Will Retailers’ Bells Be Jingling this Christmas?

Perihan El Etreby
Copywriter at - M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath University
November 23, 2021
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All That You Need to Know About Consumer Behavior this Holiday Season

In 2020, when customers were asked about the aspects they see as most important when deciding to visit a store, the majority of answers included cleanliness, crowd-control measures, and contactless service. However, this list is not the same anymore. Today, customers have other priorities on top of their list, including: price, convenience and location, and quality of products. This means cleanliness and other concerns of the pandemic have been gradually dropping from the old list, so, the customer behavior is getting back to its ‘old normal’ before the pandemic.

Statistics also show that the number of consumers that make purchases in-store is much higher than 6 months ago. People have reported that they are now extra comfortable visiting the store more than once a week, unlike the older days. 

The above statistics prove that retailers will experience great revenues during this holiday season, especially as Christmas and New Year’s are on the door, and the shoppers’ numbers have been already increasing, and the in-store purchases have been raising hopes. 

So, how can retailers make the best out of these opportunities, and double the expected sales and drive more ROI?

Even though a lot of people still depend mainly on online shopping, this habit usually breaks during important occasions, like Christmas. Humans are humans after all...they enjoy the physical shopping experience. Parents like to take their kids to stores and make them get involved in purchasing decisions. Newly married couples feel excited to be spending their first Christmas ever in their new home. The elder ones enjoy celebrating this special occasion with their children and grandchildren that they might be seeing only once or twice a year, so they put in the extra effort and physically visit the stores. 

Retailers should be smart and provide their shoppers a seamless shopping experience that would make them make impulse buying decisions, spending more money on products they weren’t planning to buy. This could be smartly done by offering a personalized shopping experience, affecting their buying decisions right at the point of purchase. 

It’s reported that over 87% of US shoppers make impulse buys, and more than 50% of all grocery is sold because of impulsiveness.

Based on statistics, what are customers looking for when shopping?

• Visiting Online Stores to Learn, Not To Buy

Customers’ intentions when visiting an online store have changed. The graph below shows that today, they mainly care about finding the price and ensuring the availability of the desired products, unlike earlier this year, when they cared about minimizing contacts with others and minimizing visits to multiple stores to find the needed items. Based on this behavior, consumers’ in-store purchases have become the ‘new normal’.

Tip: Master the online-offline balance, where customers are encouraged to visit your physical store and enjoy a unique experience that makes them return.

• Use a Cashier or Self-checkout?

Once in-store, consumers' preferences to use the cashier or self-checkout service is 50/50. The below reasons for their preferences are gripping.

Tip: Make sure to digitize your store and adopt the latest AI and ML solutions to understand your customers’ preferences better and shape your store accordingly. 

• Others

In a survey, when consumers were asked about what makes them choose a certain retailer, 54% of respondents mentioned the “prompt service”— When consumers decide to purchase a particular product they then expect a personalized experience (30%) and smart recommendations (30%), according to Vend’s Retail Trends and Predictions Report. 51% of the respondents mentioned the positive reviews (if it was their first visit), followed by 40% mentioning the loyalty programs. 

If you really want to make the best out of this holiday season, boosting your sales and ROI, you need to win your consumers in-store, providing them with what they need, the way they need it. In order to do so, you’ll need to understand your customer better and collect accurate data based on their purchasing pattern, demographics, external factors like the weather, the events happening around, and more. 

Want to harness the power of data, utilizing the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)? Get Intouch and we will lead you to the first steps to the ultimate success.

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