What Should Retailers be doing Differently for 2017?

Scott O'Neill Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Did the Christmas period deliver the results you wanted? Was Black Friday as successful as retailers expected? With speculation before the event that Black Friday was losing its steam, as 31% of US shoppers admitting they dislike shopping on Black Friday, there was an industry inhale as to whether this would deliver.

Retailers made the most of the build up to Black Friday, with adverts starting in October in order to attract the shoppers. Efforts paid off with 89% of shoppers taking advantage in store and online.

What can we Learn from Black Friday and the Christmas Period of 2016?

As we covered in our Black Friday blog, what is considered the biggest shopping day of the year, has become a shopping period as opposed to one day. Many of the campaigns started to emerge before 25 November which is evident when IMRG found that an estimated £6.45bn was spent over the Black Friday period from 21 – 28 November.

With so many retailers trying to take a slice of the pie on Black Friday, shoppers experience a lot of marketing noise – especially with the event having its own identity and many people marking their calendars in preparation.

Different Strategies?

What has become apparent with retailers is that many implement different strategies when it comes to Black Friday and Christmas shopping periods. Traditionally, retailers are focused on optimizing experiences for its customers, understanding them, gathering insight on their buying habits, personalizing and recommending relevant products. In the build up to Black Friday and the holiday season, we often see a rush to attract audiences and few innovative retailers maintain the personalized experience.

Offers & What Next?

There needs to be an incentive to shop around and on Black Friday: Fact. Discount offers have become a common and essential trend when it comes to the ‘biggest shopping day of the year’. But what could you be doing better as we head into 2017?

  • Offers throughout the year: discounting does not only need to happen at Black Friday or the January sales. Retailers can attract shoppers with the latest products, and then get them to engage and purchase more by offering any associated items at a discount.
  • Early offers: why not offer a limited early discount before the rush of Black Friday? Entice organized holiday shoppers and help drive revenues earlier, so that you can outsmart your competitors before they have even agreed what to offer for Black Friday.
  • Exclusive deals: if customers have registered previously, why not offer them early access to exclusive deals? Help to foster customer loyalty by providing an exclusive experience.

What should Retailers be Leveraging in 2017?

The role of digital in retail is not a new concept, but what is changing is the impact new developments will have on shopping. So what should retailers be taking notice of?

  • Personalization & one-to-one relationships: The adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming a regular occurrence and this is set to increase in uptake during the next year. Retailers will be able to improve the shopping experience by driving recommendations, target offers and incentives or building out more intelligent and centralized customer service.
  • Streamline in-store with online: Technology in store has become more popular compared to a year ago, but to effectively provide a frictionless shopping experience, retailers need to ensure they can also support and streamline in-store experiences with online. In 2017, shoppers will be looking the highest level of convenience and retailers need to ensure they are not being hindered by legacy systems.
  • Purchasing via voice devices: We have seen plenty of innovations and focus put on voice when it comes to user interface in recent years. Amazon for example, saw 9 times as many sales of its Echo products compared to the holiday season last year, with millions of Alexa devices sold worldwide in the last year. Retailers have an opportunity to experiment and future proof their products and consumer purchasing habits by tapping into an area which is growing year on year.

Ready to Take that Next Step in Retail?

Retailers need to ensure they are staying ahead of the competition and continuing to drive revenues. This is where MPP Global and its advanced eCommerce solution, eSuite, comes in.

Get in touch with our retail specialists for a quick chat on how to manage the complete customer lifecycle.