Retailers to Reach Beyond Traditional Holiday Theme to Connect with Shoppers this Year

It’s getting close to that holiday time of the year – the season when marketers press emotional buttons to get consumers to purchase goods and services. Historically, retailers have prompted consumer spending by emphasizing traditional holiday themes. But that strategy may not be enough this year.

Consumers do not seem to have the usual emotional connection with traditional retailers lately and that attitude could spell trouble when these merchants rely on the holiday season to generate profits. The latest research from Motista shows that the vast majority of consumers have a high level of awareness and familiarity with major brands and retailers. But only 24% of surveyed consumers say they’ll be making major purchases from these retailers this holiday season.

One problem appears to be how well shoppers are connecting with retail brands. On this front, men and women behave differently:

  • Men are more likely than women to feel that their preferred retailers make them feel valuable and personalize the relationship.
  • Men are also far more likely than women to use live chat on websites and to engage with the latest technology with respect to shopping – especially making purchases on mobile devices.
  • For women, shopping is all about fun. Retailers who make their environment fun, and offer stylish options will win the emotional connection with and shopping dollars from women.

Alan Zorfas, co-​founder and CMO of Motista, predicts retailers will take the following steps this holiday season:

  • Drive a deep connection with shoppers because connected shoppers respond to direct mail at twice the rate of other shoppers.
  • Engage consumers through mobile devices and social media.
  • Prove that they are simplifying shoppers' lives to build an even deeper connection.

Retailers may begin laying the groundwork now to forge these bonds with consumers well in advance of the hectic year-​end shopping season. Those who get it right will be rewarded with higher sales.

[Source: Retailers Must Look Beyond Awareness and Traditional Themes. Motista​.com. 19 Aug. 2011. Web. 1 Sep. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.