It is no question that this year has been financially challenging to a whole slew of consumers. We are coming out of a pandemic and inflation is high. Consumers may be buying less this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that their experience must be anything but spectacular.
According to Matt Kramer, Consumer and Retail National Sector Leader at KMPG,
"It doesn’t all have to be about markdowns and pricing. It can also be about having an exceptional customer experience. Some of these consumers are coming back to the stores for the first time. If they have a great experience - that’s going to determine how frequently they come back,” (Source)
I worked for a high-end athleisure brand for four years. All year long we created great guest experiences in store. Coming into our store was a party, everyone was happy to see your face, and you could count on walking out with all the products you needed...or maybe didn’t need but the experience was so great you wanted to buy more!
During the holidays, it always seemed slightly more challenging to make that emotional connection with a guest. Stress was high, the store was busy, and everyone’s needs were the priority. This year is no different in that aspect and there is an added factor, inflation. Consumers are questioning what special people in their lives get gifts this year.
85% of consumers surveyed described themselves as somewhat, moderately, or extremely concerned about inflation. (Source: KPMG Holiday Forecast Report 2022)
Stores have the opportunity to combat the weight of inflation by elevating the customer’s experience. Customers want to touch, see, and experience products. Stores can elevate this beyond just the products they sell.
- What does the consumer smell when they walk into the store?
- Is it fresh and light holiday experience?
- Is the music too loud?
- Is each customer being greeted?
- Can the customer navigate the store?
All these factors play a role in the customer satisfaction in store.
Customers are excited to be back in stores, are seeking out that connection and put high value on a good experience. If the experience in store is great the consumer is likely to spend more and recommend the store to more consumers.
Consumers said they plan to spend an average of $1,072 on the holidays this year which happens to be 6% more than 2021. (Source)
As your brand enters peak shopping time, think about how you want to make the most of each consumer’s experience in store, or not in store. It doesn’t matter where they are shopping, consumers want the best experience across the board.
Want to learn more about how to trigger your customer’s emotions to improve customer experience?
Download this whitepaper now.