The holiday season is of utmost importance to retailers.

After all, according to the National Retail Federation, 20-40% of sales take place in the final months of the year. In 2012, $579.5 billion in retail sales occurred, and the NRF predicts this number will rise 3.9% this year to $602.1 billion. Traditionally, the holiday sales season kicks off the day after Thanksgiving, well known as the legendary Black Friday. Cyber Monday comes the following Monday, with a bounty of online deals enticing customers to make purchases on the web. And then of course December heats up with Christmas and end-of-year holiday shopping.

But many retailers are launching holiday sales earlier in the year. According to the Los Angeles Times, Walmart and Toys R Us commenced holiday promotions in mid-September. Walmart began offering its holiday layaway plan then, and Toys R Us set in motion its price match guarantee promotion. Price matching is one of the leading strategies of bricks and mortar stores this holiday season. The Wall Street Journal reports that such big brands as Best Buy and Target are embracing price matching as a means to dissuade customers from testing out products in-store and then proceeding to purchase online elsewhere for less.

Still, shoppers spend an abundance of time online, and retailers understand this.  Therefore, they’re implementing a plethora of digital in-store merchandising strategies in help enhance shopper experience. Ultimately, synergy is of the essence, and Forbes highlights that “omnichannel” shopping and cross-platform marketing will dominate this holiday season. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy lead the way here, bringing together online, in-store, and mobile retail practices to produce a seamlessly integrated shopping experience.

The most important sales period of the year occurs within a relatively tight window, so it’s absolutely essential for retailers to have optimal field data collection capabilities. GoSpotCheck’s s sophisticated mobile data collection system enables users to analyze their retail execution data in real-time—and real-time takes on special significance during such a concentrated high-sales period this holiday season. With GoSpotCheck, users stay in the know and make the most of this busy sales period, never missing out on a valuable, actionable insight.

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