The results are in, and retailers won big over Thanksgiving weekend. From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online, surpassing the 164 million estimated shoppers from National Retail Federation. Here are some of the major takeaways from retail’s big weekend:
Omnichannel Shoppers Spend More
This year, 58 million consumers shopped exclusively online and 51 million shopped exclusively in-store. However, 64 million consumers shopped online and in-store – and spent more in the process. The multichannel shopper spent an average of $82 more than the online-only shopper and $49 more than the in-store shopper. This only reinforces the importance of having a robust omnichannel strategy that can meet shoppers wherever and whenever they want to shop.
Price Is Just One Factor
While price is a serious motivating factor, it isn’t the only factor; shopper experience cannot be overlooked. With brands like Walmart and Amazon, engaging in a price war will only result in futile efforts. Instead, retailers should shift their focus to the creation of seamless shopping experiences that incorporate both the physical and digital realms. From offering services like in-store order pickup to using brick-and-mortars as fulfillment centers to ensure fast delivery, retailers need to rethink how they approach the sales cycle if they want to stay competitive in 2018 and beyond.
Efficient Inventory Management is Essential
With so many ways to shop, managing inventory is becoming increasingly challenging. There’s no time when inventory accuracy is as important as it is during the holiday months. While having record-breaking Black Friday sales is great, it can be detrimental if retailers are unable to re-stock their shelves and continually replenish inventory levels. Just as retailers use technology to enhance customer experience, it can also be used to maximize operations, such as providing up to date inventory data. The more accurate the data, the more effectively they can execute omnichannel strategies.
Understaffing Hurts Profitability
It is essential that stores are adequately staffed during this busy shopping period. Retailers often lose frustrated customers when store associates can’t be found. According to Retail Dive, A third of customers who experienced a problem at apparel stores were not able to locate sales help, and 6% of all possible sales are lost because of lack of service. Hiring additional staff members isn’t the only solution – arming your sales force with the right technology, such as mobile POS systems, can drastically increase employee productivity and free up valuable time.
The Power of the Millennial
The biggest spenders of the big weekend were Millennials, ages 25-34. According to National Retail Federation they spent an average of $419.52. Millennials prefer experiences to things, so retailers have an opportunity to attract this demographic by offering them unique experiences. Additionally, in-store shopping is greatly influenced by Millennial mobile users, from looking up products and comparing prices to making purchases.
The big takeaway is that now more than ever before, the customer experience must be top of mind for retailers. Brands that understand how to incorporate technology and omnichannel solutions into their business strategy will not only be successful in their Black Friday 2018 efforts, but in their overall success as a company.
This article is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2017 holiday shopping season. For more information, connect with us on Facebook!