In the past, some looked forward to the holiday rush, while other dreaded the types of customers they might have to deal with. One thing we want to emphasize for this particular year is this: Every Opportunity Matters
Your customers, new or old, need to be made to feel special more than ever before. Nothing can be taken for granted, nothing can be overlooked. This season is questionable the most important holiday season in your history. The question then becomes, what are you going to do about it?
The Customer Types:
First, I want to take a look at the types of customers that could be coming through your door. Even with the occupancy restrictions some retailers face, there will likely be an increase in foot traffic over the holidays. These holiday shoppers come in all shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common: they’re all looking for the perfect gifts. You could argue that if someone is coming in during the 2020 season, they are on a mission! Some shoppers know exactly what they want. Others have no clue. For some, the total shopping experience is a matter of hours. For others, it may take months. So, we thought we’d share our insights with you and profile some different types of holiday shoppers that still hold true during the post-pandemic world we live in. You’ll probably recognize them and may even find a category that you fit into as well.
The Day-After-Christmas Shopper: While everyone else is busy with returns and exchanges, these people are actually buying gifts for next year! Planning ahead is one thing, but 364 days ahead?!
The Year-Round Shopper: The ones we all love to hate. By the time September or November rolls around, they have all their gifts already purchased, wrapped and hidden away. No one should be allowed to be this organized.
The Beat-the-Crowds Shopper: Panics at the mere thought of getting caught up in the holiday shopping crowds. To avoid the onset of an anxiety attack, this shopper promptly proceeds to the stores and purchases all their gifts in a matter of hours. It doesn’t matter what they buy, as long as they buy something. This may even translate to “I don’t want to be around a lot of people” shopper, but still needs to physically go into your store to find what they are looking for.
The Sale Shopper: Never dares to pay full price for anything. Buys holiday gifts only when they are on sale. Starts shopping for linens during the January white sales, buys sweaters during the winter clearance sales, shorts and short-sleeved shirts during summer clearance sales, etc.
The Day-After-Thanksgiving Shopper: Everyone in the world including their mother, father, brother, sister, niece, nephew and third cousin. Many will be forced to go online to find the best “Black Friday” deals, your goal needs to be to get in front of these people with YOUR deals in ANYWAY possible.
The Just-in-Case Shopper: Doesn’t leave anything to chance. Buys extra gifts—just in case. Just in case the baby due in late January is early, just in case Susie finally decides to bring her boyfriend home from college, just in case a long lost relative shows up.
The Indecisive Shopper: Knows exactly what they’re looking for until they find it. Then proceeds to spend hours deliberating and wondering if this really is the perfect gift.
The Two-Item Shopper: Can’t be bothered worrying about who wants what. Buys two items: aftershave for men, perfumed soaps for women. Who ever said Christmas shopping was difficult?
The Christmas Eve Shopper: Runs in frantically looking for that perfect gift. Is so desperate, will buy anything at any price. Most frequently asked question is “Can this be returned?”
The Christmas Morning Shopper: Drives all around town on the way to the in-laws looking for any open store (clothing, drug, grocery) while arguing with spouse. He thought she bought a gift. She thought he bought a gift.
Regardless of the “type” of customer that comes through your door, one thing needs to be engrained in your mind, treat them with so much service and enthusiasm that they end up LOVING their experience.
If you are a retailer who has seasonal staff, or new hires to help plan for the holiday rush, it is critical that those individuals understand how much they need to value each customer that comes through the door. The best way to do that, is by training them on a level of customer service and operational standards to ensure EVERYONE feels good when they shop with you.
There is no room for any half-measures when it comes to customer service this season. Your team needs to be ready to engage, to support and to follow up with customers.
We also understand that there is timing constraint for many of you, but we have a solution that would be perfect for ANY retailer.
We have developed a Sales 101 course, which takes all our key concepts from our Professional Sales Training (Gold Star Selling) and summarizes them into an online training that can be completed in under 2 hours.
Additionally, since many businesses are encouraging their sales teams to engage with customers through social media or text messaging, we built a “How To” course on properly engaging with customers using a text or social media platform. It is crucial that your team communicates appropriately with your customers, especially if there is hesitation on physically coming into your store. There are ways to make them feel supported, heard and thought of by using remote channels and we believe it is a great way to add an extra layer of communication for your stores.
Both these courses are available in our Holiday Bundle, and are perfect for getting your team trained up quickly for the 2020 season.
Remember, EVERY OPPORTUNITY MATTERS, do not let any of your customers leave without some level of engagement. We all need a win this year, so make sure your team is ready for the rush, even if its slightly limited due to any occupancy restrictions.
We are here to help, and want to provide any insight we have into what other successful retail operations are doing to plan for this year. If you ever want to chat, we are here for you! You can reach out to us anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or can schedule a meeting with us directly on our calendar here.