Top 3 Resolutions for Retailers

As we head into the New Year, consumers are planning their New Year’s resolutions, from paying off credit cards to joining the gym and cutting carbs. But they’re not the only ones who should be thinking about the positive changes they can make in the coming year. Retailers reflecting on the trends and events that defined the 2015 consumer business landscape and determining their goals and priorities for the year ahead may want to consider these New Year’s resolutions:
  1. Get fully up to speed with EMV compliance
Given the October 1 liability shift date for EMV compliance, retailers are likely already familiar with and acclimating to new EMV systems. However, they have encountered a number of challenges along the journey to EMV compliance, from equipment outages to check-out delays. Making investments to ensure smooth integration while improving customer service can hedge against confusion and frustration, as well as protect retailers from potential legal ramifications.
  1. Harness the power of mobile data
It’s clear that retailers are officially on board with using mobile as part of their omnichannel strategies, with this year being the first year that a majority of CMOs have integrated mobile into their holiday marketing plans, according to annual Retail Compass Survey of CMOs. But using more channels to reach consumers also means collecting more data, and our survey also revealed that as more data becomes available, effectively managing and leveraging it grows more challenging, as well. In the year ahead, retailers can find ways to differentiate themselves and more precisely meet consumers’ needs by realizing the power of mobile data. Retailers should spend some time identifying the best tools to manage and analyze the data, and use it to drive decisions.
  1. Re-evaluate promotional schedules
This year’s holiday season has confirmed the emerging trend of traditional sales and promotional events losing steam as shoppers spread their buying across many months and remain constantly vigilant for good deals. In response, the majority (64 percent) of retail CMOs surveyed this year planned to schedule their holiday promotions throughout the season, as opposed to focusing on specific days like Black Friday. This evolution applies not only to the holiday season, but throughout the year, too. Not even the back-to-school season yielded a major sales influx for retailers.  According to the NRF, the average family completed just half of their shopping by late August, spreading out back-to-school retail sales well into the start of the school year. With less emphasis on what were historically major retail occasions, retailers should revisit their promotional calendars to strategize how they can attract cost-conscious consumers consistently throughout the year.

What retail resolutions are you planning for the New Year?