November 2, 2022
Retail Growth

The Retailer’s Guide to a Profitable Holiday Season

Sean Turner

For retailers big and small, the holidays are a time for giving—specifically products that meet their shoppers’ unique, personal preferences. But they also hope to receive, by forging meaningful relationships with shoppers that promote long-term loyalty, increased basket size and revenue.

Ongoing inflation, inventory issues, and other economic challenges are impacting consumer behavior and putting a damper on holiday cheer. But not all hope is lost: Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast anticipates holiday sales to increase 4-6% in 2022.

Now is the perfect time for retailers to capitalize on the anticipated boost in holiday shopping, with a personalized, connected experience that helps shoppers save time and money. And it’s not too late to do so—with the right retail media platform and technology partner on your side, you can create a loyal customer base that chooses you over competitors long after the festivities pass. Here’s how.

✔️ Prioritize a Personalized, Omnichannel Experience

Tis’ the season for browsing the digital and physical shopping aisles. For today’s consumers, shopping typically begins on their smartphone, long before they’ve left the house. In fact, a survey from Target found 75% of guests start their shopping trips on mobile devices, and 1 in 3 shoppers clicked on a mobile search ad before they ended up in the store. This is especially true during the holidays, when shoppers want to check inventory ahead of time, find deals and savings, and budget accordingly. Amid rising costs and inflation, customers are even more wary of their spending than ever before.

That’s where an omnichannel experience offers valuable support—to give shoppers a convenient digital experience that seamlessly connects to their in-store journey. Retailers can provide each shopper with a unique experience from beginning to end, recommending relevant products, promotions, and discounts at the right time for each shopper. Tools like click-and-collect, in-store product scanning, and scan-and-go—provide shoppers a faster, more personalized way to plan purchases ahead, navigate stores in-person, and check out efficiently.

This one-of-a-kind shopping experience doesn’t compromise on personal privacy either—but instead leverages first-party data to understand shoppers’ previous behaviors. This holiday season, retail personalization is the key to building connections, delivering a memorable experience, and encouraging repeat business.

✔️ Customize Your Mobile App

Over 85% of US shoppers now own smartphones and they’re using them to browse the web, engage with mobile apps, or make direct purchases. Offering a unique mobile app experience is particularly important during the holidays, considering people are buying more items than usual—and looking for ways to save time or shop smarter.

Mobile apps translate to convenience, efficiency, and savings for shoppers by providing instant access to in-depth product details, side-by-side product comparisons, reviews, video demos, and price checks.

With other optional features like store mapping, personalized advertising, and reward program integration, you can increase engagement during the busiest shopping time of the year.

✔️ Offer a Compelling Retail Loyalty Program

In a period of economic uncertainty, loyalty becomes an even more valuable commodity. Although shoppers hope their favorite brands will deliver savings where they need them most, they are willing than ever to trade down brands to get the best deals and stretch their dollars. This means retailers must work that much harder to streamline the shopping experience and deliver customers the personalized perks and offers that reward their loyalty.

Whether your loyalty program is tiered, membership-based, or points-based, it’s important to create a program that brings customers great value. In order to do so, retailers must know who their customers are and prioritize the kinds of rewards that matter most to their base.

One way retailers can gain insight into their customer base is by leveraging first-party data. Unlike third-party data, which is information gathered by companies that don’t have a direct relationship with the individual consumer, first-party data only collects data based on direct customer interaction. This helps retailers and brands push advertisements or deals that are most relevant to their preferences. That way, shoppers save more, feel seen as unique individuals, and continue to build a relationship with you over time.

✔️ Consider an Endless Aisle Marketplace

The holidays are a busy time of year for shoppers and retailers alike. Amid supplier delays and out-of-stock shelves, it’s important that retailers have a strategy in place to help shoppers get what they need—when they need it.

With an extended marketplace, you can prevent lost sales and disappointed customers by redirecting purchases to their doorstep. A retail partner like Swiftly connects directly to CPG manufacturers for fulfillment, requiring no integration work for you to sell products straight from brands to consumers.

Shoppers value ease and convenience—and will remember a retailer who went above and beyond to improve their experience during a stressful time. Better yet, retailers maintain their credibility and won’t lose a valuable sale.

✔️ Offer Scan-and-go Checkout

As in-store foot traffic increases during the holiday season, shoppers don’t want to have to wait in endless queues to make purchases. Think of last-minute Thanksgiving supply shopping, or high volumes of people at the mall on Black Friday.

Fast, easy mobile checkout is one of the biggest disruptors coming to retail holiday shopping. Systems like Apple Pay have simplified digital payments and set the bar high for efficiency.

With digital shopping lists and cashier-less checkouts, retailers can elevate every step of the purchase journey, making browsing and checkout easier than ever.

Spread Cheer This Holiday Season with Swiftly

As costs continue to rise, there’s never been a better opportunity to deliver a personalized, efficient, reliable, and connected shopping experience.

With Swiftly, providing shoppers with a frictionless experience that understands their shopping needs and helps them save during the holidays is simple. Swiftly has the platform and solutions to help you thrive and grow in today’s digital-first world. As a true technology partner, we provide the retail platform, mobile platform, retail media, insights and analytics in a simple out of the box model to help you get started quickly.

Get in the holiday spirit with a retail media platform that fosters long-term loyalty. Contact Swiftly today.