Every year, the holiday retail frenzy seems to start earlier and earlier. This time around, it seemed like the Halloween decorations weren't even put up before the Christmas promotions came out to play.
In an era of sluggish retail sales and a continuing downbeat economy, it's no surprise that retailers are doing everything they possibly can to stand out in terms of holiday shopping strategies, offering discounts, sales and promotions that will bring as many customers stampeding to their doors as possible.
However, whenever I watch retailers set out their holiday lures, I can't help but ponder what these companies are doing behind the scenes to truly address issues of long-term loyalty long after the last Christmas tree gets ground up for mulch sometime in January. With the competition for loyal customers getting fiercer by the quarter, and marketing channels such as social media becoming more and more important and confusing at the same time, how will retailers work to address issues relating to loyalty beyond their loyalty programs or within the marketing department? Will they begin to dig deeper into data to figure out how the merchandising department, the e-commerce side, and the front line customer service representatives can all be a part of increasing customer loyalty?
It's a race to the finish line for many retailers throughout the holiday season as they work to meet corporate and shareholder expectations. But it remains to be seen how these same retailers respond to the need for customer-centricity and Enterprise Loyalty as they seek success in 2011.
In her role as Senior Editor, Sharon writes and edits stories for COLLOQUY magazine. She helps develop future communications and research initiatives, and also works on white papers and thought leadership content for other lines of business within LoyaltyOne.