Alliance Data businesses share eight key trends that retailers can leverage now, including the only channel that matters, how to maximize micro-shopping moments and the new holiday calendar
On the heels of Amazon Prime day and after record-setting year-end holiday sales in 2017, retailers will need to plan ahead for the critical 2018 holiday sales season to meet the high expectations of consumers who are demanding convenient, easy and seamless shopping experiences. Alliance Data (NYSE: ADS), a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, and its businesses provide practical advice for reaching customers and building lasting loyalty throughout the year in its “2018 Holiday Retail Outlook” whitepaper. The free report, authored by experts in Alliance Data’s card services business, Epsilon, Conversant and LoyaltyOne, is available for download at https://investor.alliancedata.com/registration.
The retail outlook heading into holiday 2018 is positive, and 5,000 net new store openings are forecasted before the end of the year – on top of 4,000 net new store openings in 2017 – presenting more choices for consumers who are increasingly creating their own individual shopping journeys, whether in-store or online. Their decisions are made in the moment, and retailers need to stay one step ahead, anticipating what shoppers need across every channel.
Among the insights derived and eight key trends identified by the Alliance Data businesses based on marketing and loyalty programs developed for their 2,000 global clients, the Holiday Retail Outlook white paper covers:
Put the customer experience first. As customers navigate their own shopping journeys, retailers should ensure they’re providing the tools that meet their immediate needs. While shoppers want convenient choices when it comes to payment options, customer service and shipping, retailers shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of well-trained in-store associates who can provide guidance on what to purchase.
Maximize mobile. With more than 90 percent of consumers now owning a smartphone, the mobile shopping experience is a critical component of any brand’s holiday strategy. Consumers “hang out” on their smartphones, and shopping happens anytime and anywhere, whether waiting in line or commuting on a train. Smart retailers will deliver a streamlined experience that enables a purchase to be completed in quick moments with just a few steps, while also giving customers easy access to their accounts and rewards.
Drive multi-channel purchases. Customers approach the in-store holiday shopping experience with a far different mindset than the digital experience, but a holistic approach will help brands win more customers during the holidays and keep them engaged. Proprietary data shows that, during 2017, omnichannel shoppers made more than 3.2 more trips at a given retailer compared with single-channel shoppers. The holiday selling season is a key opportunity to introduce customers to a brand and deepen connections with existing customers, so retailers should ensure their loyalty programs provide meaningful rewards to create authentic connections.
For more information about how Alliance Data’s businesses can help brands grow sales and increase loyalty, visit www.alliancedata.com.
Alliance Data® (NYSE: ADS) is a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. The Company creates and deploys customized solutions, enhancing the critical customer marketing experience; the result is measurably changing consumer behavior while driving business growth and profitability for some of today's most recognizable brands. Alliance Data helps its clients create and increase customer loyalty through solutions that engage millions of customers each day across multiple touch points using traditional, digital, mobile and emerging technologies. An S&P 500, FORTUNE 500 and FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For company headquartered in Plano, Texas, Alliance Data consists of three businesses that together employ approximately 20,000 associates at more than 100 locations worldwide.
Alliance Data’s card services business is a provider of market-leading private label, co-brand, and business credit card programs. Epsilon® is a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven technologies and marketing services, and also includes Conversant®, a leader in personalized digital marketing. LoyaltyOne® owns and operates the AIR MILES® Reward Program, Canada’s most recognized loyalty program, and Netherlands-based BrandLoyalty, a global provider of tailor-made loyalty programs for grocers.
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