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Get your retailers ready for the holidays

Can’t-miss advice to help retailers maximize 2019 holiday sales while keeping lines short.

October 14, 2019

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s important that retailers have their IT streamlined and ready for the seasonal rush. Have you checked in with them lately to address any last-minute needs? While it’s probably too late for you to make massive changes to their POS technology, there are a few small tweaks that can yield a considerable ROI.

Add a mobile component
Depending on your customers’ business and existing POS software, it might be possible to reduce the length of lines and wait times by adding a mobile POS and/or payments device to their operation. Many retail software vendors have created tablet versions of their software that allow you to purchase another license, enter in some credentials and begin checking out customers. Such “card only” queue-busting solutions enable retailers to create ad hoc checkout areas throughout the store to improve the shopping experience and raise customer satisfaction levels.

Ensure mobile wallets can be accepted
Contactless transactions take only a couple of seconds compared with traditional EMV transactions. These precious seconds can add up and be the difference between an extended wait line and a short one. While there won’t yet be many contactless cards in U.S. circulation this holiday season, there are plenty of mobile wallet users who will benefit.

Most retailers with modern payment terminals can accept NFC-based contactless payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. If they currently can't accept contactless payments, you might simply need to enable the payment type within the terminal settings. No matter what, you should inform your retailers about their contactless payment options so they can educate their workers and communicate effectively with customers.

Make use of CRM and loyalty features
If retailers have been paying attention and you’ve been advising them well, they will have been collecting customer email addresses and other data for analytics and sending marketing campaigns. Even if this data has been sitting unused, it will soon be the perfect time to utilize it. Their existing POS software might have loyalty/marketing components built in that can be immediately used to send coupons, discounts and promotions to drive sales during the holidays. If they don’t have access to loyalty features, standalone offerings are readily accessible and can be easily deployed in time for the holidays.

Collect customer data for the future
If your retailers aren’t ready to embrace loyalty programs or market to their customers via email or text this holiday season, the increase in traffic over the next few months will be a great time to collect customer contact information for the future. Confirm the capabilities of their existing software, deploy a new solution for CRM/marketing if necessary, and train them on the value of collecting this information from their customers during the checkout process.

The holidays can be a stressful time for both shoppers and retailers. With the right application of technology, wait times and lines can be shortened while sales can be increased. It’s not too late to make a positive impact on the 2019 holiday shopping season. For more information, contact Daryl Schuster, Ingram Micro’s DCPOS expert.