But even in a best-case scenario, a major shift in consumer sentiment is likely. What does that mean for retailers as they prepare for the 2022 holiday shopping season?
As companies try to drive profitable growth by optimising their promotional calendars, they are asking one question: How can we attract new shoppers and keep existing ones coming back for more? This year, retailers will focus on developing data acquisition strategies, bridging the physical-digital divide, and building stronger partnerships.
On a bigger scale, though, they will need to invest as heavily in the post-purchase experience as in the path-to-purchase, combining test-and-learn tactics with proven revenue drivers such as flash sales and special promotions.
Here, we provide the insights and methods you'll need to prepare for your peak-demand activities, including the holiday shopping season and door-busting special events.
The rapid rise of e-commerce in 2020 and 2021 may not be repeated in 2022. Tightening margins, however, make it more crucial than ever for retailers to embrace digital to accelerate their customer acquisition strategy. Today, operating a website alone is insufficient; data and personalisation are what convert new clients into devoted shoppers.
In order to gather first-party data before Google and other digital platforms stop supporting cookies in 2023, retailers are relying on loyalty programmes. But retailers need to make the data-for-rewards trade valuable if they want to increase loyalty membership in a year when customers are probably going to purchase less and at fewer stores.
To achieve this, they must adapt their programmes to speak to the rational and emotional demands of consumers. How? By putting member experiences ahead of transactional arrangements. This is crucial to remember as shops battle for the money of younger generations. Millennials and Gen Zers place a greater value on exclusive access to limited products and experiences than Gen X and Baby Boomers do.
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The average retailer engages customers across digital and physical touchpoints with 44 different systems. Put yourself in the position of a time-crunched holiday shopper who has repeated her question to three different customer care representatives. Shoppers notice the disconnection resulting from internal data silos: In reality, 54% of customers believe that information is not shared between sales, service and marketing.
The pressure is on retailers to deliver the personal and consistent experiences you want your brand to represent. Companies that do this well unify customer profile data across channels, from social media to stores, enabling efficiency. Employees from any department can view data in real-time on one screen. Communications stay up-to-date and accurate, avoiding repetition, no matter how a customer chooses to interact.
While 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, only 32% of retail executives say they have the full ability to turn data into personalised prices, offers, and products in real time across channels and touchpoints.
For retailers, using their data to connect the dots between social media, website, and app experiences is getting more complicated. However, investing in the information infrastructure to pull it off is worth it: Data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to add new customers and 6.5 times more likely to retain them.
Here’s why: Retailers that do this well are able to anticipate their customers’ needs and preferences – removing friction during a busy time of year. Using data to personalise shopping journeys makes it easier for customers to find the products they want and check out with the payment options they prefer.
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