A Blueprint for Retailers’ 2020 Investments

Lessons learnt in the Golden Quarter shape approach to building retail loyalty and connections in the coming years


By Richard Willis, RVP EMEA, Aptos


The Golden Quarter is make or break for retailers. For those that get it right, the sweet music of cash tills ring all the way to January. For those that get it wrong, shelves remain full of stock destined for markdown.


But the lessons learned in the Golden Quarter extend far beyond the festive season. The insights gained have a vital role to play as retailers build out their plans for the future.


Our survey polled 4,000 consumers in the UK and the US to identify consumer trends, in order to help retailers better understand their customers’ evolving demands and expectations. What is clear is that retailers must focus their efforts on optimising the five Ps:


Price — It’s no surprise that price is still a deciding factor for many consumers. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers (63%) would abandon their purchase if they could find an item cheaper elsewhere.


Presentation — A tidy store is a happy store. More than two in five survey respondents said they would shop elsewhere when presented with a disorderly store.


Promotions —In-store offers are hugely popular, with 82% of survey respondents saying it encourages them into the physical store. However, assortments and promotions need to take into account the nuances of each customer segment, market, channel and location.


Promptness — Flexible and fast fulfillment is imperative. Shoppers expect options such as click-and-collect as standard, with more than two in five shoppers opting for this fulfillment option throughout the year.


Personalisation —Whilst personalisation has long been associated with e-commerce, retailers can empower their store assistants to deliver personalised experiences in-store. Approximately half of shoppers would visit another retailer if they felt a sales assistant was unhelpful or unavailable.


Ultimately, with the abundance of brands and shopping channels, today’s consumers have the option to shop around. Any number of factors could cause them to stray. Retailers need to be on their toes when it comes to understanding their customers and creating an unbeatable customer experience.


Optimising the five Ps comes down to focusing on three core areas:


  1. Delivering best-in-class customer engagement through personalised offerings and a positive shopping environment.
  2. Effectively managing merchandise to ensure the right product is in stock at the right place and at the right time.
  3. Delivering a true omnichannel approach so customers can purchase and receive products in the way they want, when they want and where they want.


If retailers consistently excel in their customer engagement, merchandising and omnichannel strategies, they can secure customer loyalty in 2020 and beyond.


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