Predictions for the 2015 holiday shopping season are rather conservative, as a lot of consumers (both in the United States and globally) remain rather tight-fisted with their spending. Despite the improving economy, many people are not overly optimistic about the future.
As Retail TouchPoints notes, retailers will also share some responsibility if their holiday 2015 revenues fail to reach their expectations:
“Recent research indicates that the holidays bring significant mismatches between what consumers want and what retailers are able (or willing) to provide. Although 60% of consumers report that the availability of buy online/pick up in-store will affect where they shop — and an even higher percentage (72%) of consumers want to be able to buy online/return in-store — only 25% of retailers offer these services. And while two-thirds of consumers find online product recommendations helpful, a scant 16% of retailers expect a high ROI from this functionality.”
“See where retailers successfully play Santa, and where they fall into the role of Grinch, with this infographic from Listrak.”
6 Replies to “Do Retailers Offer What We Want During Holiday Shopping?”
I think that retailers are not as optimistic as some shoppers are and mainly stock up on the top few hit items of the season and work off of that. Retailers probably feel it is better to sell all of a smaller quantity of an item rather than get a large amount of the holidays hit item but still be left with a bunch of the product after the holidays. Also, consumers have the right to buy anywhere they want depending on what a store offers them, but many people choose to shop where they are most comfortable sometimes over getting the best deals.
With retailers anticipating a holiday season with conservative spending it is important for them to do an even better job of marketing there products. If someone is constantly seeing something they want online of or emails I think they will definitely be mere likely to purchase that item. I think retailers should concentrate more heavily on social media and less on emails. The youth of America spends its time on social media and is no longer heavily involved with emailing. Retailers need to adjust to the changing trends. Personalization is also an important part of marketing because someone is more likely to buy a product they previously searched and keep seeing online.
Retailers are put in a very difficult position during the holidays with such high demand. If they order too much, they could end up with a major excess of goods and products which will hurt their end of the year inventory, and if they don’t order enough they could be majorly missing out on a lot of money. What makes the position even more difficult is how prominent online shopping has become. Many in store retailers have lost a lot of business due to the fact that online shopping can let you easily compare products and prices, so this has to be taken into account for all business. The statistics presented in the article above are very detailed and it shows how much analyzation goes into holiday shopping because of how profitable it can be. This is certainly the prime time for retail, and it has to be handled the correct, and most efficient way possible.
I agree that emails are a great way to reach consumers. I am always checking my emails on my phone, and when I see a brand that I particularly like send out an email about a sale or new items, I will sometimes click it to see what exactly they have to offer. While the emails can be overwhelming, especially during the holiday season, I think that it is a good way for a company to keep their brand(s) in the back of the consumer’s head. Additionally, I found it surprising that only 27% of companies made customer experience a priority. Clearly, this is a high-stress time for shoppers due to big crowds, long-lines, and sometimes lacking inventory. I think that more companies should make customer experience a priority to keep tensions low in the store. It is not uncommon this time of year to see a fist fight breaking out on the news because someone grabbed the last ticket item in a store. Making the customer experience a priority, I think, can definitely keep tensions low and maybe prevent that kind of response from shoppers.
This holiday season I have noticed many trends consistent with the post. In my own recent holiday shopping experiences I have noticed that I find in person shopping to be much more painful than online shopping. Admittedly I am a bit bias towards online shopping generally however I feel the hustle and bustle of in person holiday shopping will amplify my online shopping this season.
In reference to a related point of this post I do feel that many consumers who buy products online will first test out the product in person, especially in the case of expensive technological goods such as bluetooth headphones and flat screen tv’s.