2013 may be less eventful than 2012 but it’s a great time for retailers to get back to the heart of what their offering is and what they do best, says Sue Benson, managing director at The Market Creative.

Last year was fun. Filled with days worthy of national celebration, giving us something to smile about against a backdrop of economic gloom and patriotic spirit was at a high.

An eventful 2012 also gave us an additional incentive to shop. Sales of bunting, flags, new sports gear, mementos, food and drink all hiked thanks to a special four-day weekend to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and our London Olympic triumph which took us through the summer months and gave the nation an air of positivity as we entered winter and the festive period. All of this was good news for retailers, with many capitalising on the series of high profile events.

If we look to the year ahead the outlook isn’t so exciting. Of course there is the advent of a royal baby and usual opportunities brought on by seasonality, but for the majority of the time it will be back to business as usual. So what does this mean for retailers planning for the year ahead?

• A quiet year can be a challenge in terms of creative inspiration, but this is a great time to get back to the heart of what you do best. Revisiting objectives and getting reacquainted with your target audience, without the distraction of planning for any ‘one-off’ events that tend to monopolise attention, can help give business a boost.

• As recovery from the recession looks slow, retailers should look to elevate the perceived value of their offering. Consumers will continue to hunt down a good deal, so promotion and discount strategies should be carefully considered as part of a wider marketing plan.

• We’ve already heard of more high street casualties as we move into 2013, which should drive home the importance of getting the right balance between high street and online. Online offerings should be predominantly price driven, while in-store retailers should add value by providing exceptional customer service and having real experts on-hand to guide and advise shoppers through their purchase.