It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas is also one of the most competitive times of the year for retailers.

You’ve decked your shop windows, stocked your shelves full of gifts and ‘festivefied’ your website, but what can you do to ensure the best possible outcome for your efforts this Christmas? Focusing on buyer personas will do the trick, thinks Econsultancy.

Buyer personas can be an incredibly useful tool during key events in the retail calendar. While some personas will be shaped by things like your target audience and retail category, there are broader personas just about all retailers will want to engage this Christmas. Let’s take a look at what they are and how you can target them.

The cautious customer 

We’re in a period of ‘cautious consumption’ says PwC, mainly as a result of political uncertainty. The shift in spending habits isn’t so much about spending less, but rather about changing priorities. For instance, PwC thinks customers will spend less on big-ticket items and events such as travel, and instead devote budgets to categories including ‘health’ and ‘children and babies’.

Retailers therefore need to tread carefully with their marketing communications. For instance, a cautious customer who is also responsible for a family is likely to be more receptive to messaging linked with a sense of necessity over luxury.

They’re also likely to be a long-term planner – during the course of a year they’ll engage with ‘always-on’ brands, as opposed to ‘buy for Christmas’ ones. According to Google, 34% of shoppers say that discovering new products and getting ideas is what they love most about shopping, so gift guides are seriously worth considering too.

The brand loyalist

Consumers spent big in supermarkets last year – £450m more in December than in the previous year in fact, found Kantar. This increase wasn’t from new customers but from current customers spending an extra £9.07 over the month, proving the importance of brand loyalty across every retail category.

If you want to inspire loyalty, it’s a good idea to focus on targeting previous customers. New research reveals that emails are the most effective way to inspire repeat purchases from customers, so this should be a key channel in your strategy.

The last-minute shopper

Seven in ten consumers buy right up to and during the final week before Christmas – that’s a lot of last-minute shoppers.

Google notes how the majority of last-minute shoppers use their smartphones to search for product delivery and availability information, opening times and directions to local retailers. So it’s vital you provide the correct information and make it easily accessible for consumers.

Also, reaching out to this persona with relevant content – such as information on your fast delivery options – could help to seal the deal.

The bargain hunter

Christmas shopping doesn’t end on Christmas Eve; Boxing Day sales are a great opportunity for brands to boost their revenue and get rid of last month’s remaining inventory.

You’ll want to utilise behavioural targeting to identify consumers interested in scooping up the best deals, and use category-specific content that appeals to what they’ve expressed interest in in the past.

If you need help improving the customer journey, Delta Group has the tools, knowledge and experience to help you do just that. Our end-to-end multichannel marketing services can empower your strategic goals and help you better connect with your consumers. Get in touch today.