Nostalgia marketing is your favorite comfort food on a cold, rainy day. It’s the reason…
With inflation being the top concern this holiday season, businesses should approach their marketing with the customer in mind.
Prices are rising and you can’t blame Ebenezer Scrooge this year.
Not only will families be trimming the tree, but they also will be trimming their gift lists this holiday season.
According to CBS News, 40% of holiday shoppers said inflation will impact their purchases, with many reevaluating how much they can spend on gifts and who they will buy gifts for.
“Retailers definitely have an arms race to reach shoppers while a shopper still has her or his money to spend on holiday items.”
The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future can’t save you from inflation. But here are ways you as a business can save Christmas!
Know Their Priorities (and Cutbacks)
With hopes of saving money, a recent survey found that people are already adjusting their buying strategies, with their top three considerations before purchasing as price, value, and free shipping.
Consumers are still keeping their essential staples in mind like groceries, automotive, personal care, and prescriptions. However, saving enough money for the holidays requires some cutbacks.
According to The Street, these are the top 5 categories that consumers said they are cutting back spending on:
- Dining out at restaurants/bars
- Leisure travel
- In-person entertainment (movies, concerts, etc.)
- Streaming entertainment subscriptions (Netflix, iTunes, Audible, etc.)
- Subscription services (mean kits, food delivery, etc.)
Along with leisurely spending, consumers are planning to eliminate gift recipients off their list as well. This may include friends, extended family, neighbors, and co-workers. However, children, partners and even pets are still a priority.
Regardless of each purchaser’s plan, it’s up to businesses to tailor their promotions to the customer’s needs. Clearly, it starts with a discount.
Put Emphasis on Markdowns and Sales
According to Forbes, consumers are still expecting to spend more this holiday season despite their efforts to cut down. However, their spending will shift to less-expensive gift categories, and budget-friendly stores.
Therefore, it’s important that retailers respond to this shift by offering options that fit the price points of these budget-conscious consumers.
What items are consumers going to find the best deals on, you may ask?
“Clothing will be deeply discounted, consumer electronics, TVs, consumer audio, and books.” – CBS News
However, it’s not to say that doubling down on discounts is the only way to go. When it comes to the customer, what’s going to make their experience the most memorable?
Customer Service is Key
With Walmart and Target starting their holiday deals as early as the first week of October, the Christmas creep is real. And so is the stress.
A small 2021 survey by Sesame, a healthcare provider, said that gift shopping was the season’s biggest stress trigger. While markdowns and sales can put a customer’s mind at ease, it’s times like this where great customer service is needed most.
“Some of these consumers are coming back to the stores for the first time. If they have a great experience – that’s going to determine how frequently they come back,” – Matt Kramer | Forbes
This includes but is not limited to being warm with your customers, finding ways to help them save time, and being proactive when it comes to problem-solving.
With the holiday rush on a budget, customer service can be a great stress reliever AND sales driver.
The Joys of In-Store Shopping
Despite the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, ironically enough, that’s what consumers are most excited for.
As COVID worries start to fade and shoppers are reverting back to their pre-pandemic habits, 63% of people plan to shop in person this year.
In fact, NY Post found that 43% of Americans missed the chaos of in-person Black Friday shopping. In a poll of 2,003 adults, 95% planned to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.
Aside from seeing it as a tradition, consumers find being able to have a hands-on experience with the product helps assist their purchasing decisions.
“People want the social aspects of physically being able to see, to touch and feel, for certain categories,” said Kramer.
With the holiday season being so touchy-feely it only makes sense to incorporate that into the shopping experience.
The holiday season is when marketing and customer service are put to the test. Don’t let 2022 be the exception.
Understanding your customers’ needs and making the effort to surpass them will set your brand up for success. Whether its highlighting great deals or a warm in-person experience, we hope these tips help you sleigh your sales goals this holiday season!