Maximize Holiday Sales with Seamless Omnichannel Solutions

Nov 03 2023

Explore Icreon’s Ecommerce Solutions

Transform Retail for Holiday Success: Embrace Omnichannel Integration

Forget the old ways of holiday retail prep – forecasting stock, setting prices, and hoping customers show up. Today's shoppers expect brands to meet them wherever they are, online or in-store. In the era of traditional brick-and-mortar retail, this meant engaging in extensive planning with vendors, optimizing store hours, and ensuring sufficient staffing, all with the goal of having the right products available to prevent customers from turning to competitors.

Today, technology offers enhanced insights and opportunities, yet the complexity of holiday readiness persists. Discover how omnichannel retail readiness is the superior way to maximize sales, ensuring a dynamic and responsive approach that keeps customers for life.

Enter Omnichannel Retail Holiday Readiness

Today, Omnichannel Retail Holiday Readiness means embracing technology to predict customer demands while navigating the added complexity it brings to holiday preparation. It goes beyond traditional brick-and-mortar preparations by integrating five strategic focus areas, ensuring your brand is where your customers are - both online and in-store. The approach isn't just a necessity—it's your brand's opportunity to stand out in a crowded marketplace by delivering seamless, customer-centric experiences across all channels.

Brands should be prepared to leverage their competitive advantage of a robust retail store presence to facilitate sales from social media, marketplaces, subscriptions, ecommerce, and pop-up shops, while simultaneously meeting the needs of shoppers in-store. These strategies are increasingly important during the busiest shopping season when your brand has more opportunities to capture sales and keep the customer for life.

Five Key Strategies for Omnichannel Excellence

There are five strategic areas of focus that retail brands need to consider in the new era of the modern selling environment. Customers have grown accustomed to the comfort of shopping wherever and whenever they want. To meet these expectations, brands must ensure they implement flexible strategies for the new retail landscape.

1. Unified Shopping Experience

The days of internal battles between online and store channels should be forgotten. Today's customers want the freedom to buy anywhere and return anywhere – and the brands winning their loyalty are those making it seamless. A “unified shopping experience” means positive interactions from the moment a customer discovers you to long after their purchase, driving brand loyalty that lasts all year. Leading brands seamlessly integrate their retail operations into the consumer's journey from the initial discovery to post-sale support, cultivating brand advocates in the process.

To achieve this, it's essential to establish sales goals and revenue recognition policies that encourage every store to enhance the customer experience throughout the sales process. This will drive brand loyalty across all channels, internally and externally, especially during the busiest traffic time of the year. A cross-channel sales goal strategy aids store morale so that when associates are taking the time to fulfill web orders, they can be assured that those orders will not detract from reaching their personal or store goals.

Key strategies include:

  • Unified Customer Experience: Ensure a consistent and positive journey for customers, blending discovery, purchase, and post-sale support seamlessly across all channels.
  • Motivational Sales Goals: Create sales and revenue policies that incentivize a customer-centric approach, rewarding efforts that enhance experiences and build loyalty.
  • Flexible Sales Strategies:Encourage a culture where online and in-store sales are equally valued, aligning goals across channels to improve the overall customer experience.
  • Dedicated Fulfillment Teams:Employ specialists in your stores dedicated to fulfilling orders from all channels accurately, ensuring inventory levels are well-managed to meet customer demand throughout the season.

By treating all sales channels as a single cohesive entity, brands can meet the modern consumer's expectations for flexibility and convenience. Implementing these customer experience strategies not only drives brand loyalty but also boosts morale among staff, who can take pride in contributing to a unified goal. As the retail environment evolves, adopting a unified shopping experience will be key to staying competitive and maintaining customer loyalty.



Unlock the secrets to elevating customer engagement through AI and Machine Learning. Discover the transformative power of personalized recommendation systems with our comprehensive guide.


Get Your E-book Today!

2. Modernize Inventory & Fulfillment Strategies

When you look to unite channels into one single strategy and determine the resources to support them, you need to consider how to compete in fulfilling customer demand most efficiently. As consumers increasingly value speed and convenience, exemplified by the rapid delivery services offered by giants like Amazon and Walmart, retailers must adapt by integrating their physical stores into their broader distribution network. This approach not only optimizes shipping costs but also aligns with consumer demands for quick, convenient shopping experiences.

Using stores as fulfillment hubs in regions or cities to both reduce the cost to ship but also meet the demands of customers for next-day or two-day standards set by other brands in the marketplace. Innovative brands are maximizing how they can leverage stores close to their customers by implementing last-mile delivery services, BOPIS integrations, smart routing, and fulfillment prioritization. These strategies allow retailers to offer customers more ways to procure gifts so that they can cross off items on their holiday lists. Empowering stores to be the center of the distribution strategy, in conjunction with allowing vendors and DCs to replenish stores directly, enables stores to increase their inventory levels to power through bursts of traffic, especially during the 5 busy weekends between US Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Cross-channel inventory visibility is also vital for creating the best online and in-store experiences, especially in inventory crunch times. Being able to close the sale of a last-minute gift for a customer’s shopping list, even with a different local store’s inventory, increases overall conversion rates and gross margins. Too often the out-of-stock experience will result in customers having to choose their backup option for the gift, and this is not always from the same brand. Having visibility into other locations’ inventory on hand is critical, and operating an endless aisle option with same-day courier delivery or in-store pickup is going to set brand leaders apart and build their customer loyalty.

3. Expand Your Stores’ Outreach

Customers are always on the go and the holidays only amplify this. Brands need to capture that moment they have their customers’ attention wherever that might be. Leading brands have leveraged platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others to start to tell their brand story. Having a cutting-edge marketing strategy is great but how brands build on that brand discovery experience into something more robust can be better achieved with a good store plan to complement and enhance the customer experience. Make your customer experience unique by incorporating all your digital and physical assets into the customer journey pre-, during, and post-sale.

The holidays offer a great opportunity to consider pop-up events to reach customers. Stores should look to network across community events early in the holiday season to showcase seasonal offerings and establish that connection with shoppers for when they are ready to buy. This will also enable you to capture earlier cycle buyers and expand your holiday season calendar with a few extra events. Leveraging these events to tie into personalization later will give your brand more recognition with customers. Promote products you have that are ideal for gift-giving and play to the strengths of being a local business to appeal to those looking to shop with a more personal, community-driven brand.

Client characteristics, online shopping history, and wish lists through modern POS combined with outreach and personalized curation go a long way. Having that direct line of communication to a customer that an item they have been eyeing is back in stock at the local store and being able to sell it remotely via a remote pay link, fulfilling it to handover in-store or via courier delivery will create an everlasting positive impression of the store’s role with the customer to promote future traffic.

4. Reinvent the In-Store Experience

Traditional stores need a revamp to stay competitive! Beyond just fulfilling online orders, businesses need to focus on strategies that actively bring customers into their locations. The in-store experience is more than leveraging stores for fulfillment options like BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up in Store) and BORIS (Buy Online, Return in Store) anymore. Utilizing advanced marketing communication tools enables retailers to gain insights and tailor their offerings to meet customer needs effectively, thereby elevating the overall shopping experience.

With the return season right after the busy sales season, it is important to ensure that you are encouraging the store to promote exchanges and have lasting positive experiences with your brand. Preparing the proper messages in your communication and ensuring it is modified with holiday callouts like extended hours or return windows will reduce confusion and provide peace of mind that customers can get into your store whenever it fits into their hectic holiday schedules. Utilizing modern delivery architecture for your marketing communications will give your team the right insights to best serve the customer while highlighting the benefits of each channel along the way.

The best-in-class brands are offering experiential buying experiences by offering events or limited-time dual-purposed branding of the retail space. Introduce focused events in your stores in the months of October and November to target your desired customers. These events can be anything from a fall product reveal to a nonprofit sip & shop, to family-friendly events that bring multiple types of shoppers together under your brand.

5. Implementing Omnichannel Excellence

Planning for the busy season can take focus away from how to most efficiently work with the assets you have at your disposal and cause a loss of sales across the business. By adopting an Omnichannel strategy, you are setting your brand up for year-round success. This approach ensures that wherever your customers are, your brand is there too, ready to meet their needs with efficiency, creativity, and care.

Focus on bringing your channels into one cohesive team to unlock the omnichannel experience that your customers desire. Achieving Omnichannel readiness requires a strategic overhaul of your retail approach. Here's how to start:

  • Simplify the Complex: Break down silos between online and offline channels, ensuring your team works towards a unified goal.
  • Embrace Technology: modern POS systems and inventory management tools to keep pace with customer expectations and streamline operations.
  • Customer-Centric Approach:Tailor your strategies to meet the needs of your shoppers, from personalized communication to flexible delivery options.

Implement these strategies to not just survive the holiday rush but to thrive in it, turning seasonal shoppers into lifelong customers. Omnichannel Retail Holiday Readiness is your blueprint for a festive season that exceeds expectations, builds customer loyalty, and drives growth. Let this holiday season be the moment your brand truly shines, embracing the future of retail with open arms.

The Omnichannel Promise

Implementing an omni-focused strategy to fulfill a high-demand season will allow you to be more flexible and carry products where you can meet the needs of all channels. More importantly, take a personal approach that allows your stores to understand and communicate with your customers in a more meaningful way. This will continue to drive relevancy to the retail channel while building trust with your customers that they can buy from your brand anywhere and return anywhere.

At Icreon, our expertise in omnichannel retail solutions enables businesses to not only meet but exceed customer expectations, ensuring a seamless and integrated shopping experience across all channels. From integrating cutting-edge technology to refining your in-store and online presence, Icreon is your partner in achieving omnichannel excellence.

For more helpful tips, advice, and best practices on how to improve your omnichannel presence, start a conversation with our Ecommerce Solutions experts.