This year, amid a national recession and global pandemic, Nigeria is facing the most unusual holiday season any of us have ever experienced before. The pandemic has forced the whole globe to move to the virtual side of working, socializing, or consuming information, whether it is the way we live, the way we work, or the way we shop.
The pandemic has drastically changed consumer habits and preferences, and pushed businesses to adjust rapidly to an unprecedented retail climate. Many retailers have turned gears to remain afloat, prioritizing online shopping and other secure alternatives for a customer base wary of exposure to the virus. This huge culture shift is not going to disappear overnight and this time, its effect can be seen even on the shopping behaviour of customers
Beyond the pandemic, some of the unfortunate incidents from the #EndSars protests in Lagos have put more pressure on retailers to get their holiday sales strategy right. What does it all mean for the holidays that are coming? It’s certainly going to be different from anything we’ve seen in recent memory.
Here are some of the key trends for this holiday season to look out for and tips on how to plan your business for success.
- An increase in online shopping: As non-essential stores closed at the start of the pandemic, and people had to quarantine, online shopping rates soared. In this holiday shopping season, the interest and availability of the audience lie in the digital platform, since the COVID-19 cases are re-emerging in certain places, consumers are more likely to stay at home and opt to browse through the web to fill in their gift list. Providing an integrated, seamless digital customer experience would provide the edge required for retailers to survive the current holiday season.
- Increase purchase method options: In order to survive the 2020 holiday shopping season, it is very important to understand what your online store needs and expects from customers, see our article on how retailers can use data to drive holiday sales here. As innovations and technologies create a seamless experience for consumers in the world of e-commerce, by implementing fresh and tailored shopping methods in your online store, you need to remain ahead of the competition.
- Search engines will be really important: Retailers should take advantage of product listings, reposition the holiday shopper with their best content, and create categories or landing pages that represent what consumers are most looking for. Well, we think that increasing online spending and SEO efforts can help your online store to capture the consumer’s attention. You want to ensure that at the right moment, you hit the right person with the right message. It is important to make the end-to-end customer experience appropriate and seamless. Although customers are definitely swept up in the holiday joy, if they have a bad online shopping experience, don’t expect them to shrug it off.
- Data-driven loyalty programs: Loyalty programs encourage your clients to shop and campaign for your brand at your stores. More companies are looking to loyalty programs as a way to keep successful customers coming back, with so many options open to consumers today. Based on data-driven insights, the most loyal, high-spending clients should be exposed to highly customized experiences, only accessible via the vast quantities of customer data available today.
- Data-driven inventory management: The fastest-growing brands in retail are using data to fuel their most successful and innovative initiatives. Data-driven inventory management will improve profitability, as inventory efficiency is optimized. There are various tools available that can help improve this.