Retail Therapy is Back
As pandemic restrictions wane, shoppers are forecasted to hit both the stores and e-commerce sites in a frenzy this holiday season. With limited spending last year on travel and vacations, consumers are anxious to get back to in-person “retail therapy” — although that doesn’t mean e-commerce will slow down in the least.
According to one forecast from e-marketer, total U.S. holiday retail sales in 2021 are predicted to rise 2.7% to $1.09 trillion, while the season’s e-commerce sales will rise 11.3% to $206.88 billion and will account for a record 18.9% of total holiday season retail sales. Making the most of the holiday time can carry a retailer through the year ahead.
Life as the retailer once knew it is in the rearview mirror as the industry looks at new business strategies with lessons learned from the pandemic. Data continues to occupy center stage for the smartest retail marketers, and having the latest and greatest consumer information can be the difference between great product and great sale.
Retail continues to be a competitive space to thrive, and utilizing the power of big data to generate leads will be key for making the most of this holiday season and the years to come.
A Look Ahead
Many sales strategies adopted by retailers and other industries during the pandemic may not soon go away, if ever. Outdoor seating, curbside pickup, click-and-collect are among those that are here for the long-haul. Consumer expectations have raised the retail bar during the pandemic and continue to do so beyond the lockdowns. Fast, easy and free returns are a new normal to consumers everywhere, but that’s not all they expect.
Today, marketers are challenged to not only capture shoppers’ attention in a sea of competing brands and noisy ads, but they also need to meet the customer exactly where they are. Multi-channel marketing has never been more important as social media continues to grow, from discovery through purchase on many platforms. In fact, mobile sales in 2021 are predicted to make up almost three quarters (72.9%) of total e-commerce sales.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year
Holiday trends have also changed for the retail industry. Holiday shopping is starting early, as online shoppers need more time to allow for delays and returns if necessary, extending the holiday shopping season. According to Statista, last year 38% of shoppers started their shopping in October and 61% before Thanksgiving. Retailers need to ensure their digital and multi-channel strategies are not only in place but keeping up or outperforming the competition well in advance of the holiday rush.
The Power of Data
Digitization, big data and analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are among some of the hottest trends becoming more prevalent and relevant than ever before in retail history. Having a 360-degree view of the consumer is not only valuable to retailers but a key differentiator in this evolving landscape. Understanding the customer base and improving their experience is key to crafting a refined and personalized approach to engage them; not only can this help to achieve better results but can also set those retailers apart from the competition. Combining, overlaying or matching property data to consumer data can also help fuel loyalty programs, acquisition campaigns and cross-sell opportunities.
The benefits of using property data for lead generation include the ability to target the best leads using household-level data such as demographics, lifestyle information, income and market trend data along with visibility into property characteristics. Understanding where the customers are located, where they are moving to or from and ages of movers is valuable intel for any retailer, but the type of property they live in; the age of the roof; the quality of the pipes; and whether it has a pool, garden, space for multiple cars or an RV are just a tiny fraction of the types of useful insights available.
This information can be used to create custom digital audiences or direct mailing lists in a blend of both online and offline marketing strategies. Personalization is a valuable method to grab shoppers’ attention, providing the right messaging with customized offers to deliver a unique interaction and drive consumer engagement.
Prepare for the Season Ahead
Data-driven insights are leading the charge in the new world of retail. It’s no longer a case of just having the data, it’s understanding the opportunities and power behind it and how to use it. Consumers are switching to multi-platform shopping behavior reinforcing that online shopping is here to stay.
As such, retailers need to ensure their omni-channel strategies are in place and integrated with expansive property and consumer data to provide deeper consumer insights and the information needed to reach those targets at the right time, in the right place with the right message — so you can be ready for the holiday season and beyond.
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