3 Ways Retailers Can Stay on Santa’s Good List This Christmas

Maya Fowell

Insight from Nicola Travis, Head of Marketing & CRM at The Fragrance Shop, and top tips on how retailers can provide a competitive customer experience during the peak holiday shopping season.

Typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world, there is no time more significant than Christmas. As sales increase dramatically as people purchase presents, decorations, and materials to celebrate, the competition to attract the most customers between retailers rages on. One thing is for sure, customer experience remains the main competitive differentiator for all brands hoping to fill the stockings of shoppers everywhere.

Market research company Mintel found that 21 per cent of Britons say they will spend more online than offline in Christmas 2015, meaning your brand’s digital experience is just as important as the in-store experience this holiday season. This increase in digital spending is also being mirrored by Marks and Spencer, who told the Guardian that they are expecting shopping via mobile devices to increase by 50 per cent this year.

It is now more important than ever for retailers to ensure a consistent customer experience across all channels. In light of these results, one brand that has been making lists and checking them twice since July is The Fragrance Shop, the second largest fragrance retailer in the UK.

How The Fragrance Shops Plans to Stay Ahead

Knowing they’d be available to spread Christmas cheer, CX Network recently caught up with Nicola Travis, Head of Marketing & CRM at The Fragrance Shop (TFS) to find out how the perfume retailer is preparing for arguably the craziest shopping season of the year. This article focuses on the measures TFS have put in place to ensure their customers are kept jolly and three top tips for other retailers preparing themselves for the upcoming Christmas rush.

One of the biggest challenges faced by retailers in December is keeping up with the customer experience they provide all year round as the pressure of increased trading sets in.

When asked what the retailer had done to ensure their brand promise wasn’t lost and they planned to keep customers at heart of all they do, Travis said "We have spent some time reviewing this challenge because Christmas is by far the absolute key consumption period for us. Everything we have spoken about over the last year and more so in the last few months, deals with how we are going to ensure that our brand can do what it has promised to do.

"We have reviewed our customer services, in-store staffing and systems and we have basically been geared up for this since July. What it comes down to now is just ensuring all the plans we have made are in place and perfectly executed in this key phase."

Three Tips for a Winning Christmas Customer Experience

It seems for TFS the early bird catches the worm and as Christmas creeps closer there are certain things you too can do to ensure you are well prepared for the festive rush.

1. Don’t get distracted by media coverage about what other brands are doing

It can be quite easy to get swept up in competing with what other brands are offering their customers, especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday when marketing initiatives are giving an extra push to attract early bird shoppers.

If you’ve built loyalty with your customers and encouraged them to choose you as their first point of contact then December is the time to focus all your energies on delivering against your brand promise. Keep your eyes on the prize and remember what works for one company may not necessarily work for yours.

2. Know your customers and believe in your product’s message

What do your customers care about most? Is it price, customer experience, digital or something else? Whatever it is, if you want to attract new customers and keep the ones you already have in December then you need to ensure you are delivering something your competitors aren’t, something that is tailored to your products and personalised to meet the demands of consumers.

3. Have confidence that all your hard work will pay off

If you understand your customer and understand your product all you can do is go out there and be the very best you can be. Christmas being busier than normal isn’t a new phenomenon to retailers and chances are just like The Fragrance Shop, it’s been all engines go for a very long time.