Commentary

The Holidays Are Coming

With only eight weeks to go before the official start of the holiday season, we can expect to see and hear retailers stirring holiday emotions with carols, themes of good cheer and celebration. Even if they try it with a new twist, retail marketers relying on the traditional approach are missing a huge opportunity to leverage other emotional connections that can have a dramatic impact on this season’s retail performance.

Looking at our recently released consumer connection data, we see compelling evidence that there’s more than holiday themes to motivate consumers to increase traffic, sales and spend levels.

Key findings of our retail survey showed:

  • Brand awareness is high, emotional connection is low: While awareness and familiarity with 10 major retail brands was high (90% and 71%, respectively), only 18% of consumers indicated an emotional connection to their retailers.
  • Emotionally connected consumers are better customers: Consumers who felt emotionally connected to their retailer were four times more likely to shop those retailers first, as compared to consumers who were simply familiar or satisfied with their retailers.
  • Fit into the lives of consumers: Retailers can build connection by better fitting into the lives of consumers. The survey tells us that consumers look to retailers to make their lives simpler. In fact, when consumers feel their retailer “simplifies my life” or “lets me live life the way I want to live it,” they are far more likely to shop there first, pay more and recommend the retailer to their friends.

Gender also plays a big role in how retail brands connect with customers. We segmented the data to look more closely at how men and women interact with retail brands and discovered the following:

  • Men take their retailer very personally: Men are 50% more likely to feel their preferred retailer makes them “a more valuable person.” Men are also 53% more likely to feel people will “see me differently” because they shop at a particular retailer and 30% more likely to feel their retailer “personalizes its relationship” with them.
  • Women drawn to fun and style: Women, on the other hand, establish connections with retailers around the perceptions of fun and style. Women are 18% more likely to connect with “fun” and “stylish” retailers.
  • Men connect through more emerging online touch points: While men and women both follow retail brands on social media networks at approximately the same rate, men are twice as likely as women to engage in a live chat through a retailer’s website, and twice as likely as women to make a purchase through their mobile device.

Clearly, there’s a lot more than traditional holiday emotions for retailers to connect with when driving consumers to choose how they’re going to spend their time and money this season. As retailers get ready to bombard consumers with holiday themes, those who focus their efforts on connecting with consumers in their own lives can enjoy better results.

 

 

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