This weekend saw M&S reporting their first sales decline in over 2 years, as Xmas spending was hit by "consumer confidence". The word on the high street seems to be "concern", as consumers keep more of their money in their pocket. The bricks and mortar situation is hindered by not being able to successfully translate a database full of customer names into a real time sales driver on the high streets in the run up to Xmas.
Online sales over Xmas are reported to have continued the growth seen last year. With an avalanche of e-money flying through the e-tills, it will be interesting to see how marketers and CRM experts within the online retail giants interact with their customers over the next few months.
I'm waiting with interest to see how my online favourites communicate with me.
Xmas 2006, I bought almost all my presents online. This year however I did very little shopping online. Smart CRM systems would pick that up, tag me as a "shopped last year but didn't return despite our enticing pre-Xmas emails" and treat me differently. Maybe establish why I didn't spend my money this time round. Maybe just make me an offer I can't refuse to entice me back to the site and transact again.
I fear however that I'll just be treated like everyone else, and receive the usual mass e-mail. I live in hope that someone will treat me like an individual, but I'm not holding my breath. Come on businesses, gain insight from me as a customer, translate it into a compelling offer which will motivate my return to the fold, and then watch me spend money with you again. It's almost too easy......
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