The holidays can be a stressful time of year for retailers.
For many, the fourth quarter can make or break the year. But Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass feels positive about this holiday shopping season.
She recently touched on these three items during the company’s third-quarter earnings call last week that every retailer should consider.
1. The Holiday Season Is the Best Time to Acquire New Customers
While there is always buzz around great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday season represents the best time of year to acquire new customers.
“The holiday period is the best time to capture new customers and we will take full advantage of maximizing this opportunity,” Gass said. “We are committed to giving customers the most compelling and differentiated reasons to make Kohl’s their holiday shopping destination.”
Retailers should leverage their captive audiences during the holiday season to spark enrollment in your loyalty program.
For those brands out there thinking about their respective loyalty strategies for 2020, acquiring new customers now during this holiday season will ensure you are top of mind next year.
2. Personalized Communications Can Create Loyalty Moments During Holiday Season
Brands talk about effective communication with their customers throughout the year.
It becomes doubly important during the holiday season and, when executed properly, can translate into long-term customer loyalty.
Seventy-five percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.
During the busy holiday shopping season, consumers want to receive timely and personalized communications from brands. This creates loyalty moments that are quite impactful.
Consumers are willing to share personal information with brands in exchange for value and control over their data.
Acquiring loyal customers during the holiday season is crucial.
Consider that loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.
Gass said Kohl’s continues to make progress in its personalization efforts.
“For the holiday season tens of millions of our customer connections will be personalized in some way,” she said. “Our ongoing testing demonstrates that we see an increase in both traffic and conversion through these personalized messages.”
3. The In-store Experience is a Huge Asset for Retailers
Nearly 70% of consumers agree their loyalty is more difficult for a retailer to maintain than ever before, while 88% agree retailers could do more to earn their long-term loyalty.
These statistics are clearly evident during the holiday season.
Providing a great and memorable in-store experience is critical for brands, especially during the holiday season.
Some of the in-store experience projects at Kohl’s include the outfit bar and Curated by Kohl’s. The latter is an innovative platform that showcases emerging digitally native brands.
Kohl’s is partnering with Facebook to bring Curated to life through social marketing efforts and to help identify brands that are creating a following on both their Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Retailers delivering the best in-store experiences will be better prepared to make an impact on consumers at the moment of truth during this holiday season.
Brands with loyalty programs can incentivize members with special treatment such as free gift wrapping, children’s holiday activities, and photos with Santa.
Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPUS) is a huge draw for many brands, including Kohl’s.
Gass said Kohl’s customers see the benefits from BOPUS and Amazon Returns.
“We completed the nationwide rollout of the Amazon returns program late in the second quarter” she said. “We continue to be very pleased with its overall performance. With the extension of the program consumer research indicates that customers are very satisfied with the service. They find it simple and easy to us and they intend to use it again.”
Gass added that Amazon Returns drives incremental traffic and company officials are encouraged by the “disproportionate amount of new customers, which on average are also younger than the typical Kohl’s customer. We are very much looking forward to the holiday season, which will be the first with Amazon returns in stores nationwide.”
Make the Holiday Season Memorable for Your Customers
In order to create year-long relationships, focus on acquiring new customers during the holiday season and communicate in a way that’s meaningful to them.
Remember, providing a unique and memorable in-store experience to attract customers and impact their long-term loyalty beyond the holidays.