Act with Certainty

The ForeSee blog for CX professionals and the Voice of Customer community.

Christmas In July: What Retailers Should Know About The Lure Of The Deal

Holiday Shopping

It’s summertime, and while the rest of us are barbecuing, retailers are already planning their holiday strategies. I thought it might be useful to take a look back at some of our data from the FXI: 2015 Retail Edition to see what we can learn for the season ahead, with a particular focus on customer experience scores based on special sales events, time of the year, and more.

97% of holiday shoppers are looking for deals

More than half (52 percent) are looking for deals starting before Halloween. And, our research shows more people are looking earlier even than last year. No matter how much complaining about holiday stuff hitting retail shelves before Thanksgiving, the vast majority of shoppers not only look for it, they expect it.

Customer Experience according to FXI (ForeSee Experience Index) scores are fairly consistent no matter when they’re looking.

When do you start looking for deals? % of Respondents FXI Score
Before October 19% 80
Early October 18% 80
Late October 15% 79
Early November 25% 79
Late November 16% 79
Early December 5% 79
I don’t look for deals during the holiday season 3% 78

Special shopping days are as popular as ever

A whopping 85 percent of holiday shoppers take advantage of special shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Those who do shop on special days have higher FXI scores than those who don’t. Of those planning to shop on Black Friday, 56 percent plan to shop in stores and online, 21 percent want to shop only in stores, and 19 percent only want to shop online.

On which of the following special shopping days do you plan to shop? % of respondents FXI Score
Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) 60% 80
Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) 55% 79
Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) 33% 80
None of the Above 15% 77

A twist on holiday shopping data

In one of my favorite twists in the category of “customers are from Mars, retailers are from Venus,” we’re presented with the following: Despite 60 percent of shoppers planning to shop on Black Friday, half (50 percent) think stores should not be open on the craziest shopping day of the year. What’s important to note here is how each will affect the satisfaction of those customers. While they may be looking for deals, it wouldn’t be impossible for them to have increased satisfaction when shopping with retailers that decided to give their employees the day off, as is the case with REI.

But every business is different, and not all customers are the same — meaning there is no simple answer to your Black Friday strategy. Data like we’ve shared above is one of many reasons you need to go beyond simple survey collection that relies on self-reported information and instead, use a patented, systematic approach that brings certainty to Voice of Customer investments. Because if you just listened to what customers say, you’d have great Black Friday deals but keep all your stores closed.

What are you planning for this holiday season? Do you take CX data into account when planning for special sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Find out how it can benefit your business by contacting ForeSee today.

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Read more posts by Eric Feinberg

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