Q4 is the busiest selling season for retailers. This means more consumers in your stores and restaurants. This is an opportunity to sell and create brand awareness among consumer groups you may not normally interact with at other times of the year. Take advantage of this chance to boost your bottom line. We have 5 consumer groups you should pay attention to during Q4.
Falling between Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X is often ignored. Now in their late 30s and early 50s with advanced careers and empty nests, Gen X is predicted to spend the most this holiday season. While Gen X doesn’t like a hard sell, they love a good deal and understanding how a product will make life easier.
Gen X prefers the physical: paper coupons, talking with a real person in-store, and shopping brick-and-mortar. They also love connection and loyalty programs. Capture their attention this holiday season with a good deal and keep them coming back all year long with attentive customer service and loyalty rewards they can take advantage of in-store.
Pets are now family, and that means they are included in holiday celebrations. According to NRF, pet owners shell out $350 million on Halloween costumes. 95% of pet owners buy Christmas gifts for their pets. Beyond the necessities, owners are happy to splurge on clothing, travel accessories and grooming services.
When it comes to certain items like bedding, treats and clothing, shoppers prefer to buy in-store. To take advantage of this in-store preference for certain products, online retailers like Wild One opened a Q4 pop-up shop from October 2018 – January 2019.
Product demonstrations or offering a simple service like nail trimmings are a great way to get pet owner’s attention and get them in-store. Once in-store, be sure your holiday pet products are prominently displayed in your natural hot spots.
Additionally, you don’t have to sell actual pet products to tap into this consumer demographic. Pet themed products, (calendars, clothing, mugs, etc.) are a great way to engage with these consumers. Or think about how your product could help pet owners in an unexpected way.
For instance, Samsung’s SmartThings Item Tracker has many uses. To introduce the product to pet owners, Samsung launched the Bark-n-Browse Pop-up where dogs could play in a park setting or have fresh made treats while their owners learned how the SmartThings Tracker could benefit them and their pets.
Gift Card Givers
According to Retail Next, 93% of holiday shoppers either purchase or receive a gift card annually. Consumers like gift cards because they feel more personal than cash. For retailers, the benefits of gift cards are numerous.
Gift card holders spend more. Gift card holders are more willing to pay full price for items since they view gift cards as “free money” and an opportunity to treat themselves. Additionally, as CBS News explains, once a gift card holder is in the store 50% will spend over and above what the gift card is worth. Gift card holders are also more likely to impulse buy and be open to upselling: 25% will impulse purchase an additional item, and 8% will buy the more expensive version of the item they originally planned on purchasing.
Gift cards give brands a chance to interact with consumer demographics otherwise outside of their scope. Not everyone giving your gift cards will know about your brand; they only know that someone they know is interested in your brand. During Q4, train your employees to spot these customers and engage with them in a way that is both helpful and introduces your brand.
Gift cards encourage impulse and add-on buys. While you should always have complementary envelopes ready for gift card buyers, take a cue from brands like Starbucks that cross-merchandise their gift cards with memorable greeting cards and upgraded gift card holders.
Conscious consumerism is a key trend for 2019. Issues like climate change, equal pay and a desire for supply chain transparency are all influencing where consumers are choosing to spend their money. Conscious consumers are not a niche group: 87% will purchase from a brand they know advocates for issues they care about.
According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Conscious consumers are aware of the waste that comes with the holiday season and are looking for brands who reflect their values and desire to mitigate impact. In fact, 63% of Americans are looking for businesses to lead the way in sustainability.
You don’t have to overhaul your product line to appeal to these consumers. Simply take the time to highlight what you already offer: reusable gift packaging, locally produced products, cruelty-free cosmetics and anything packaged or made with recycled materials.
You can even work sustainability into your holiday displays by using non-traditional materials. Anthropologie is known for attracting buyers with their beautiful displays that include unconventional materials. For instance, their igloo display constructed from milk jugs.
Whatever your sustainability practices are, be sure to let your customers know. Like Zara who collects used clothes in-store and advertises their use of recycled materials right on their gift boxes.
The Customer in Front of You
“Self-gifting” is becoming a trend. Shoppers will spend over $100 on themselves during the holiday shopping season. Put popular self-gifted items (electronics, winter apparel, athletic apparel, selfcare cosmetics) alongside more traditional gift sets and items to encourage the shopper in front of you to treat themselves while they treat others.
Whichever customer demographic you choose to target, all customers expect to shop in a clean, well-ordered store with knowledgeable staff. Remember to conduct retail audits throughout this key quarter to keep your stores presentable, your shelves stocked and your staff engaged.
Compliant IA is a complete retail execution and store communication platform. It runs on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It combines task management, social collaboration, smart checklists, action plans, and photo verification to ensure store programs are communicated and executed in time, in full, in all locations.
About the Author:
Chelica Hiltunen is the Director of Operations at Compliant IA. As a trained researcher, she is passionate about analyzing retail best practices and improving organizational processes for multi-unit retailers. She helps retailers raise brand awareness, work efficiently, and increase sales.