Save Room for the Retailer’s Delight

November 21, 2012
Holiday lessons for retailers

Shopping this holiday season is already happening. Advertising began last month, and with some Black Friday sales actually starting on Thursday, it’s obvious that when it comes to retail, you just can’t start early enough.

In hot pursuit

Sure there are the toys or game consoles of the season. Even I fell victim to the chaos and frenzy caused by hunting down a LeapPad for my three year-old son, something I swore I’d never do again after paying full price for a sweet Nintendo 64 back in holiday rush of the late ‘90s.

But there I was, stopping at every Target, Walmart and Toys “R” Us I could find. When faced with “out of stock” messages while looking online at store inventory, I ignored the warning and ventured out to small towns surrounding our metropolis, to no avail.

Did I eventually get the Leap Pad? I did. Was it worth it? Probably not. The point is that consumers are savvy and with the right motivation, they will go to great lengths to find that Holy Grail of toys, games, jewelry, or whatever the “it” happens to be.

Set the holiday table(t)

I say savvy, but I should qualify that. Consumers are willing to go to great lengths to find a good deal. They will research, price check, and commit to the pursuit on a smart phone or tablet. It’s just more convenient.

Instead of just finding that one “good deal” at individual stores, retailers can make a true connection with their audience. Loyalty programs, free shipping, and exclusive holiday incentives help build a loyal customer base, especially when those customers know they are getting a fair deal for what they want and when they need it most.

Connect with the ones you love

While consumers love a good deal, it’s hard to build relationships solely on coupons. For retailers, connecting to the right customers in the right way can help build the long-term consumer relationships that matter.

Make your retail space a place where consumers feel comfortable spending time and money. Encourage feedback, wish lists, and engagement. Make it a place where they know they are being treated fairly and even coddled on those rare occasions.

If you can connect and make a consumer feel valued and a little special, they will come back again and again.

Ready to hit the road

So when you see that your customers are out and about this season, take a moment to assess what they need and how you’re going to provide it to them. Share some holiday cheer for those brave enough and diligent enough to plan, research, and execute.

I know, I know, the LeapPad2 is out and I should be on my way to pick it up right now!

[Image: bochalla]