Having got past the first climb of the Christmas campaign which since several years ago moved earlier with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and for many others, black week (or blue, green…), I have the impression that in general, in the Digital Channel, the consumer has become “professionalised” and plans the purchases for these days , has the products in the shopping trolley on the web page, identifying what they want, and shopping is now more and more similar to traditional retailing. People spend the days beforehand revising, identifying and analysing their quarry: what does this mean? Well, as I already suggested in my editorial for last year, shopping has fallen smack into a sort of funnel which trims margins and concentrates sales, but doesn’t necessarily raise them substantially overall in the longer period.
I think that brands ought to be able to make these periods of super-offers less seasonal, and even play in better periods than the end of November. The forecast for the Christmas season is rather uncertain this year, both because the temperatures have finally not accompanied it consistently (with respect to the cold normally expected for this time), but because politics is also contributing to the creation of uncertainty; nor do we have obvious trends for this year, not in technology, leisure, toys, fashion or perfumes; in addition, there’s a lot of instability in the car market, and overall in general. Thus, we ought to tackle the next few months with cool heads and work consciously on understanding not just what the consumer wants, but what might turn out really attractive to them. For some time the challenge has been to understand, entice, dialogue… but there are many companies and brands which are not realising this and it’s getting ever more difficult because the consumer has become professionalised and either really values and perceives that we’re genuine, or we just become another alternative on price. The first thing to do is work on the self-esteem of brands: recall and emphasise why they’re in the market and why their clients and consumers have wanted them; from this point, there is hard work to be done, but with the rewards of loyalty and improved image and results.
We are now fully into the last month of the year and I hope this serves to put the results of 2017 and the strategy to follow in 2018 into context. However, at least for the majority of our clients, the year is closing positively and indeed very positively; we must set ourselves the challenge of enticing again so 2018 can be even better.