With only one week to go until Black Friday, many retailers will have been planning their strategies for months. And with consumers last year spending £1.23 billion you can see why this one day has such an impact on a retailer’s calendar.

But as consumers become ever more digitally savvy and the influx of Generation Z consumers only set to boom, are retailers ready to provide a seamless, joined up service at every touch point?

Craig Summers, UK Managing Director at Manhattan Associates shares his last-minute top tips for retailers this peak season.

Don’t compromise on customer experience

Busy or not, associates still need to embark upon meaningful customer engagement. And every Store Associate needs to be armed with at least as much information as the customer – the days of leaving the customer alone, while the beleaguered associate goes back to the point of sale to painstakingly search for additional information, are long gone.

If your store associates are equipped with service-enhancing mobile devices, make sure they are using them, particularly on Black Friday. It is still more important than ever to embark upon a truly personal interaction.

Embrace social

Facebook revealed that there were 13.6 million interactions related to Black Friday on Facebook and Instagram last year, showing that social media is becoming an increasingly important channel for consumers to shop and find the best deals. And with the Gen Z and millennial audience ever present on social media, it is the perfect opportunity for retailers to tailor Black Friday deals for this digitally enabled audience.

Turn the dial on promotions

It is really important that retailers not only focus on the promotion aspect of Black Friday but also ensure that the service they provide is consistent. The skill is balancing both aspects in order to make the sale and retain or gain a loyal customer. To do this, retailers can monitor the promotions and sales of products in real time and decide which products they want to offer with certain promotions.

For example, they may choose to turn the promotion dial down by having a 15% discount and keeping their 24 hour delivery window for a product selling well, but turn the promotion dial-up by offering a 30% discount and extending the delivery window to a maximum of 10 days for products that they know are not as popular.  Retailers that can harness the data available to do this in real time will be able to better manage and take advantage of the possibilities of Black Friday.

Thinking about these additional things can ensure retailers will be able to handle the surge in demand during Black Friday and into peak without compromising on the customer experience. And as it is fast becoming one of the most important dates in the retail calendar, retailers must be prepared and ready to match their competition, not only on price but also on experience.