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‘Tis Already the Season to Be Thinking About Holiday Shoppers

New guide details moves retailers should take for successful Christmas sales.

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PHOTOGRAPHY:  DGLimages/iStock.com PHOTOGRAPHY:  DGLimages/iStock.com

Though it’s not quite summer (at least by the calendar), it’s not too early for retailers to start thinking about ways to stand out from the competition this coming holiday season. Offering some suggested strategies for doing just that is the new  “Holiday Playbook” from customer experience management (CXM) company Merkle.

“It’s not news that understanding the unique and shifting needs of your customers is at the heart of any successful holiday strategy. What’s catching retailers off guard is the pace at which those needs are shifting, and the agility with which their competitors are answering,” said Janine Flaccavento, EVP and general manager for retail, consumer goods, and quick-service restaurants at Merkle. “Retailers need to constantly examine their audience’s unique mindset, and tailor a connected experience accordingly — from in-store merchandising to app functionality to promotional calendars to loyalty programs and so on.”

Among the key trends highlighted in the playbook are:

  • A changing retail calendar: Black Friday is no longer the sole tentpole of the holiday shopping season, and brands must adapt to the new timeline.
  • The endless aisle: Retailers should enhance the in-store shopping experience with digital tools and resources, to provide shoppers with the assortment and convenience they demand.
  • Commodities versus experiences: To serve customers effectively, brands need to embrace and authentically express their core identity and values across the customer journey.
  • Doing more with less: Retailers, product brands, and shoppers are all looking to stretch their dollar – thankfully, there are plenty of ways for everyone to do so this year.

“No matter what your holiday strategies entail, the customer should always be at the center of your plan,” Flaccavento concludes.

Click here for more from the playbook.

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