RETAIL: Christmas fever and the hyper-personalised experience!

Using data to understand shoppers’ real behavior and target them individually is the route to Christmas sales success. This quarter is showing ongoing digital investments from retailers pursuing a more seamless shopping experience, with developments in mobile apps and payments at the forefront of strategic initiatives around the world. 

In our November blogg we discussed the use of big data and the winning formula as knowing how you live the life of your customer, making their life easier and more convenient. We at Interimleder AS are experiencing exactly this with retailing in Norway, and when cooperating with our global partners, their customers and retail landscape are saying the same.

At the end of this short article read what experts are saying about the use of Big Data in the areas of FMCG and retailing.*

Christmas shopping starts earlier each year

The Enterprise Federation of Norway “Virke” predicts that Norwegian shoppers will spend 56,3 billion Norwegian crowns (kr) during the lead up to Christmas. They predict that each Norwegian will spend 10,700kr on average in December.

However, Christmas shopping starts earlier each year with retailers driving both awareness and sales experiences well before the first Sunday in Advent. The increased sales from online shopping, Black Friday offers and the increased usage of social media to stimulate sales, has driven Christmas shopping well into the early part of the last quarter of the year (Oct-Nov).

Big data and shopper marketing

Retailers are targeting shoppers from big data collected through loyalty plans, purchasing patterns, search patterns, interests and profiles, paving the way to define preference and the ultimate hyper-personalised experiences. In addition, retailers are refreshing stores to encourage spending and drive foot traffic ahead of the busiest shopping months of the year.

No matter where shoppers decide to purchase, it’s now standard to talk about new ways of marketing to shoppers on their terms and enabling them to buy whatever, wherever, and in whichever way they choose. The promise of shopper marketing – using data to talk to shoppers, not channels or devices – is finally being achieved.

You may have noticed this from the personalised offers you are receiving via apps, email, special vouchers and coupons directly targeted to you. The retailers’ attention to the customer now has changed due to the rapid growth in a digital world and their use of big data.

In-home vs. in-store shopping

What is interesting is the consumers´ quick adoption to the fit between in-home and mobile behaviors and the relatively complex or time consuming task of in-store grocery shopping. In Norway I see this is developing positive synergies with today’s online food retailing models, use of mobile apps and the connection to the physical store. There is still some skepticism to online purchasing, however retailers will primarily need to overcome this with balancing the perception of quality of fresh goods bought online as opposed to self-selection at the physical store.

December is a month for extra “kos”, as Norwegians say, and quality is an important factor in consumer´s preference. Many look forward to Christmas food items arriving in stores, says Ingvill Størksen, Director for Virke grocery network, and Christmas is a unique time of the year for a little extra indulgence. It´s predicted that each Norwegian will spend 10,700kr on average in December, of which 4460kr will be spent on groceries in December. High levels of in-store visits are recorded each year and a high number of purchases are made in-store as opposed to online.

Christmas shopping based on tradition or innovation?

This year your purchases, search and preference behaviour will end up in the retailers´ big data collection and analytics. What will be interesting is the hyper-personalized experiences that await us all in the lead up to Christmas in 2018. Can big data predict that your preferences mature and develop? Will we purchase more online? We will be one year older, some of us will have new hobbies and interests, many influenced by trends and fashion. Or that we simply are driven by tradition as opposed to innovation at this time of the year.

Thoughts to ponder on.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and safe New Year!

*10 important themes to take note:

  1. “Today, every customer is an individual point of sale”
  2. “Attention is the currency of the future”
  3. “Stationary shopping will in future be a purely leisure activity.”
  4. Emotions and the right context are decisive for the future of the retailing
  5. “Without analysis and interpretation expertise, you have nothing more than a useless and lifeless box of data”
  6. “Digitization is changing business models”
  7. “The breaking up of functional silos is almost a success in itself”
  8. Without courage, there can be no innovation.
  9. A Chief Digital Officer (CDO) resembles the relationship of the suspenders to the belt,
    Recipes from the twentieth century are killing retailing.

Read the full report.