Our research discovered that retailers are more optimistic about consumer spending this Christmas than consumers are themselves. What can retailers do to get a better understanding of their customers?

Key findings from this paper by SAS and retail analysts Conlumino are:

  • Over half of consumers intend to use 'Click & Collect' services this Christmas and almost three in four say online purchases should be allowed to be returned in store.

  • Spend for Christmas 2014 is forecast to be similar to 2013, with varying degrees of consumer optimism according to age group and location
  • Nearly half of retailers still rely on gut feel for forecasting demand, and nearly half rely on manual calculation
  • Retailers are out of step with consumer plans for when they plan to do the bulk of their shopping before Christmas

To meet these challenges retailers need a much better and more up-to-date understanding of their customers and the ability to react quickly to changes in demand for different goods. This means much more accurate demand forecasting, which can be delivered via big data analytics.

Christmas 2014: Adapting to Evolving Consumer Shopping Habits; gives the full story about what will happen in the UK retail sector this Christmas.

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