During the holidays, traditional and digital channels get
quickly cluttered as competition for consumers attention heats up. Retailers
who hope to break through the information clutter and keep the customer coming
back, must find creative ways deliver both value and great customers
experiences across all channels.
1. Understanding the Personal Value
Value Equation will help us view shopping experiences through the
customer’s eyes: Value = Personal Benefit minus Cost and Inconveniences. Starbucks
for example provides value by going out of their way to create relaxing and
welcoming atmosphere where people are happy to spend hours inside their shop. People
will often pay more if the personal value outweighs the cost in their eyes: that’s
the reason Starbucks is able to charge $4+ for a coffee and keep people coming
back. On the other hand, Tiffany and Nordstrom make price as part of the
benefit, because they are viewed as higher-end brands that provide great
customer service and quality. The price part of the value equation is offset by
these benefits, and the higher cost factor is minimized.
Focusing on strong points of your brand and figuring out how
consumers see it through the Value equation can help you provide greater value
during the holidays. Ask yourself, is there anything you can do to minimize
inconveniences or increase personal benefits? Can you help customers save time?
Can you make them feel more comfortable? One of the ways you can do that is
make shopping easier for the last minute. Having pre-wrapped popular gifts near
the entrance of the store can save customers time and make you look like a hero
in their eyes, increasing the personal value as a result.
2. Staying creative with Holiday Themes –
One of the ways retailers can cut through the messaging clutter is by creating
holiday-themed fun experiences for their customer. PetSmart is doing an
excellent job this year leveraging
Halloween to drive store traffic and increase sales. They’ve created a
Halloween-themed costume contest, encouraging pet owners to take their costumed
furry participants into the store on Oct 19 and give away free treats, toys and
coupons. In addition, PetSmart does an excellent job of fusing their social and
in-store experiences; pet parents can snap a picture of their pets in store and
enter PetSmart’s Monster Photo Contest for a chance to win a grand prize of
3. Embrace the Omnichannel
With a smartphone in hand, have no doubt that consumers are planning to
showroom and webroom you during the holidays, as we learned
from the 2013 Accenture survey. Whether in-store or on their smartphone, your
brand needs to have consistent messaging and experiences. If your in-store experience
was great, but customers received sub-par customer service via social channels,
it will certainly effect their willingness to interact with your brand in the
future. Neiman Marcus, a luxury retailer
with customer experience at its core, understands this and recently announced
the investment of $100 million to expand its digital offerings to blend the
customer experience in-store, on their website and via apps.
What are you doing to prepare for the Holidays? Will your message be heard?