It’s the time of year retailers spend many months preparing for the Christmas shopping frenzy! The National Retail Federation recently reported that retailers will make as much as 30% of their annual sales over this period, so it’s an absolute must to be prepared.
Whether it be customer service, experience, marketing, new product ranges, staff rostering or your store format – a huge number of variables go into the shaping of the perception of your customer experience. To make things even more fun, different customers, will have different concerns at any given time.
While this can seem a little daunting, fear not, TruRating is here to help. We analyzed thousands of ratings (collected across four continents no less) to help identify the three distinct types of customer, who will walk through your doors this holiday season.
We’ve also provided some tips on how to help meet each of these shoppers’ unique expectations. Who says Christmas doesn’t come early once in a while?
Enjoy and have a fantastic holiday season!
1. The ‘Loyal’ Customer
“The most effective way to increase brand loyalty is to increase customer service.” (Forbes Agency Council)
Our holiday retail data uncovered that customers who are ‘fans’ of your store spend more per average transaction when they reported having an ‘excellent customer experience’ or received great service.
We found that having a good mix of temporary and experienced staff on shift, helped retailers maintain and improve service levels during busy periods. Implementing technology that allows you to monitor service patterns by time of day, can be hugely beneficial in terms of reacting to staffing blind spots in a timely fashion, before your revenues take a hit.
Tip: Monitor shift patterns closely to ensure that you have the right mixture of long-term and temporary staff employed evenly during the busy holiday periods.
2. The ‘Indifferent’ Customer
When it comes to customers who are ‘fence-sitters’ rather than brand loyalists, we found that Product is the key driver behind ATV, closely followed by the perception of value for money. What does this tell us?
This type of customer is in-store for purely transactional reasons: if your store stocks the product they need at a good price, they purchase – simple as that. If, however, they can find the same product at a better price somewhere else, they’ll likely follow the deal over the brand.
Ensuring stock levels are well maintained throughout busy times is an obvious must for this group, but our data revealed that benefit-led selling is another key for winning over this typically neutral group of customers.
We worked with one retailer to help retrain their staff to sell by emphasizing the benefits of their products, versus just the product features, and the result was a huge 11% increase in ATV. The same retailer discovered that when staff had explained more than two options to customers, ATV went up by an even larger 30%.
Tip: Ensure your seasonal and full-time staff are well trained on your products to optimize the ATV of every customer visit and encourage them to spend the time to educate customers on why products will benefit them vs. pure feature led-selling.
3. The ‘Cash-Conscious’ Customer
The holiday season is a unique retail period; we found that even customers who were disappointed by an in store experience, still had ATV’s comparable to the most satisfied customers. While providing a high quality of experience remains necessary to drive long term customer loyalty and advocacy, for a select group of shoppers, finding a bargain is the most important driver during the holiday season.
The key driver for this group was value for money. They are price driven and focused on hunting down the best deal in town. When this group were impressed with the value of their shopping in December, their ATV spiked in comparison with other times of the year – unsurprisingly in line with when most retailers launch their holiday sales.
To appeal to the ‘smash and grab’ holiday bargain hunter, your best bet is to make sure you’re clearly promoting your sales, whether through local advertising, social media or even handing out flyers. Remember that as many as 75% of holiday shoppers are willing to try a new retailer given the right incentives – a well-timed flyer might just be the thing to clinch this fleeting group!
Tip: To appeal to bargain hunters, make sure you are publicizing your latest offers through a variety of channels – particularly to local audiences – during the busy holiday period.
To learn more about how you can optimize your customer experience over the Christmas period, leave us your details via the TruRating website and one of our busy elves will be in contact as soon as possible.