3 Ways to Keep Holiday Sales Booming While Operating at Reduced Capacity

Our mission at Hero is to help stores unlock their competitive edge — leveraging their unique ability to forge human connections with customers, whether in-person or digitally. Today, stores across the world rely on Hero everyday to connect with online customers via text, chat and video.

As retail locations operate at reduced capacity during the busiest time of year, our attention has turned to helping our retail partners keep holiday sales booming by leveraging the power of virtual shopping.

Hero partner Accent Group, the Australia-based retailer and distributor of performance and lifestyle footwear with over 500+ stores, knows better than anyone the opportunities available to retailers during this time.

Drawing on the Australian powerhouse’s incredible success with virtual shopping, here are three ways to keep sales booming through the holiday season.

1. Go dark

Accent Group immediately ramped up its online operations when its 500+ stores were shut, using certain locations as “dark stores” to fulfill online orders for its 18 e-commerce sites.

With dark stores, Accent Group’s retails teams had the ability to safely assist online customers through chat and video calls, delivering the in-store experience virtually.

The result? A 50% increase in online sales year-over-year from 2019 and an incredible 150% increase in online sales from April to June.

Beyond Accent Group, 98% of Hero’s EU partners during lockdowns and moments of reduced capacity have been operating dark stores or allowing their teams to work from home using Hero.

2. Enhance the Click and Collect—and Click and Send—Experience

Once it was deemed safe to do so, Accent Group’s store teams were tapped for click and send orders from locations converted into the very same dark stores referenced above.

Accent Group also allowed customers to check local availability with store teams through text, chat, and video, giving customers the confidence to place an order online and pick up in person.

3. Keep Store Teams Selling—Wherever They Are

With Hero, retailers are able to keep store teams selling whether they’re working in-store or from home. Hero partners have seen incredible success using Hero from home in particular, providing the tools and resources associates need to give customers the confidence to buy when brick-and-mortar locations are closed or operating at reduced capacity.

Accent Group was able to keep staff on payroll when brick-and-mortar locations were shut by moving store teams online. The Australian giant even extended working hours to coincide with when online customers are most active.

“When we closed our stores to the public, with Hero we were able to keep our team employed and working, while fulfilling online orders”

Kasie Heathcote, GM Digital, Accent Group

That means either in-store or working from home, Accent Group’s retail teams were able to deliver the same experience to customers online as they would in-store.

For more insights on how Accent Group has maximized sales during the pandemic, watch our virtual event with Kasie Heathcote, GM Digital, here.

About Hero®

Add the “IRL” experience to your online store, with the #1 virtual shopping platform. Headquarted in London and New York. Hero is trusted by brands including Levi’s, Nike, Herman Miller and LVMH.