By : Jessica Bryant
November 24, 2017 08:00 AM
We’ve now officially entered the holiday shopping season, which has expanded from the traditional post-Thanksgiving Black Friday to include Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Tech Tuesday. This concentrated and sometimes frenzied shopping sprint is projected to bring in up to $682 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) – an increase of 4% over 2016. But the same NRF report shows that holiday shopping begins much earlier than November. While only 33% may have purchased items in October or earlier, more than half were conducting research and planning during that time.
With this in mind, it’s to retailers’ advantage to employ tools and methodologies to help them not only grab a piece of the holiday-shopping pie, but create relationships with shoppers that foster year-round engagement and loyalty. Strong relationships between brand and consumer are key to staying top-of-mind no matter what the shopping occasion may be. A few examples of how to achieve this:
Think beyond the sale
Today’s shopper looks for more from retailers than just products. Experiences are the new currency of shopper engagement and loyalty. In the store, events such as demos, classes, and charging stations or lounges are helping many retailers drive traffic in the physical space. Digital interactions are important as well – using different ways to reward loyal shoppers beyond points (such as exclusive previews or members-only discounts) and interacting with them via social media are just a couple of simple yet effective examples.
Let the data do the talking
Retailers now have access to more information about their enterprise and the customers than ever before. Delving into this information and turning it into action is what makes the difference between those brands that lead the industry and those that lag. Do you know what offers and promotions are most effective, and their return on investment? Has A/B testing of various customer marketing programs revealed patterns that can be used to predict future performance? What customer engagement activities have shown the highest levels of response and interaction? These are important questions to ask to help build more effective relationships with shoppers.
Take personalization to new heights
Today’s busy shopper won’t waste valuable time with retailers who don’t understand their preferences and behaviors. Taking advantage of tools that enable precise, targeted communications, offers, and recommendations are key in creating a continuous and ongoing “conversation” with shoppers. Being able to automate high-level individualization helps a brand stand out in a crowded landscape – increasing sales and loyalty while reducing shopper frustration.
Interested in learning more about other approaches to build and maintain consumer relationships, or talking to a member of our team about what “evergreen” consumer engagement might look like in your enterprise? Visit us here or give us a call at 1-800-CALL-NCR to get started.