Spread the year-end revenue boost into 2014
December 24, 2013
Small and midsize retailers may want to consider taking advantage of integrated payment systems as they look for ways to keep shoppers interested in the first few weeks following the holiday shopping rush.
The year-end race for revenue has officially come to a close. According to a report released by the analytics firm ShopperTrak, the week of Dec. 16 to Dec. 22 saw a nationwide decrease in brick-and-mortar sales of 3.1 percent compared to the same week in 2012. In fact, overall in-store traffic during the same time period was 21.2 percent less than it was the previous year. Depending on how successful businesses were during the early part of the holiday shopping season - especially on days such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday - this sudden downward trend may be a cause for concern. Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak, said in a press release that activity will likely pick back up immediately after Christmas.
"Many people who have the day after Christmas off of work will be out shopping for end-of-season deals," Martin explained. "Retailers should track their stores' conversion rates closely to turn more after-Christmas browsers into buyers."
Ensuring steady shopper traffic all year round may seem largely out of the control of small-business owners. However, realizing these goals becomes much easier when stores pay closer attention to improving their payment processing options.
One of the most effective ways to maximize year-round revenue in the retail industry is to adapt to changing consumer preferences. A recent article from Business 2 Community said smartphones and tablets will soon be as widespread as desktop computers. More than ever before, shoppers are using these mobile devices to browse for products and make purchases. By investing in technology that makes it easier to accept credit card payments from mobile channels, enterprises can leverage these trends to their own advantage.
Focus on customer retention
Another important area of concern in the retail industry is finding tools to engage shoppers in ways that will keep them coming back in the long run. For example, gift card programs and loyalty programs allow businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors by inviting their most frequent visitors to receive rewards for their purchases. This focus on retaining customers will likely be much more effective than any other marketing strategy centered around targeting new visitors.