It's day eight of our festive blog series: This article explores what's going on in the retail industry to draw in shoppers at this crucial time of year.
Christmas may be a crucial time of year for cheese sales but it is not only the dairy retailers who are looking to do some milking - all are hoping to cash in and maximise sales while the consumer is looking to fill their family's stockings.
Once upon a time you had to travel abroad to experience a Christmas market but now nearly every major town and city in the UK has embraced this style of shopping. When done well, Christmas markets capture the imagination of shoppers, create a really festive atmosphere and encourage us to part with our hard earned cash to spread that Christmas spirit.
Whilst mooching around the stalls and shops of Winchester this weekend, I was reminded of how important it is to create the right shopping environment with eye catching displays, a good mix of products and approachable sales staff who are enthusiastic about their products.
So whilst 2017 has not been a good year for retailers generally, with rising staff costs, business rates and import costs being just some of the issues they have had to tackle, those who are able to adapt and successfully target the shopping experience many people crave can still do well and stand out in this most competitive of markets.
In many ways this is as true for high street shops and online retailers as it is the festive stall holders. Create the right atmosphere and people will buy. Alluring displays which make products easy to find, helpful and competent staff, intuitive interfaces and user friendly checkouts are all crucial to those wanting to ensure that they cash in on the season for giving.
The challenge for many retailers will be to sustain these principles all year round and to keep innovating to make the consumer experience one that they look forward to: we have seen some fascinating news stories of how retailers are doing just that and we look forward to seeing how things progress in 2018.
See our full series of festive blogs here.