Qmatic solutions help retailers master Black Friday
Global forecasts anticipate Black Friday and Christmas shopping to break records all over the world in 2017. At the same time, evidence points to a development where online shopping is going to brake all records, and for traditional retailers this might not be uplifting news. Thanks to Qmatic’s Click & Collect solution, there is a way for traditional retailers to benefit from online shopping in more than one way.
In recent years, the Black Friday phenomena has exported itself to large parts of the world, often to places with little or no connection to the original concept of the American Thanksgiving. The origin of the expression is debated, but not the hands-on action in retailers offering discounts the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday when most Americans have a day off. Since the early sixties, Black Friday has grown into a natural starting point for Christmas Shopping in the US, and as retailers try to stand out, many online outlets have turned it into Black November.
“The digital revolution has fueled that development, and today online retailers often start advertising what will be on sale and at what price a long time in advance”, says Jeff Green, SVP Americas at Qmatic.
But the off-line evolution of Black Friday in the USA has not been free from complications. Reports suggesting more Americans are killed in the Black Friday-shopping than from shark attacks may be true, but more down to earth problems are massive crowding in the stores and endless queues to pay among others. This together with the rise of online shopping means real threats to traditional retailers in the longer run. The Click & Collect trend could well prove to be the salvation, and Qmatic’s solution for retailers to handle it the winning factor.
Click & Collect means you buy your goods online and pick it up at a location of your choice. For the consumer, the big advantage is not having to adjust in time and place to a delivery service. Click & Collect trend has grown steadily in recent years, and is particularly big in the UK. The scalable Qmatic in-store solution lets consumers coming for their goods check in. The system then can give information, in text messages or email, on how long wait time will be, what is happening with the package at every point, when it is ready for pick-up and where to get it. The retailer can extract data on consumer behavior, and adjust the store to maximize additional sales. Additional functions, for instance instant feedback surveys, can be added.
It also gives the consumer the benefit of shopping at Black Friday prices but visit the store to collect the goods on a less crowded day. “Today Black Friday is very much a digital activity, and more and more consumers do not want to actually go into the crowd. By using this omnichannel model, people do not have to any more”, says Jeff Green.
The recently launched Click & Collect solution from Qmatic is however not the only system that will help retailers create a better customer journey for their customers. The Orchestra platform allows for companies to inform about queue times in different branches on their homepages, and to create differentiated queues in the shops to minimize waiting time and help staff be more effective.
“The game changer is data. If you can see how long, for instance it will take to pay or to get served, it is not just a wait time anymore. If I know I will wait for 30 minutes, I can do something else with that time. It also means a retailer can adjust staff to have wait as long as they want, creating new possibilities for additional shopping or other experiences”, says Jeff Green.
The US Black Friday evolved from a local holiday, and the fact the concept is spreading through a world where Thanksgiving is merely something seen in the movies, is proof of a globalizing economy. “It’s a global indicator, you can use something on a global level to drive traffic for sales. Local things are simply not necessarily local anymore”, says Jeff Green.