The stage is set for a great festive season this year with restrictions lifted and the population vaccinated. After last year a ‘normal’ Christmas full of the usual festivities is greatly welcomed, with billions eagerly awaiting the Christmas period. 55% of brits are planning to make this Christmas the biggest celebration yet, given the less from ordinary one we embarked upon last year.

Given this, consumers are more geared up than ever to spend more on gifts and food for the occasion. With 1 in 4 increasing their Christmas budget, 82% planning on spending their savings and only 15% planning on spending less this year. This only means one thing, a significant period of opportunity for organisations, especially those in retail and hospitality. Now is the time to maximise and capitalize on the changes in consumer behaviour and the increased demand. Doing this will mean investing resources into the Christmas consumer, through having the right strategy and plan in place.

Staying on top of consumers concerns, expectations and preferences this festive season will be key to a successful festive period. To enable this organisations need to make sure they are nimble and flexible to switch what and how they trade at any moment, due to things radically changing overnight in regards to demand, trends and trading conditions. Therefore investing resources and reworking strategy will be essential to thriving in such competitive markets at such a competitive time of year.

The heart of the strategy needs to draw together the new trends and desires from consumers. Focusing on building their confidence by addressing their fears on product availability and delivery delays, offering them fast and convenient ways to get products, as well as adding personalised touches for their experience with you. All whilst harnessing the power of online, since a big shift to this channel has been made in terms of how consumers search and buy, which is set to remain.

One thing is for sure, the offerings to the Christmas consumers need to be ‘realistic’ in a post covid world. Christmas is a super busy period for most, and the last thing consumers want is products being delayed. Are your supply chains efficient and effective enough to meet the correct delivery dates promised to consumers? Will they be able to be maintained as you go into the busier periods? Staff, warehousing and delivery networks may also need to be rethought and embedded into your strategy. There’s also marketing to think about. We all associate Christmas with the Coca Cola red truck and the release of a new John Lewis advert. This is a time of year to really stand out with your marketing. Therefore investing money into these side of things, can also be worthwhile to enhance valuable outcomes over the festive period.