Lessons From The Back-To-School Season That You Can Apply To The Holiday Season
By Alicia Fiorletta, Senior Editor
I always find the back-to-school season to be an interesting time for retail. Everyone is coming back from their summer festivities, whether it’s vacations or summer camp, and they’re preparing for the year ahead. But I also think it’s a period that alludes to key consumer trends and preferences, especially as the holiday season nears.
Below is an infographic from Clarabridge, a customer experience management company, focusing back-to-school trends and insights. I really like that the company honed in on social feedback and customer sentiment because at the end of the day, a retailer’s key job is to make customers’ lives better and easier. Retailers can’t do that, though, if they have no idea what their customers are saying.
As I was skimming through the infographic, I also started to wonder: What does this mean for the holiday season? How can retailers take these factoids and apply them to their strategies?
Clarabridge CMO Susan Ganeshan had a few thoughts:
- Tune into social: More and more customers are turning to social channels to ask advice and reach out to retailers especially when they are in high-stress shopping situations like back to school shopping and holiday shopping.
- Find ways to reduce the stress: When people shop leisurely it is just that: relaxing. When people are on a mission to shop for a targeted list (or worse…when they don’t have an exact list but need inspiration, like around the holidays), their stress levels naturally rise. How do you combat that stress? You could try offering holiday drinks or better yet, you could augment promotion cycles, perhaps letting coupons and discounts run longer to accommodate the procrastinator.
- Listen to your customers: The most important part of being customer-centric is actually listening to your customers through all possible channels. Retailers should be gathering chat notes from their website, customer queries, surveys, social data, and the voice of the customer through the employee. The data shows that the most successful retail organizations differentiate their service and shopping experience with deep customer intelligence you can only get when you truly listen.
Take a look at the infographic and share your thoughts in the comments section below!