The ad appeals to viewer emotions by generating a feeling of nostalgia and memories — the ultimate brief for retailers this festive season as they wrap up magical experiences for customers.

The pandemic accelerated the shift towards online shopping and influenced the way retailers prioritised contactless fulfilment options and digital engagement strategies. This put the spotlight on creating captivating, cohesive, memorable omnichannel shopping experiences.

Retailers must up the ante and become more innovative, agile and customer-centric when it comes to preparations for this full-on, frenzied time.

The tussle between online and offline has indeed become more apparent, where price parity, consumer offers and adequate stock are represented in physical stores as well as on various e-commerce platforms.

Retailers need to make sure that they have created a seamless connection between both channels, as what happens online often leads to offline sales. They must build meaningful customer relationships over the course of the year, including amping up the shopping experience and finding the sweet spot in the split between in-store and online.

It's now about presenting new and exciting ways to allow consumers to browse, buy and save leading up to the festive season — meeting them wherever, whenever and however they prefer to shop.

From a global perspective, according to Olbuz, shoppers have already started their holiday shopping — some as early as June — so understanding the micro-moments to maximise sales will be key within a small pre-December window.

For example, be prepared for increased demand by:
  • reviewing last season's data and comparing metrics
  • playing smart to stay competitive by keeping an eye on competitor's prices and offers
  • shifting marketing strategies to make sure there is a platform to connect with mobile shoppers (as a start by having a mobile browser-compatible website)
  • having a strong presence on social media, or
  • perhaps considering the option of hiring influencers to create campaigns around specific products.

The Future Shopper Report 2023 (Wunderman Thompson) takes a deeper dive, presenting some interesting stats. It reported that 56% of global consumers say they want seamless communications across digital and physical channels and 60% prefer to shop with a retailer or brand that has both digital and physical stores.

Furthermore, 32% of all online spending is done on mobile phones. So too, marketplaces remain the number one online channel; however, despite this dominance, 2023 has seen a resurgence in physical retail and D2C brands.

The next few weeks will, without a doubt, be a busy time for all retailers — be it online or offline. The following top tips are tabled for consideration on how to acquire more business (Wunderman Thompson & BizCommunity):
  • Price is top when it comes to decision-making online.
  • Price may be king, but service is not far behind in importance, with the number one thing global consumers would change about online shopping being 'faster delivery'.
  • Furthermore, optimising the in-store experience starts by understanding online behaviours.
  • When thinking about service, make sure that returns are part of the deal — from hassle-free return policies to clear communication around updates, tracking information and timely delivery.
  • Sustainability, purpose and ethics are more important than ever but need to be underpinned by the right price and service across both online and offline.
  • With the world digitising at a pace, redefining the view of 'our consumer' is key.
  • Adopting content that entertains to stand out, such as TikTok, to tap into cultural or seasonal moments and, at the same time, making the most of these communities where content is co-created with people — not just for people.

In addition, recently plugged into the thinking of several marketing leaders, who highlighted how retailers and brands can win over 2023's festive shoppers. This includes creating experiential moments that will stay with customers to making shopping easier across all core channels — being real but making it positive, as well as maximising value and rewarding loyalty.

Success this festive season will ultimately come down to how switched-on retailers are, onboarding new approaches and shifting marketing strategies both online and offline.

This is with solutions that offer fresh perspectives and new ways of doing things around integrated, omnichannel, personalised and digital experiences, where service excellence partners with new-age consumers who have much higher expectations than in previous years.

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