October 19, 2017

Consumer behaviour and expectations at Christmas

Christmas is a key period in the retail season, which sees shopper volumes increase and brands step up their operations to deal with the increased influx of customers. Shopping for the festive season begins in November and continues throughout December and into early January during the New Year sales. With key sales dates during these months, including ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, it’s a crucial time for retailers to maximise opportunities to increase revenue.

The key to ensuring the period is as successful as possible is for consumer-facing businesses to understand the power of customer service, ensuring that everyone who comes into contact with their brand has a positive experience. Statistics from the 2017 Trust Pilot Report highlight the importance of the period for generating revenue gains and the significance of a positive customer experience. Reviewing the almost 700,000 reviews given in December 2015, the results produce some important points for retailers and other consumer-facing businesses.

Image result for christmas shopping

Bear in mind for consumers it’s a frantic period, and stress levels are increased by the pressure to spend extra on Christmas gifts. However, customers expect retail staff to be as attentive as ever, so although staff may also be experiencing stress, it’s important not to let this get in the way of providing excellent customer service. For businesses who deliver a positive customer experience, they stand to maximise on the potential revenue gains available. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone 40% of retailers experienced a 48% revenue growth, highlighting the impact of the two key shopping days.

Whilst consumers find themselves choosing to shop to provide gifts for the holiday period, regardless of their previous experiences, the memories of an unpleasant Christmas shop should not be ignored as they are carried into the new year. In 2015, negative reviews increased over the Christmas season, equating to 12% of all reviews given during December. This figure had risen by 20% from November, highlighting how retailers are failing to maintain their levels of positive customer experiences. The most common reason given for one-star reviews was ‘customer service’ which was cited by 47.5% of people as the most important factor to them during the holiday season.

Whilst the Christmas period holds huge opportunity for retailers and consumer-facing businesses to significantly increase revenue, the facts above make it clear just how important maintaining good customer service is to enjoy the benefits of increased sales.

**All stats from Trust pilot 2017 Christmas Report

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