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. Experiences

The rise of experiential retail is everywhere, and if you’re planning some seasonal fun or special events in the run up to the holidays then online booking could help you ensure success. Offering advance booking makes it easy for customers to plan their trips to see you at convenient times, plus gives them the buzz of having something to look forward to and encourages sharing on social media for some bonus free advertising. On your end, having a self-managing calendar takes the hassle of scheduling away from associates, who can then focus on delivering excellent service, and spreads out the footfall to avoid a crush of people arriving on a Saturday afternoon.

There’s still time to get your online booking in pace before the end of year rush. Find out more about how Appointedd works with household name retailer Marks and Spencer in our case study, and learn more about online booking for retail here.


Published on 26 September 2017