Customer voice is key as retailers weigh in their jingle bells performance
Updated: Jul 7
For retailers, the last two months of every calendar year may be the most significant when it comes to sales. General sales data and forecasts for November and December of 2021 were no different, despite the coronavirus ramifications, as many businesses are hopeful that the holiday season would salvage their bottom-line earnings. There is only one issue that turns out to be even more significant for them at this time of year: customized customer feedback data, which gives their businesses a deeper and more focused understanding of what they can surmise and conclude from this shopping season. Such data once tracked and analyzed, would reflect not only how they performed in Q4 and what their customers are saying about their products and services but also hint at how they can plan ahead for the same period next year.
According to the National Retail Federation, American holiday sales are expected to grow 8.5-10.5% vs. the same period in 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. November and December will average 19% of all annual sales including physical and online purchases. For some industries, this figure is a lot higher: The toy and game stores, as well as the jewelry industry, take in close to 35% of their annual income during the holiday season, while the department stores and those specializing in electronics take in 31%. The gift and clothing stores are not far behind with 30%.
According to yet more Holiday season shopping statistics, the period between December 15th and the 24th (Christmas eve) of 2020 accounted for 40% of all Christmas sales. Gift cards are very popular as 56% of all shoppers buy them. And in retail, the categories with the highest share of holiday spending are clothing and accessories, gift cards, and food and beverages.
General trends in USA holiday shopping 2021 include 58% of consumers looking to social media for holiday shopping ideas. They claim that platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram will inspire their buying decisions at this time of year. Value, convenience, and product availability are the top reasons for shoppers when deciding where to buy.
But whatever the general industry figures show, apparently one size does not fit all. Every industry and every business within an industry has its unique features and challenges that must be addressed, and that pertains to the holiday shopping results as well. Regardless of holiday season national estimates, businesses need to inspect deeper within their markets in order to fully comprehend how their products and services were perceived, and not only purchased. If they wish to maintain customer loyalty, evaluate what the seasonal gifts of choice were, and learn whether their service was decent, a deeper customer feedback analysis can serve as their ticket for their future roadmap. Customer intel analysis is also key for every department of the organization, be it product, customer service, marketing, or sales.
With Affogata, specific information about many different customer feedback variables can be tracked and analyzed. What did customers think about the special gifts and toys this season? How did the marketing campaigns for those products were perceived by them? How did the supply chain challenges figure out in consumers’ opinions? Were customers happy with the customer service during the holidays? And finally, as a result of the collective effort of all of the companies’ departments, what was the overall brand sentiment? Affogata can deliver all of that intel to businesses so that they can better and more accurately evaluate their customer feedback and assess how they performed during one of the most important selling seasons of the year.