There’s no denying it. On the whole, Christmas 2012 was an off-period for many retailers.
Nordstrom and Costco can be proud to call this period a success, though even more stores are reeling from 3.4% less sales and a 16.4% traffic drop, according to a report by analysis firm RetailNext. This was due in part to the shifting of the most important days on the calendar, as the days with the most sales were Saturday, December 22 and Black Friday. Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart have extended their online price match policies to the end of 2013, further indicating the sore state of last year’s holiday shopping. In spite of hiring 728,300 workers for 2012 (most of whom are temporary), retailers have seen less purchases from customers who saved their limited income in the anticipation of paying higher taxes.
And, of course, there were moments like this.
Some shoppers no doubt have wished for a quicker, more efficient and personal experience in their gift-buying trips, especially on Black Friday and the last days before December 25 where hour-long queues rule the sales floor. (I know I have, as I personally had spent 4 hours on Black Friday 2010 waiting on a sale item that wasn’t in stock…) Retailers have noticed this year after year, and are taking some steps in the hope of improving customer service.
We believe that one of those steps includes the incorporation of a retail system that optimizes the transaction process, where customers approach employees unbound by a checkout or service desk which often holds an expensive, stationary POS terminal. Synchronized with a secure database in the cloud, iPods and iPhones connected to a portable scanner and card reader can carry out many of the same functions a stationary POS terminal does at a fraction of the cost, allowing the retailer to replace the checkout desks with more merchandise. This puts the retailer in a prime position to better serve the customer while bringing in more of what the customer wants — more items to browse, a personal shopping experience, and a fast, safe, reliable transaction, wherever he happens to be on the floor. In a word, this is the Iconic Retail experience, and, as was explained in November, is the wave of retail’s future.
If you are interested in learning more about our mobile sales system and how you can build one into your business, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We will be happy to assist you in your journey to a blacker bottom line and a brighter tomorrow.