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Retail hacks for the holiday season: Appointments

How can appointments increase your sales?

Crowded stores, long checkout lines, and the competition for staff attention— all these factors can deter even the most enthusiastic shoppers during the holiday season. 

The solution? Embrace the power of appointments and offer a differentiated experience. 

Let’s explore this unique strategy in-depth to understand how it can benefit your store during the holiday season.

Customer pain point: Crowded stores

The holiday rush often results in crowded stores, where it can be challenging for shoppers to browse at their own pace and get personalized assistance.

Appointments offer a VIP experience for your most loyal clients and potential big spenders. Who wouldn’t appreciate having the store to themselves during off-hours, with undivided attention from your staff? This not only increases customer satisfaction but also leads to higher sales.

What’s the Business Impact?

In short, the business impact is increased revenue and customer satisfaction. The lift of enabling Appointments is totally worth it. Once customers attend an in-store appointment, they will not only purchase but they’ll buy more items. 

Retailers who have implemented appointment scheduling have seen results like:

  • Increased conversion rate.
  • Increased average transaction value.
  • Enhanced customer loyalty.

Strategies to consider around appointments

Offer an easy online booking system

If you have an enterprise appointment application, you will be able to book and manage appointments in a professional fashion, collect customer preferences ahead of time, offer rebooking options, and even assign an appointment to a specific store associate with a pre-set basket of items. If you don’t, that’s not the end of the world. You can deploy a web-based appointment scheduling service. Just make sure that it will let you direct the confirmations to the corresponding store and keep a bi-directional communication with your customers in case they need to reschedule or cancel.

Ensure dedicated staff availability during appointment hours

Regardless if you decide to host appointments during regular or off-hours, make sure you consider the corresponding workload into your staffing plan. The last thing you need is to enable appointments just to have store associates servicing multiple customers at a time, as this completely negates the point of an appointment.

Promote the VIP experience to your loyal clients and high spenders

There’s no point in enabling this powerful strategy if nobody knows about it. Make sure your A, AA, and AAA customers know about this option ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to emphasize that there will be limited slots available. Creating a sense of scarcity will incentivize your most loyal customers to book an appointment.

Empower associates to offer a personalized shopping experience

During appointments, the store associates should be able to provide personalized product recommendations based on the customer’s preferences and needs. This can be achieved by keeping a 360-degree customer profile that details their likes, dislikes, and purchase history so that the associate can have an idea of who they are before they even walk in the door.

Bringing it all together

Appointments are your secret weapon to not only address crowded stores but also boost your holiday season sales. It’s all about offering a unique, stress-free, and personalized shopping experience that makes your customers feel like VIPs.

You can read more in the other blogs in our retail hacks for the holiday season series:

Learn more

What to learn more about how appointments can elevate your store experience and create loyal, repeat shoppers?

Contact us today to see how a Clienteling solution may be right for you.

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