Christmas is coming. Yes, it may seem a long way off, but if you started with December 25th and worked your way backward, you’d see that for retailers, Christmas is just around the corner. The fact that Christmas is coming is the good news…the bad news is that customer expectations are higher than ever.
Here are four ways you can make yourself ready to serve your customers with excellence, despite the craziness of the holidays.
Start the conversation – Starting a conversation around Halloween is bad business. If you’re not engaging your customer now, you’re missing the chance to know them better and for them to appreciate you more than your competitor. Getting interactive just for the holiday feels opportunistic and hollow to your customers.
Get ahead of differentiation – There’s not a more focused and noisy promotion time than Christmas. Loyalty programs, personal touches, and a grasp of your customer’s history and propensity to buy from you are key things to set up now. Once the heat turns up, it gets much harder to make this work efficiently.
Solve your customers’ problems – The holidays can be a hassle for everyone, and anything you bring that makes it easier for your customer to shop is appreciated. Offer the same experience across all channels and make your loyalty program meaningful and omni-channel. Make it easy to know how Christmas shopping can be a loyalty-benefits bonanza.
Get creative and test it out – Marketing has become more and more about statistical probabilities. Even so, there’s an enormous amount of room for creative ways to engage the customer, make interesting offers, and let your customer be an advocate for your brand. Creative campaigns need to be tested against your existing propensity models to find the programs that will get the best return despite noisy channels.
With the weather still plenty warm, now is the time to start thinking about and preparing for the biggest shopping time of the year. Christmas in July? For marketers, it’s true!
This post first appeared on the Loyalty Lab blog and has been lightly edited.