It's that time of the year ... You can almost hear the palatable sound of stress levels rising around you as everyone is not only wondering if they have been naughty or nice but also counting down the days till the end of their working year. But not for those of us in the retail, hospitality, care or digital worlds though.
Being in a customer-centric role, we love Christmas and wish Santa came more than once a year, the sight of full stores, customers struggling under bundles of parcels, the EFTPOS machines groaning under the pressure of Kiwi's rushing to complete their shopping, out eating, visiting loved ones ... It's enough to bring a tear of joy to the eye.
But the Christmas campaigns run by retailers small and large, and all those in-between, leave us feeling well, meh…and we do wonder…
- Why do our big box retailers dress up their normal discounting as 'Christmas Specials', We are pretty sure the same specials come St Stephen's day will be 'Boxing Day' specials
- Where's the Omni-channel Christmas promotions? We want to have the same offers available no matter how we choose to shop. We don’t want to go all the way in store on a busy shopping day, only to have the salespeople utter – oh we don’t have that in store, or that’s an online special only…Give your in-store retail teams the opportunity to shine by delivering on the full experience!
- Why are you sending us 3 catalogues a week - enough already! We are clearing the letterbox twice a day with the flyers crammed in, most of which goes straight to recycling. Not to mention the Christmas email inbox. Don’t get us wrong, everyone loves a special, but not when it’s emailed twice a day every day. One email received the other day was from a company which offered $5 off a minimum spend of $50 – really? Was it even worth that to send the email? Quality over quantity is key!
- Why is all marketing aimed at kids?? Last time we checked there were more people over the age of 13 in NZ and we don't really fancy a Star Wars bedspread…
- Why do we try and be something we are not? Click Monday, Black Friday? Stats are that only 3% of Christmas shopping is completed on Black Friday in the States – not exactly a huge money spinner (not to mention the margins argh!) Yielding more disappointment than excitement from my point of view!
- Where have all these people have been hiding most of the year...? Are we sure there are only 4.24 million of us nationwide as I'm pretty sure Auckland had at least that last week when I attempted a Christmas shop while in the big smoke
Every year it seems that our biggest question is:
Why can't someone sell me the Joy of Christmas rather than just trying to flog me a product?
And New Zealand you delivered it this year (a small start but a start)! The Farmers adverts brought tears to my eyes and last weekend we watched A Kiwi Christmas and all of a sudden I felt that love and the joy of Christmas come flooding back.
There are so many great emotive promotions overseas which tap into the emotion, joy and love of Christmas, not just flogging a product so we are so excited to see Kiwi businesses and Kiwi films promote the joy over another round of discounts or big box office films. Personally, we believe the feel-good factor produces more loyalty than a $5 off coupon ever will…
And now as Christmas closes in (only 5 days as we write this) we always wonder how in today’s business environment we still have the great New Zealand shut down. Every business is claiming to be “customer centric” and yet many are closing the doors today for a summer vacation (I have even seen signs in retail stores saying they are closing from 22nd December to the 15th January – sacré bleu!!).
Although it sounds like we are closing off for the year, we’re not! With the rise and rise of Social Media, business is now a 24/7 proposition and if you want to succeed you need to be available pretty much 24/7. One of the things which surprises us is the businesses who are closing off for the holidays, a little part of us thinks – lucky, the other wonders how important their customers are to them? Today’s customers are more informed, demand a higher level of service and want to buy when it suits them. If you’re not open, they will simply go elsewhere.
Businesses on Facebook are starting to post that it’s their last post for a month, and while we know you need to take a break, all we hear is – I’m more important that my customers. Take your phone to the bach, share what makes you, well you and show that you are still thinking of your clients or customers even if you are 1000 miles away.
One of the services we provide at Connect Plus offers is on-going marketing support so that your business can continue to function while you take a much needed break to spend time with your family and recharge. So while many businesses are closing the doors to relax you can be sure that our clients are going to be out there providing what their customers want, doesn’t take a genius to think who will succeed in 2018.