Over the summer we blogged about planning campaigns for the festive and New Year period as it’s the most lucrative time of the year for most retailers and so prep work starts particularly early.

We’re now only weeks away and all of the work that we’ve completed as a retail marketing agency over the last six months is coming together.

As we get nearer to Christmas Day itself, campaign success will lie in the lap of the gods. Then all left to do is offer a minor tweak here and there to account for freak weather or other unpredictable variants that can impact on the best laid plans.

Common for the time of year is the presence of ‘retail’ in the headlines. News reporting actual sales as well as predicting consumer confidence is rife and gaining momentum.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and start of the US shopping season, made waves too on this side of the pond with big names such as John Lewis and Asda marking the day with ‘Black Friday’ promotions. This struck a chord with UK shoppers who hoped to bag a bargain with their last payday before Christmas in their back pocket.

This leads us nicely to another US phenomenon, Cyber Monday, which also gained traction in the UK this year. Coined to describe the first Monday back at work after Thanksgiving, many online retailers took the opportunity to engage UK consumers with discounts and offers. PC World, Argos and Tesco jumped on the bandwagon, and Amazon reported its busiest day of sales ever with more than 4.1 million items ordered at a rate of around 47 per second. Phenomenal.

An interesting bit of news came earlier this month from retail analyst Conlumino and O2 who reported that this Christmas consumers will be using a range of physical and online shopping channels to buy “on their own terms”.

The research supports our own views that for some time consumers have dictated how, when and where they will spend their money and retailers must embrace this notion to survive and prosper.

We’re in retail marketing, so we know that there is mass adoption of showrooming – where shoppers price check and buy online while in-store – and consumers are in equal droves purchasing through multiple retail channels.

All of this means that retail must drive engagement in their physical space to add value to a customer’s journey in order to survive the High Street. Technology must be used to connect online and in-store, and the whole process of buying must be made as easy as possible without restrictions such as on delivery or opening times.

This season shoppers will buy online, hit the High Street or use ‘click and collect’ at their own convenience. Retailers must commit to embracing the changes in consumer behaviour to avoid being left on the shelf.

If you’d like to talk about how we can help you to stay ahead of the game, get in touch today.

Adam Tregaskis