Why is it everyone (well, except for the occasional Grinch)
The Grinch: Not Your Ideal Customer
, seems to be more generous around this time of year? They are more easily upsold on things, less influenced by pricing factors and more likely to impulse-buy. Wouldn’t it be great if they were like this all the time? How can you, as a retailer, encourage your customers to maintain the ‘season to be jolly’ attitude all year round?
The mood is partially a result of peer pressure. Usually associated with the teenage years, peer pressure thrives in adults in a more mature fashion. We call it ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’. In this commercial age, the sad fact in some cases is that gift giving is only a form of glorified competition. Everyone wants to buy the unique, high quality, pretty, big (insert any other adjective here) thing that no one else will get. Peer pressure influences trends and fashions, so to a certain extent you’re already encouraging it. If no-one wanted it, you wouldn’t be selling it.
However, there are other more hidden triggers this season that people are motivated to spend by. You may already have some of them in your store and not even know their effect.
It’s to do with the sensory input people experience while shopping in December.
Visually, all that red going on is energizing and encourages aggressiveness. While initially this sounds odd, consider those ‘thrill of the hunt’ episodes when you’re looking for that perfect present. You’re not giving up; you’re single-eyed and making snap decisions. And then, all that stress might just send you to a coffee shop to unwind (and thereby contribute to the economy a bit more!).
What about the free mini-mince pies at the grocery store? It’s a proven fact that when a customer receives something they unconsciously feel a ‘give-guilt’ which makes them feel they need to repay the kindness. (This is why giveaways are perennially effective). All this bumps up the budget bit by bit.
There’s a certain amount of urgency with Christmas; there’s a deadline date where everything needs to be bought by. You can create that sense of urgency, to a certain degree, with sales and other events such as mother’s day during the year.
Think about those carols piping from every angle. Do you recall them from your childhood? The smell of freshly baked gingerbread wafting through the store… Sensory experiences like these in shops are designed to evoke nostalgia and happiness. The images in store are all nostalgic and happy too, and emotionally customers connect with that feeling. They will be more likely to associate the products in your store and in the pictures with a happy feeling.
A good mood acts like aspirin on wallet pain which is all the better for you, the retailer!
A re-cap: Peer pressure + lots of red + giveaways + urgency + feel-good nostalgia = A shopping frenzy.
All these factors can be transplanted to other seasons with imagination. Give it a go, and you may just reap the benefits of Christmas right throughout the year.