The Theatro Blog

Preparing Your Workforce for a Leaner, Greener Holiday Shopping Season

Estimates show that this holiday shopping season could be a big one for retailers, but will your stores be up for the challenge with a leaner workforce?

Now that the kids are back in school and the temperatures are beginning to cool down, retailers must now turn their focus to preparing for what promises to be a significant holiday shopping rush. According to a recent study conducted by Deloitte, retail holiday sales are expected to increase between 7-9% in 2021. Shoppers are widely expected to spend more this holiday season and begin their shopping earlier in the year. These predictions, while good for revenue, pose some threats for retailers as sudden spikes in demand can intensify problems from different purchasing demands, the labor shortage or inventory management. To be successful, retailers must proactively address these areas of their business and ensure their employees and stores are properly equipped to handle the holiday rush.

Haunt the Competition with a Spooky Good Curbside

Curbside pickup and BOPIS sales have skyrocketed in the last year. Over 70% of retailers now offer either a curbside pickup or a BOPIS option, nearly a 20% rise from 2019. At this point, shoppers expect retailers to provide curbside and BOPIS options that are seamless and easy to use or else customers may ghost them for good. The key is to make your customers feel comfortable by ensuring your processes are consistent. Offering contactless pickup, posting clear signage at your stores to reduce confusion, sending real-time order updates and making the actual pickup process as quick and efficient as possible are great ways to build loyalty with your customers. Tractor Supply Company invested in Theatros mobile communication technology to optimize its curbside and BOPIS services last year and saw a 75% increase in digital sales. Moments after receiving a new digital order, an associate is alerted and acknowledges the order. Once products have been pulled, they are placed into a BOPIS locker. After the customer arrives, an associate is alerted to bring out the order, and they can even access information on the location, color, and model of the car. This process allowed Tractor Supply to reap the full benefits of their BOPIS and curbside offerings and built trust and loyalty among their customers in the process.

Give Thanks for Your Frontline

The significant labor shortage problems facing retailers have not subsided, forcing some businesses to cut store operation hours due to a lack of staffing. Or worse, overwhelmed teams are beginning to show signs of burnout, putting the business at risk of losing sales during their most critical shopping season or their valuable talent altogether. The best way to combat these issues is to invest in the workforce you do have and automate as much as possible. When solving pain points at the store level, as Andrea Farris, VP of Stores and Corporate Applications, Bed, Bath & Beyond, shared in a recent webinar, “it is essential to listen to the voice of the associates, bring them along the transformation journey and make sure they are influencing that roadmap.” Therefore, show your frontline how much you appreciate them this holiday shopping season by equipping them with communication technology they need that allows them to instantly locate coworkers, call for backup or find answers within seconds. These capabilities will optimize daily workflows and make your team feel successful this holiday season and beyond.  

It is essential to listen to the voice of the associates, bring them along the transformation journey and make sure they are influencing that roadmap.

Andrea Farris, VP of Stores and Corporate Applications, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Help Your Customers Find Everything on Their Wish List

While the holiday season brings an uptick in sales, inventory shortages often come along with them. The holiday in-store experience can be stressful for shoppers and employees alike, and a popular item going out-of-stock has the potential to cause mayhem. Running to the back to check the shelves for a particular item wastes valuable time for associates; they need the ability to instantly check inventory statuses from anywhere in-store. Integrating inventory systems with your frontlines communication platform allows your team members to stay on top of what items are available or allows them to search for additional stock at other stores. They then can communicate this information with their team to keep them prepared and with the customers to be transparent and helpful. The faster you can update your customers on the status of the items they want to buy from their wish list, the better.

Wrapping It All Up

Theatros voice-controlled mobile communication platform connects store teams to the information and people they need to deliver on shoppers’ demands this holiday season and year-round. Our platform removes communication roadblocks to help you free up resources and drive alignment across your entire enterprise. If you’d like to see it in action, connect with our Sales team today to learn how we can help you unlock your Frontline’s full potential this holiday season!

Want More Theatro?



Transforming Retail Operations for the Holiday Season and Beyond

Hear ideas from Retail Operation experts from Theatro, Cisco and Bed, Bath & Beyond