How Peak Sales season can play a vital role for businesses
By Jeremy Nicholds, CEO at Judopay
It’s incredible to see how much the world has changed since this time last year. As the retail, payments and hospitality industries approached 2019’s peak sales season, they didn’t expect anything like what has unfolded throughout 2020.
However, nine months into the year, businesses that are still operating across these sectors have a new ‘wealth’ of experience under their belt, having dealt with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. The consumer behaviour changes that have already taken place and the strategies employed by businesses to survive lockdowns will certainly be reflected during this year’s peak sales period.
Over the years, peak season has undergone a series of transformations brought on by the digital evolution of eCommerce.Typically, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken place after November payday with ample time to ensure orders are delivered on time. However, with developments taking place in the online space and delivery logistics becoming more and more efficient, customers are now able to order products much closer to Christmas. This has led some to question whether peak sales days, prior to the holiday season, are still relevant.
The power of the peak sales season
With many facing financial uncertainty in our current economic climate and with retention schemes and job losses continuing, consumers will be relying on the discounts that Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide. What’s more, in general, those customers that have remained employed have managed to save money throughout 2020, having not forked out on expensive holidays (opting for staycations instead) and not having to deal with the expenses involved when travelling to and from work each day.
With this in mind and the fact that much of the general population will want some relief following what has been a tough year, peak sales days will be important for businesses in 2020. And, with hospitality and retail still facing social distancing restrictions, eCommerce will be more important than ever, as many customers will flock to the internet to shop.
Still, the high-street won’t be left behind and those companies with both a physical and digital presence will benefit the most – though they will need to get creative with ideas such as customer experience-focused showrooms, and click-and-collect models where customers can order online and pick-up in-store. Any company looking to make the most of the peak sales period this year should be asking how best they can engage customers despite the restrictions they face – this is also essential for the hospitality industry which benefits from the increased footfall on the high street during the period.
Apps playing their part
This is where apps come into play. Not only are they a great touch-free payment method that removes the need for customers and staff to handle cash and potentially infected PIN-pads – while also makingTrack and Trace much easier – but they also make the purchase journey simpler with less friction.
What’s more, they offer businesses the opportunity to provide their own personal promotions, alongside peak sales days offers, to further bolster sales. Caffè Nero does an excellent job of this with digital promotional Christmas crackers following transactions made using their app.
With all of this in mind, it is absolutely imperative that businesses in the retail and hospitality industries optimise their digital capabilities this year if they are going to make the most of the peak sales season. If done right, the period could provide them with much needed relief after what has been a difficult year.