It’s that time of year again. We are soon approaching the holiday shopping rush. As consumer preferences and behaviors evolve, brands and retailers need to keep up – constantly adapting their marketing strategies to win over shoppers.
To get a better sense of what’s on holiday shoppers’ wish lists for how brands engage them, RedPoint recently surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers via Dynata. Take note, retailers, here’s what your consumers had to say:
Irrelevant Offers Incite Anger
A third of consumers surveyed said that receiving irrelevant offers is their top frustration during the holiday season. While almost all consumers say they will make purchases during the holidays – the anger over inappropriate or ill-timed marketing materials is growing. When brands bombard shoppers with too many irrelevant offers, they create friction and frustration with the very people they want to reach.
Retailers can eliminate this friction by creating a golden record that provides marketers with the deep understanding of individual customers needed to hyper-personalize messages, offers, and actions and help close the gap between customer expectations and the actual experience a brand delivers.
To gain this single customer view, data must be cleansed, unified, and integrated to create an accurate profile of each customer over time – including online/offline behavior, preferences, and purchase history. Machine learning capabilities enable brands to deliver highly relevant interactions that are in the context and cadence for each customer.
By applying automated machine learning models in combination with a persistently updated golden record, brands are able to deliver intelligent and timely offers no matter the channel. Consumers reward this personalization with loyalty. Made to feel they are known entities, customers are much more willing to spend with a brand. Like Santa making a list and checking it twice, brands utilizing this information will find even more ways to delight the customer.
Holiday Consumers are Overwhelmed
Nearly half of consumers said they become overwhelmed by retail marketing during the holidays. So how can brands capitalize on this moment of intent? The key is to deliver personalized, timely content and engagements. Less can be more.
When customer data is siloed in various systems, marketing teams are unable to communicate efficiently or work together, leading to customers becoming overwhelmed by conflicting or repeat messages. Brands must unify all customer data from all sources, in every format, to get a 360-degree view of every customer. Retailers should also continuously utilize in-line analytics to digest the data, make intelligent recommendations and deliver the best offer for the individual customer.
Shoppers are exceedingly loyal to their “go-to” brands for holiday shopping. More than 35 percent of the survey respondents indicated that they exclusively purchase from retailers they have shopped with in the past.
Brands need to take care of these loyal customers, suppressing irrelevant information and utilizing the knowledge they have of past experiences to customize offers for them during the holiday season.
Seventy-five percent of all consumers wish retailers better understood their preferences and shopping history. Every buyer expects to be treated as a unique individual and simply showing you know them goes a long way.
Personalize and You’ll Receive Rewards
According to the survey, 60 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers that send personalized offers. Reaching the consumer with personalized content wherever, whenever, and however they choose to navigate their customer journey creates a true connection for brands that can add up quickly.
It’s not that different than the process of personal gift-giving. The economic costs of disappointing gifts don’t just include the lost value from unwanted gifts, but also the time and frustration of handling returns—on top of the original disappointment. A disappointing gift signals a friend or relative either doesn’t know you as well as they think or didn’t take the time to figure it out. Stress and hurt feelings are actual costs—they’re just hard to quantify.
But if you target customers as a segment of one with orchestrated interactions, you will improve campaign performance metrics, reduce the costs of customer interactions, and increase customer lifetime value. The potential for growth is huge. The National Retail Federation expects 2019 holiday retail sales to increase by approximately 4 percent over last year’s record of $850 Billion.
Make the Holiday Happy
Holiday shopping is a busy and stressful time for most consumers – and brands that annoy shoppers with irrelevant offers during this time will most likely be shunned. On the flip side, retailers that leverage all available data to make consumers’ lives easier while delivering personalized and consistent engagement will be successful.
Brands should also keep an important point in mind: to truly win customer loyalty, they must deliver personalization throughout the year – not just during the holiday season.