The fight for Christmas shoppers is almost underway


September saw a sharp fall in retail sales, as shoppers look to control their spend with the continued squeeze of inflation reducing disposable incomes. As we move into the winter months, my expectation is that competition will heat up again as consumers again tighten their belts to budget for energy bills and spreading the cost of the festive season over a longer period to combat this.

With the autumn budget in November, retailers are eagerly awaiting the government’s plans to ease the cost pressures of inflation which still persist. However, while waiting for the macroenvironment to change, there are proactive steps which retailers can take to reduce their costs and boost customer loyalty now, like identifying micro efficiencies in their operations and investing in loyalty scheme programs.

The fight for Christmas shoppers is almost underway, so in this key period retailers need to be providing excellent and connected customer experiences in-store and online, or risk frustrating customers to the point of losing their business.

Through the festive season retailers must also be conscious not to fatigue their customers with meaningless deals. Customer data will inform strategies here, to identify those goods which are necessities, and add value to the customer’s experience by adjusting pricing to create a more competitive regular basket spend. Retailers need to get ahead now, to beat the competition.