With inflation at a 45-year high, the cost of living has skyrocketed as we see energy bills and food costs reaching new heights. Despite this, consumers are determined to have a good Christmas, and are trying to spread the cost over a longer period of time to flatten peaks in spending, resulting in a 0.6% increase in retail sales in October. We may see this trend continue with Black Friday right around the corner encouraging further spending.
Retailers must acknowledge that cost is the ultimate driver, but customer expectations are higher than ever before. It takes one bad experience to lose a customer and is almost impossible to win them back. Communication that keeps the customer in mind at every point will create receptive and positive experiences that will generate profit, but more importantly – maintain loyalty during a difficult period.