How Seasonal Spending Habits Change the Way Companies Should Think About Customer Loyalty

By Derek Tanis, SVP of Consumer Partnerships

Seasonality can have a big impact on retailers, both online and in-store. Understanding how different seasons can affect your business will help you prepare for any peaks and take advantage of opportunities to boost sales. Being able to predict these trends allows you to accurately forecast inventory levels and tweak marketing for maximum effect.

For a majority of retailers, Christmas is likely to be one of (if not the biggest) seasonal event of the year, where many product categories experience an uplift in sales. But there are lots of other seasonal changes where the impact on demand is more subtle.

Personalizing the ecommerce experience requires more than just having a loyalty program. Retailers must have loyalty programs that adapt to changing habits, interests and needs. Retailers can benefit from tracking and monitoring changing trends and preferences, influenced by current events, seasonal trends and changing consumer behaviors.

So, what are some of the most important seasonal triggers and how do they shape what people want to buy?


The Changing Seasons and Weather

As customers begin prepping for different weather, they start making different purchases. In the summer, a buyer is more likely to purchase soda, a bathing suit and patio furniture than they are in the fall or winter, where items from lip balm to pricier electronics are more popular. Impulse purchases are more common in the warmer months, and studies show a link between increased levels of sunlight and more on-the-spot purchases.

This may seem obvious, but knowing your consumers’ spending habits inside and out is what will elevate your company above the rest.

At a basic level, we are all emotional creatures. And often, our emotions influence what we buy. Although we don’t always notice, the changing of seasons can have a huge impact on our outlook and behavior. Effective sellers can use these subtle mood changes to sell more products.


Create Your Own Unique Opportunities

Historically, between peak sales cycles and various seasonal celebrations and holidays, retailers can have strong months, or be looking for unique opportunities to drive revenue. The same reason that a good Christmas can save a retailers year, a strong graduation or Mother’s Day can calm an otherwise down spring.

Retailers can look to create their own promotions and opportunities outside of peak sales times by pushing new and relevant products outside of the standard retail calendar. Looking at changing seasonal trends to capture share of dollars can appear as an opportunity in many different ways, and retailers must monitor historical and current consumer trends to act quickly to put the right products, features or values in front of consumers in a timely fashion.

Thanks to powerful cloud-based technology, like Netspend’s open APIs and consumer engagement and messaging platform, delivering digital-first payment experience across any commerce environment is easier than ever for retailers and retail channel partners. Consumers have more retail choices than ever before, and just as many loyalty programs to consider. Retailers must differentiate their offerings by delivering unique offerings that are built around how a customer interacts with their brand.

The key to winning over consumers today are personalized digital experiences that leverage the power of data to drive loyalty, rewards and payment options.


About the AuthorDerek Tanis is the Senior Vice President leading Netspend’s Consumer Partnerships team, where he is responsible for a wide variety of strategic partnerships including PayPal, Western Union, ACE, Samsung, 7-Eleven, HEB, The Austin Football Club and Albertsons as well as all of the brick and mortar distribution partnerships across the country.  Derek leads a sales team where they are responsible for selling the company's innovative suite of payment solutions including embedded financecard programs and program management services. Tanis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder.