With the peak holiday season fast approaching, rising prices and fluctuating inventory levels wouldn’t have been on any shopper’s wish list – or any retailer. However, while American consumers are undoubtedly taking steps to organize more attentive to their seasonal purchases this year, retailers can rejoice that consumers’ desire to enjoy the holiday spirit is stronger than ever.
Buyers get organized
This tempered optimism not only affects how much people spend, but also when they shop. So while more than a third of survey respondents said they plan to stick to a set vacation budget, more and more are buying earlier to spread the cost over a wider range. long period.
For instance, 42% of consumers said they started their holiday shopping as early as August. And one in six were real early risers, starting early in the year to take advantage of post-holiday sales and discounts.
There is also evidence that organized consumers are getting creative with their giveaways. The investigation shows, for example, that more than one in five shoppers plan to spend more on materials to make homemade gifts than they did last holiday.
Retailers need a data-driven answer
With budgets tightening, the good news for consumers is that many retailers have excess inventory that they need to move, making promotions and deals more likely. Accenture’s separate survey of US retail executives found, for example, that more than a third of companies are taking special measures or heavily discounting excess inventory.
A similar number are re-optimizing their pricing and promotions, recognizing that this year’s trend for more organized and cost-conscious customers requires a sharper response. This means paying even greater attention to customer data, ensuring that marketing and promotions are targeted to the customers and products where they will have maximum effect.
With an extended holiday shopping season, timing is also key. And having an aggressive marketing and promotions plan is essential. This should be anchored around existing inventory, where applicable. But it must also be able to adapt quickly to changing consumer needs as the holiday season approaches.
Physical shopping is back in focus
As consumers look to put the pandemic-related disruptions of the past few years behind them, stores are once again at the heart of their holiday shopping plans. Buyers expect to do about half of their holiday shopping in-store this year.
However, savvy retailers recognize that this desire to buy in-store is more than purely transactional. A growing number of consumers are looking for more from the experience, highlighting the need for services that deliver something extra – whether it’s the ability to eat before/after shopping, treatment in a beauty salon or simply to collect purchases made online.
In fact, as consumers begin to notice rising costs for home delivery, in-store pickup is becoming more of a differentiator for retail brands. Almost seven out of ten shoppers told Accenture that having a dedicated in-store pickup space will now influence their choice of retailer.
Look into live streaming
This blurring of the lines between online and physical shopping is causing innovative retailers to think creatively about store layouts and make better use of digital technologies to help their employees deliver superior experiences.
A good example is the trend towards live streaming directly from stores. Already, about half of retailers in Accenture’s survey said they plan to use a store as a live-streaming studio or create a virtual shopping space specifically for the holiday season.
Nordström, for example, has been offering live streams in categories like beauty, home, and apparel since last year. You can find some of their in-store associates on their website who have created mini testimonial videos on specific topics. They also hosted holiday-themed beauty trend shows with top brand experts, including a personal appearance from A-list makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.
In the same way, Have uses live streaming, including video chat, live selling, consultations, and virtual services, as a tactile way to educate and interact with consumers.
Examples like these are not only a fun and engaging way to support online sales channels, they are also a fantastic opportunity to invest and leverage frontline workforce talent, offering employees a whole new avenue to find their voice, display their expertise and advance their careers.
Target the organized consumer
With the buyers By organizing their holiday spending more carefully, retailers looking to maintain profitability need to be smarter about how they target their promotions and personalize their retail experiences.
Finding fun, exciting, and innovative technology-driven ways to satisfy consumer needs and improve shopping experiences will be key to delivering memorable experiences, satisfying consumer needs, and ultimately delivering revenue. healthy business and bottom line over the holidays and beyond.