The retail industry is moving into the second half of what could be considered the best-performing sales cycle since the economic downturn, and the pressure is on to maximize holiday sales. To succeed during the 2011 holidays, retailers are adopting more innovative, customer-engaging strategies and tactics to create winning experiences across all channels.
The 2011 Holiday Outlook, available as a complimentary report from Retail TouchPoints (RTP), addresses the trends and strategies driven by omni-channel shoppers. The Outlook also provides insight on current shopper-driven technologies, such as tablets, and tactical ideas on how retailers can utilize the mobile channel to cater to today’s time-starved, empowered shoppers. In addition, retailers can learn about mining the social sphere to extend their holiday strategies beyond engagement and storefronts, by capitalizing on peer reviews and user-generated content.
“The voice of the customer has never been more readily available, and retailers need to ensure that they are creating relationships with the influencers of the social space to further promote their brands,” noted Chris Cunnane, Senior Research Associate — Retail, CPG, and Hospitality at Aberdeen Group. “As consumers increasingly turn to peer recommendations when evaluating their purchases, retailers must integrate social media into their multi-touch, multi-channel marketing programs. With the holiday season looming as make or break time for retailers, a social strategy for customer connectivity and commerce is critical.”
The Outlook also includes comprehensive retail case studies to demonstrate how leading organizations can learn from last year’s success stories, including:
- Kirkland’s “Glee Spree” multichannel promotion;
- Coach’s recent venture into mobile commerce;
- Hallmark.com’s ability to forecast and cater to seasonal online demand; and
- JCPenney’s aggressive iPad implementation designed to deliver a seamless in-store experience.
These case studies demonstrate unique and effective ways retailers can be on the forefront of cross-channel innovation, by utilizing new media and integrating the shopping experience to drive customer engagement and sales.
“The way that retailers are going to drive and survive in the long-term is by satisfying their consumers,” said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee Results. “And satisfaction is going to be driven by a combination of the expectations that are set across marketing, advertising and execution, and the experiences that those consumers have.”
The 2011 Holiday Outlook also features insights from other leading industry analysts, including Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group, Greg Buzek, President of IHL Group, Laura Davis Taylor, SVP, Managing Director of BBDO/Proximity ShopWork, Gary Schwartz, CEO & President, Impact Mobile and Joy Liuzzo, Senior Director of InsightExpress.