I’m sorry to have to bring this up, but winter is coming, and with it something arguably scarier than a frozen army of the dead: Christmas shoppers.
In the world of retail, planning for the festive period starts notoriously early, which is understandable given what an important time it is. So it might be that even this missive will be deemed just too late to be put into practice. But not necessarily! Online booking is fast and easy to set up (in fact it takes less than two minutes to set up an account with Appointedd) and with so many possibilities, it could be a huge asset when you’re fighting off the hordes... I mean, assisting valued customers. Here are just three ideas that you are welcome to steal and use to make the holidays happier for everyone.
1. Fittings and personal shoppers
With formal events stacking up like profiteroles on a buffet table, finding a way to offer your customers fittings for their suits, dresses, kilts, shoes, costumes, and whatever else they need without letting it swallow all your time is a delicate matter. Providing online booking for this is ideal as it lets customers choose a convenient time for themselves, without interrupting your day with endless phone calls, so you can have all hands on deck in-store. Plus, letting the calendar manage itself means you’ll be able to regulate peaks and troughs and make more efficient use of your time throughout the busy period.
The same goes for personal shopping appointments, which can be a godsend for busy customers who just want to get their shopping done with the minimum amount of time and fuss. With online booking tools, the whole process can be made as smooth as possible by collecting notes about the customer’s requirements at the time of booking, so when they arrive you already have a selection of items available for them.
2. Santa’s grotto
The stalwart of the shopping centre at Christmas, Santa’s grotto is a fail safe way to add a bit of magic to Christmas for the kids. What doesn’t feel magical, however, is standing in a three-mile-long queue that takes hours and ends up disrupting the shopping experience for others because they can’t get through the door to the kitchenware shop and a screaming four-year-old is drowning out Silent Night.
How about this instead: parents can book their time to meet Father Christmas online before they arrive, or even reserve a time when they get there and spend the next few hours in your stores instead of causing a blockage. Added bonus: you can create custom questions asking what is on the child’s Christmas list as part of the booking flow, adding another twinkling of magic to the event. How did he know?!
3. Guaranteed parking
If there’s one nightmare about Christmas shopping that is enough to put people off coming into town and get them straight onto Amazon, it’s parking. Or, rather, lack of it. So what if you could offer the opportunity to reserve a parking space before they set off from home? Providing online booking for a parking space for an hour might be all your customers need to tempt them into your store. Simple, convenient parking - now that’s the true meaning of Christmas.