50 million People Are Expected to Travel This Thanksgiving: How to Make Sure Your Business Is Ready for Them

Hustle and Cashflow is a blog that aims to educate millennials on personal finance.

Despite the fact that the virus is still ravaging the country and workers are in limited supply, customers are likely to be on the move again this Christmas season. They are prepared to travel in historic numbers in order to break free from lockdown once and for all, and will almost certainly go on a collective shopping spree in the process. What actions can you take as a business owner to stay one step ahead of your competitors as you strive to provide the perfect purchase experience?

Make browsing and purchasing simple and enjoyable.

Whether you have a physical store, an online business, or both, paying attention to how your products are sold and displayed should be one of your top responsibilities. A congested room or website can generate buyer confusion and aggravation, and in many circumstances, the client will leave or click away. As a result, spend some time and thought working out how you’ll market and highlight your products and services throughout this busy buying season.
For a physical store, this will entail conducting market research and prominently displaying the most popular items. Supplementary or peripheral products can be sold alongside them to improve the buyer’s overall experience. Similarly, your website should be created to be simple to navigate and understand. Make it simple to find things while also providing more information about connected items. If you do that, your profits are sure to increase.

Customers that have been loyal to you should be rewarded.

Everyone likes getting rewarded for being a loyal customer. As a result, client loyalty programmes have grown commonplace in the retail industry. In fact, many customers have come to expect these perks, so don’t leave your loyal customers out in the cold.
If you’ve upgraded your point of sale (POS) system in the last few years, it’s probable that it has all of the features you’ll need to set up and run a world-class customer loyalty programme. All that’s required is that you obtain authorization from your clients to store their contact information in a database. Once you have those details, you can use them to send promotional emails and shower your most loyal customers with points, discounts, and freebies to encourage them to visit your physical or online store throughout the holiday season.

Provide more secure payment options.

If your consumers are visiting you in person, at least some of them may be concerned about their physical security. You can endear yourself to your customers by doing everything you can to support hygienic and socially responsible behaviours. They are more likely to do business with you if they can see firsthand that you prioritise their well-being.
Adding contactless credit card readers to your business model is one of the most effective ways to express your dedication. These gadgets communicate with customers’ smartphones and wearables using near-field communication (NFC) technology, allowing purchases to be conducted without any physical contact between buyer and seller. The shopper must simply create a digital wallet with their payment details and then access it at the time of purchase. All essential information is relayed to the proper parties in seconds, identity and account balance are checked, and the payment is approved – all while maintaining the highest level of security.
Furthermore, contactless credit card scanners allow for a quick check-out, which reduces customer annoyance and improves the whole shopping experience. This winning combination of speed, safety, and security is likely to keep customers coming back for more. It may even motivate them to recommend your store to their friends and family.

Provide as much payment flexibility as possible.

Today’s buyers want options not only in terms of the things they can buy, but also in terms of how they pay for them. You’ll be more likely to grab additional money if you upgrade your POS solution to take all forms of payment. Take a look at the various payment options offered to today’s customers:
• Cash.
• Checks.
• Debit and credit cards
• Debit cards are accepted.
• Gift certificates.
• Electronic checks (echecks), commonly known as ACH payments (automated clearing house). Your customers’ money can be automatically taken from their bank accounts and transferred to yours using these transactions.
• Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
• The use of foreign currencies. If you do business online with customers from foreign nations, you should allow them to pay in the currency that they are most familiar with.
Offering maximum purchasing options, such as recurring payments and multicurrency conversion, demonstrates to your customers that you are devoted to providing them with as much ease as possible.

Provide a multichannel experience.

Today’s astute businesses don’t rely solely on one method of sales. Many have physical and online storefronts, as well as a sizable social media following. They respond to their consumers’ growing preference for browsing and shopping on tablets and mobile phones, and as a result, they work hard to make their websites and mobile apps accessible and easy to use on all types of displays and devices.
Providing a multichannel experience for your customers requires that your store is firing on all cylinders. As a result, you’ll be able to provide what customers want whether they’re meeting you in person, talking to you on the phone, or engaging with you online from across the globe.

Make providing excellent customer service a primary focus.

The modern shopping journey frequently begins with an exploratory click and progresses via exploring, selecting, and purchasing. A potential consumer can become dissatisfied and abandon their transaction at any time. Top-notch customer service, on the other hand, ensures that customers never feel abandoned or short-changed, regardless of where they are in the purchasing process, including after the sale is finished.
You must make it your business to charm, cultivate, and retain clients in an era when your competition can come from anywhere in the world. Long-term happiness is aided by transparency, which includes a straightforward shipping and returns policy.

Pay attention to what customers have to say.

Going straight to the source: your devoted customers, is one of the finest ways to predict the future direction of your product selection. Utilizing your social media presence is one of the most effective strategies to accomplish so. Send an email after a customer makes a purchase encouraging them to leave a review on your website or social media page. Offering an incentive, such as a voucher or tickets into a monthly raffle, is one of the most effective ways to persuade people to do this.
We’ve already addressed the importance of recognising and treating your customers like VIPs. Inquiring about their purchasing and product experiences shows them that you care about them and that they are important to the success and future of your retail store.
Today’s shoppers expect much more than a one-time exchange of goods and services. You demonstrate your commitment to go the additional mile when you improve the purchase and payment process and make it as safe and secure as feasible. You’ll be rewarded with customers who become your best brand ambassadors, spreading the news about your retail store far and wide this season and beyond, which is certainly something to be grateful for.

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