According to Robin Coles, managing director EMEA for XCCommerce, promotional agility is one of the keys to success for retailers in the Christmas season.
Product shortages and shaky consumer confidence are contributing to greater uncertainty over how retail will perform from now until the January sales.
The burden is heaviest on grocers, responsible not only for feeding the nation but providing consumers with more than half the products in the last quarter.
One of the biggest questions for grocers, as the holiday shopping season approaches, is where customers will want to shop, and whether they going to feel comfortable shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.
Therefore, part of the challenge for many grocers is figuring this out, because customer behaviour varies across locations. Established cultural and regional differences aside, it is also because every region has been impacted differently by the pandemic.
This means that many grocers will have put together their marketing and promotional strategies without an accurate prediction of shoppers' buying habits.
Therefore, agility and the development of multiple, interchangeable marketing strategies will be the key to realising year-end opportunities.
Supporting retailers' marketing efforts and preparing their stores and operations to satisfy customers' holiday meals, party and celebration needs, requires multiple strategies to move and shift as the market, economics and other factors change.
Retailers need to plan for in-store promotions, as well as online delivery and kerbside pickup, which can be swapped at the click of a button depending on particular market conditions.
Implementing a sophisticated promotion and offering management platform facilitates this type of agility, enabling consistent execution of complex, overlapping offers across channels, devices, banners, locations and loyalty status.
An automated solution from a single platform allows retailers to manage, execute and analyse all of their complex promotional offerings, across all sales channels.
Using a unified promotions solution allows businesses to tweak and change their digital offers, personalising them for each digital channel and each individual store.
It also allows them to hone their strategies more easily and target offers within certain geographical boundaries.
The flexibility in a single, integrated promotions management solution also supports the creation of unique strategies and personalised promotions targeted to individual customers.
Based on a grocer's level of understanding concerning their customers' purchasing and browsing behaviour, they can make targeted offers through the digital channels in which they are engaging.
Driving customer loyalty is a top priority for any retailer throughout the industry, particularly within grocery.
In the golden quarter, it's crucial that grocers incentivise and reward their customers for shopping with them.
The challenge today is that many grocers and retailers currently manage their promotions and engagement through disparate systems, rendering the experience for customers fragmented and inconsistent across channels.
Equipping marketing teams with a unified platform to manage and execute all offers and promotions across stores and all digital channels makes it easy to control and supports the continued development of omnichannel efforts and an enhanced customer experience.