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3 Ways Retailers Can Win the Back-to-School Shopping Season

Back-to-school is the second biggest shopping season for U.S. retailers. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates consumers will spend $75.8 billion this year, up 11.5 percent from 2015. School shopping includes school supplies, clothes, electronics, and housewares for dorms.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are constantly looking for new ways to get a leg up on the competition. With back-to-school shopping in full swing, it’s crucial for retailers to convert browsing consumers into buyers.

Here are three tactics retailers can use to attract shoppers into their stores, so the merchants can earn a healthy return on their back-to-school promotion investments.

Shopping Appointments: Students’ and parents’ schedules are jammed. Merchants can capitalize on tight schedules by enabling customers to use retail scheduling software to book shopping appointments. Scheduling a shopping appointment that’s convenient for them enables the shopper fully engage in their in-store experience without feeling rushed. Appointments also enable retailers to manage personnel resources more effectively and ensure a seamless experience for shoppers and employees alike. These scheduled slots bring out the best of the in-store shopping and benefit both retailers and their customers.

Provide Knowledgeable Associates: Hire and train employees to be friendly, accessible and knowledgeable. The last thing any shopper wants on top of the built-in pressure of back-to-school shopping is a poor experience with a retail associate. Who you interact with in-store can make or break your shopping experience and could end your loyalty to that store or brand. Staff should be cross-trained to assist with all store departments so they can quickly assist any shopper.

Personalization: Providing a personalized customer experience is a great way for any retailer to stand out from the competition. Tailor the in-store visit to each individual customer and make them feel like a VIP. Having a 360-degree view of the customer and using data about their preferences—such as their buying history and that they are a rewards customer—can help retailers deliver a personal in-store experience during the back-to-school—or any—season.

To learn more about TimeTrade’s research on the latest trends in retail, and hear expert opinions from Scott Duby, Director, Global Consumer Industry for IBM, and Kim Garretson, Principal of Realizing Innovation and BrainTrust panel commentator for RetailWire.com, register for the webinar “Trends in Retail and the Personalized Experience” this Thursday, August 25 at 2:00 pm EDT.

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Written by Chris Carroll

I'm the Product Marketing Manager at TimeTrade. I focus on the customer experience of the product and use our customer learnings to help update our workflows and create materials to help train our users. I also focus on our client facing marketing programs, social media initiatives, and content curation.

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