EGC Group, a full service integrated marketing and digital agency, released the results of its 2014 Holiday Marketing Insights report, spotlighting key challenges and opportunities for retailers in the 2014 holiday retail season. According to the report, as consumers become increasingly tech savvy and busy, their expectations for seamless experiences from in-store to digital are on the rise.
Despite shaky consumer confidence this year, retail experts predict a 4.1% increase in spending this year, a full percentage point increase 2013's actual increase. At the same time, 98% of consumers say they expect consistent experiences across all brand touchpoints, but only 1% of customers say they feel vendors consistently meet their expectations. Trends indicate that customer experience is set to trump price and even product as the key brand differentiator for consumers within the next six years.
Retailers must approach customer service from an omnichannel experience, ensuring consistency and ease of use for busy consumers. Consumers report they're willing to pay more for great experiences with brands, and these experiences are the key factor in developing brand loyalty.
"We're seeing innovators this year who really understand how to seamlessly weave their digital and in-store strategies," notes EGC's managing partner Nicole Larrauri. "The key is to winning and nurturing brand loyalty today is developing brand strategies from a truly integrated approach."