out: Offer the preferred payment methods your customers expect.
Strategies to come out on top
The challenges facing businesses are huge - impacting the affordability, availability and convenience of goods and services. But there are opportunities wrapped up in these challenges.
The following strategies will help you focus on your customers' needs and deliver a great shopping experience, whether in person, online or on the go:
Availability: Manage inventory in real time.
Affordability: Provide preferred payment options.
Convenience: Create a uniﬁed, omnichannel shopping experience.
Service: Put technology to work.
1. Make a list and check it twice
Invest in real-time inventory management
Consumers are resilient. To get ahead of availability and affordability concerns, they are shopping earlier, looking for discounts, switching to less expensive alternatives and being more selective in what they buy—and how.
Forty-two percent of shoppers world-wide plan to buy gifts earlier this year over 2021.
Out-of-stock items have caused more than 75% of consumers to walk, rather than wait, for stores to replenish their shelves.
Make sure your goods and services are available.
Keep a close eye on stock this holiday season, when supply chain issues remain a concern. Keep your customers shopping with you—and not elsewhere—by managing inventory in real time.
- Know what's in stock at all times, across all channels, with real-time data at the SKU (stock-keeping unit) level.
- Get alerts when stock is low, so you can reorder—before losing a sale due to a lack of product.
- Know what your customers want before they want it by analysing transaction data to optimise supplies.
Despite supply chain disruptions, proactively managing your inventory will help keep your shelves well-stocked for holiday gift-giving and beyond.
Customers will keep you on their nice list
Make sure you have a POS solution that can help you accurately manage your inventory and offers powerful back-office software that makes running your entire business easy.
2. Give the gift of convenience
Let customers shop when, where and how they want
Supply chain concerns and staffing shortages greatly affect the convenience of holiday shopping. Consumers have enough on their minds this shopping season. Make it easy to shop with a personalised, connected and seamless experience —online, in store or on-the-go.
Deliver the omnichannel shopping experience that customers expect, and reap the rewards.
Whether shopping for gifts on their laptop late at night, making mobile purchases over coffee in the morning or picking up those purchases in-store that afternoon, customers expect a connected, seamless shopping experience.
Omnichannel shoppers—or customers who use both physical and digital channels—spend four times as much as store-only customers and 10 times more than digital-only customers.
Wrap customer service in a seamless, omnichannel package
Ezidebit’s all-in-one payments solution enables you to provide more seamless buying experiences across more channels, locations and devices.
Give customers more preferred payment options
Regardless of where your customers shop, make sure you offer their preferred payment methods at this critical point—the purchase.
Nearly half of customers buy more from businesses that offer their preferred form of payment.
Here are some preferred payment options you may want to consider for your business.
Digital wallets offer frictionless, secure and fast in-store and online contactless payments. Customers are increasingly comfortable paying with these digital transactions that may account for over half of ecommerce payments by 2024.
Mobile payments turn any digital channel—SMS, email, social commerce and more—into a simple and secure checkout that allows customers to pay anywhere, at any time.
Click and collect has grown in popularity since the pandemic. Customers make quick, seamless online purchases, then conveniently collect their items in-store or curbside within hours. This can be a preferred compromise to long lines compounded by staff shortages this holiday season.
Whether shopping early to avoid availability and affordability concerns—or shopping last-minute—help customers this holiday season by providing a convenient, seamless omnichannel shopping experience.
Holiday shopping—however your customers want to pay
Make sure you accept your customers' preferred payments, including digital wallets and all card payments (Visa/Mastercard and Amex).
3. Service with a smile
Keep customers (and employees) happy
Don’t let staff shortages keep you from delighting customers and employees this holiday season. You can do both!
Upgrade your systems to the latest technology to automate manual tasks and improve employee efficiency.
Reduce employee training time with easy-to-use software and hardware solutions.
Enable employees to accept payments from anywhere—in store, online or on the go.
Investing in the latest technology has far-reaching beneﬁts for businesses. It can reduce manual labour (think typing on keyboards or entering numbers manually into tablets) and give employees time back to devote to customer service. Happier employees attract happier customers.
Fifty-four percent of managers say outdated technology is their employees’ biggest frustration.
Technology not only helps you avoid long lines and unhappy customers, it can also help keep employees happy and more efficient.
Pulling it all together
You can turn these challenges into business opportunities with a solid understanding of the economic headwinds as we move into the 2022 holiday shopping season. Make sure products are available when and where your customers want them, with affordable options to purchase and with the convenience today’s customers expect.
If you’re ready to meet your customers’ expectations this holiday season, get in touch. Our team can help you determine the best options for your business.