More

    From shop floor to checkout – how retailers can enhance the shopping experience during Ramadan   

    Ramadan will begin in March this year, with up to 3.87 million Muslims in the UK abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset. During this time shopping patterns change. Independent retailers in areas with a Muslim population must be aware of this shift, ensuring they cater to this population segment effectively.  

    The current challenging external conditions are making life harder than ever for smaller retailers, but thankfully there are a number of tools that they use to thrive, particularly during the busy Ramadan period.  

    Leveraging insights and maximising cashflow  

    With Muslims in the UK spending an estimated £200m during Ramadan, many retailers can expect sales volumes to increase in March compared to February. For independent retailers, each transaction has the opportunity to provide valuable insights into customer purchasing habits, especially during Ramadan.  

    Retailers can expect to see spikes in sales at different times of the day throughout Ramadan. For instance, an independent merchant situated near a mosque might see an increase in transactions after nightly prayers, but fewer transactions during the day. Not having the tools to track this data effectively can limit businesses, giving them an incomplete picture of customer habits.  

    Another core issue that many smaller retailers face is the time taken for funds to settle following a transaction, making cash flow unstable and unpredictable. In some instances, retailers may not see funds from transactions in their accounts until several days after a purchase. This lack of complete transaction data and delayed settlement of funds can negatively impact cash flow and inventory management, potentially leading to missed sales opportunities due to understocking of in-demand items, and the lack of available cash to restock as appropriate. 

    However, there are solutions to both of these core problems, tech that provides retailers with up to the minute transaction data as well as effective cashflow management tools. Retailers with a Viva.com® account can benefit from near-instant access to funds from transactions – including at weekends – and see real-time data as well, helping them enhance their business operations. 

    Real-time data from transactions also serves a purpose beyond inventory management. It can be used to enhance merchandising strategies and a customer’s overall shopping experience. Muslims during Ramadan are likely to shop for products to prepare for Suhoor – a pre-dawn meal before fasting commences, and Iftar – the fast-breaking meal at sunset. By analysing transaction data, independent retailers can identify the most frequently purchased items for these meals and position them strategically near the point of sale. This approach helps drive sales and facilitates a quicker checkout process for customers seeking specific items. As an example, retailers may observe an uptick in sales of pulses and vegetables during Ramadan, as these are common ingredients in traditional dishes. By positioning these staples closer to the checkout area, retailers can simplify the shopping experience for those buying last-minute essentials.   

    Preparing for increased foot-traffic   

    As customer spending in stores increases during Ramadan, retailers should also account for the heightened foot traffic and the likelihood of queues at specific times of day. This is particularly the case for retailers with limited space on the shop floor which may become congested with larger volumes of customers. In these instances, it is important to consider the layout of your shop and where customers can pay for their products.  

    Customers are increasingly looking for flexibility at the checkout, and a long queue forming from the till to the street can be unappealing. For example, a customer rushing from work to purchase their Ramadan shopping, may choose to shop elsewhere if they see a queue forming. However, flexible and convenient payment options that help to minimise queuing and enable payments to be processed anywhere help both merchants and their customers.  

    It has never been easier to process payments anywhere. Retailers no longer even need to invest in extra hardware, and can instead turn their smartphones or tablets into a payment terminal. Retailers can download the Viva.com® | Terminal on their device and begin accepting payments from customers instantly. The Viva.com® | Terminal works across a huge range of different devices, such as smartphone and tables which sync together, meaning merchants can deploy staff across the shop floor or in areas with higher foot-traffic to accept payments. 

    Taking advantage of intelligent electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems  

    For small to medium sized retailers in particular, having an integrated payments solution within an EPOS system is critical to manage during busy periods. In fact, research shows that convenience stores that use an EPOS system have benefitted from a profit increase of at least 3%. For example, Mpos by Mhouse Business Solutions, which utliseses Viva.com®’s technology, connects supplier data links with major wholesalers. This allows businesses to efficiently control their stock management whilst the integrated payments solution minimises potential losses to variables such as human error, connecting all the key components vital to the day-to-day management of customer businesses. 

    Daniall Nadeem, an MHouse Retailer, and owner of SPAR Motherwell Road explains: “Making the switch to Viva.com® was undoubtedly one of the best business decisions we’ve made. The benefits we’ve experienced have been nothing short of transformative – from significantly lower processing charges, to settlements arriving in our account by half past midnight, and lightning-fast transaction times that have helped us avoid queues and build-ups in-store.”   

    Ultimately, independent retailers can use their distinctive strengths to create a postitive shopping experience, during Ramadan and beyond, that differentiates them from larger chains. This could be their ability to extend opening hours and accommodate late-night customers, or their nimbler approaches to inventory management which ensure product availability aligns with customer needs.  

    To help prepare your business for Ramadan and meet the payment needs of customers during this time, visit Viva.com®.  

    Latest

    Biona condiments range heats up with two new mustards

    Organic food supplier Biona is introducing two new high-quality...

    Florette partners Jet2 Holidays and Megan McKenna in fresh promo

    Salad brand Florette is aiming for the skies this...

    Carbonated drinks brand, TRIP, launches functional mushroom and adaptogen range

    Soft drinks brand TRP has launched a new range,...

    57% of businesses expect to never be fully cashless

    Cash is here to stay, with nearly 6-in-10 businesses...

    Don't miss

    Biona condiments range heats up with two new mustards

    Organic food supplier Biona is introducing two new high-quality...

    Florette partners Jet2 Holidays and Megan McKenna in fresh promo

    Salad brand Florette is aiming for the skies this...

    Carbonated drinks brand, TRIP, launches functional mushroom and adaptogen range

    Soft drinks brand TRP has launched a new range,...

    57% of businesses expect to never be fully cashless

    Cash is here to stay, with nearly 6-in-10 businesses...

    Groundbreaking integration trial between Gander and Snappy Shopper yields remarkable results

    In a landmark trial, two leading tech firms joined...

    Unitas Wholesale exec changes

    Richard Bone, Unitas Wholesale’s Finance Director, is leaving to take up a new role within the industry. Richard will remain with Unitas until the...

    Import duties suspended on over 100 items

    Britain on Thursday suspended import duties on more than 100 items, including car parts and fruit juice, until June 2026, responding to industry demand...

    Rubicon campaign will ‘Release The Sunshine’ this summer

    Rubicon has announced a major new campaign for the brand reinforcing its position as "the brand of summer" and designed to drive shoppers to...