How Retailers Get You in the Store

    Put down your phone, here's what stores are doing to lure you inside to shop during the holiday season.

    Sales during the holiday shopping season are expected to increase over last year.

    Total sales for November and December could reach $730.7 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s forecast.

    Of that, online sales will make up roughly 22 percent.

    To compete with the convenience of online, retailers will work hard to get you in a store to shop with them.

    Here’s how:

    Earlier deals

    Thanksgiving is in the last week of November this year, which is later than usual.

    That cuts the shopping time between Thanksgiving (when Black Friday deals traditionally launch) and Christmas by a week.

    To offset the traditional window, our retail expert Karen Bomber said she’s seeing discounts earlier throughout the month of November.

    That draws customers in the store to capture those deals.

    “It is going to let people have that instant gratification of getting the gift they want versus the risk of waiting for an online order closer to Christmas and hoping it’s in stock,” Karen said.  

    Giving you real-time visibility to inventory

    Instant gratification is not just for online shoppers.

    In-store customers also want what they want, when they want it.

    A way retailers satisfy that expectation is by making sure inventory is up-to-date and evident to customers, Karen said.

    That visibility guarantees if customers make the effort to go to the store for a specific item, it will be in stock.

    “It’s safe,” Karen said.

    Shipping gifts for you

    A benefit to online shopping is being able to send gifts to loved ones from the comfort of your couch.

    Stores want to offer similar perks so some retailers have started offering to ship any purchases you make elsewhere at no cost to the buyer.

    “Shopper behavior is looking for convenience,” Karen said.

    Tried-and-true methods

    In addition to innovative ways to lure in shoppers, retailers will rely on traditional methods to get customers to shop.

    Here are a few of those ways:  

    Price matching— Stores will match prices with competitors and online prices.

    Rewarding customer loyalty — Many retailers have loyalty systems that give coupons and discounts to repeat customers.

    Lowest prices possible  — As competition is stiffer than ever between retailers prices will continue to be as low as possible during the holiday season that tends to be on sought-after items like toys and electronics.