How to make appointment-based shopping work

In many industries, customers have been used to booking ahead in recent years. Thankfully, things are getting back to normal thanks to widespread vaccine rollouts. However, the idea to book in advance to go to the grocery store is starting to lose favor, given that the immediate danger is over.

But shoppers who have had the chance to peruse entire stores in private or with a limited number of people find they like the idea. The idea of booking a private shopping spree was once reserved only for the elite.

To capitalize on this trend, retailers who want to attract more customers with the promise that they have unlimited access to their clothes, shoes and other merchandise will need to be aware of a few key points to ensure long-term success.

It should run like clockwork

It’s easy to implement a modern booking system in your business. This allows you to have a clear overview of your resources, such as staff schedules, personal notes, and a concierge-like calendar with customer appointments.

For example, a customer may prefer to shop in private in the morning, so store owners can take note and make use of it in any way that suits their needs. Owners can improve their customer service by taking into consideration this preference and making personal appointments as smooth as possible.

 

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The more information that retailers have about their customers, the better. If customers are offered special discounts and offers, they will be willing to share their information.

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Get the white gloves

Retailers have many options to personalize the shopping experience of their customers through appointment booking systems. Customers should be able to book personalized shopping appointments through loyalty programs, which allow them to reserve slots during less busy times such as weekends or holidays.

An interstitial questionnaire can be added by retailers to the pages where customers fill out their details to make an appointment or the page to choose the date that they wish to shop. This can give valuable information that can be combined with customer purchase history to present targeted offers later or used as a marketing incentive.

Retailers can send customers push notifications, text messages, and reminders to prevent no-shows.

Get everyone excited

Also, your staff must be familiar with how to service appointment shoppers. When welcoming private customers, make sure you have your most talented team members on the front line. These are your most talented and ambitious employees, who will be able to handle personal requests, make customized recommendations and upsell when necessary. To make repeat visits more memorable, retailers should pair private shoppers and employees.

Encourage your staff to accept a tip if they do a great job with a private client. Meritocratic sales environments produce better results because it encourages employees to put in more effort and time to help your company. It is the best way to get everyone involved in offering personalized shopping experiences.

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The danger is almost over, and many people are starting to shop in-store. However, there’s still the desire for a private or semi-private shopping experience. Customers who prefer to “revenge shop” over ordering online are eager to book private shopping trips. Retailers that can facilitate such experiences stand to gain.

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/how-to-make-appointment-based-shopping-work/

Amazon reportedly planning to open department stores

Amazon.com plans to open large retail stores that look like department stores, according to. According to sources familiar with the plans the newspaper reported that Amazon’s first department stores will be located in California and Ohio. These locations will cover approximately 30,000 square feet. This is about the same size as a Kohl’s store or T.J. Maxx, but less than a traditional department store. This move marks Amazon’s latest experiment in physical retail stores. According to the Journal, Amazon is expected to sell more technology and apparel products through its department stores.

Total Retail’s View: Here are some examples of the industry reactions to this news.

Amazon stated that they opened physical big-box stores to sell more and facilitate exchanges. However, their contribution to managing and reducing returns costs will be just as important.

Online returns have exploded because of the pandemic. Online shopping has made it easier for customers to return items they bought online. More physical stores will enable customers to try on products and return or exchange items in-store. This will reduce the number of returns to warehouses. This could help reduce supply chain backups.

“When you look at the holiday season and the way consumers will be shopping, retailers must be able to offer returns or exchanges in a way that is convenient for customers. Everyone wants to shop online, it’s just how they approach returns.” — David Malka Chief Sales Officer, GoTRG

Amazon’s ability to scale beyond cashier-less tech and a full-size department shop will send ripples through the retail industry. It gives a glimpse of the future. Amazon has demonstrated that both small and large brands are familiarizing themselves with contactless and tech-enabled shopping experiences, particularly during the COVID-19 epidemic. In the coming years, I expect other retailers to increase their ability to offer contactless shopping experiences with delivery services and curbside pick up. Joe Scioscia is Vice President of Sales at VAI

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Amazon’s plans for department stores are a testimony to its agility and set the stage for the future in retail and ecommerce. Consumers are looking for convenience. Amazon’s department stores make shopping online and in-store easy and convenient. Instead of waiting 24 hours to 48hrs for their favourite clothing, home goods, and electronics to be delivered, customers can now pick them up in-store to get instant gratification. Retailers need to remember this concept of agility as well as a diverse selling strategy when they try to remain competitive in the rapidly growing market. Amazon will make it difficult for individual sellers to select the products and brands that are sold on its marketplaces. It will be hard for individual sellers to get Amazon’s approval to place products on department store shelves. However, this presents a huge opportunity for brands to diversify and expand their selling strategies. Kunal Chopra CEO, Kaspien

Source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/amazon-reportedly-planning-to-open-department-stores/