Like many of you, I’ve been approaching my Christmas shopping this year with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. Buying for children is almost always fun and a source of enjoyment, whereas buying for older or more distant relations can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Then there are decisions about whether to buy online or in store, not to mention budgetary constraints. It can all be quite daunting.
It’s easy to think, while you’re doing your Christmas shopping, that the amount you spend and the things you buy only matter to you and the people you’re buying for. But the reality is that we all fit into a much bigger picture.
There are obviously the retailers who are keen to attract your hard earned cash so that they can record sales and drive profit and market share. Then there are the retailers’ staff who depend upon their employers to provide them with jobs and salaries. Many of these workers will have families and dependents that rely on their earnings to live. There are also the suppliers to the retailers and the businesses that supply the suppliers. There are their staff and dependents. There is the Treasury that relies on the 20% VAT that’s applied to almost all sales, and also the Corporation tax on profits earned by retailers and their suppliers throughout the value chain, not to mention all the relevant employment taxes that are payable by retailers and their staff. There are also the communities that rely on the government spending that flows from the tax take.
It might also be tempting to think that shopping only accounts for a small part of the economy; surely big business, huge organisations like the NHS and vast government departments like the Ministry of Defence must between them spend more than you and me?
Actually the opposite is true. Household final consumption expenditure, defined as the market value of all goods and services, including durable products (such as cars, washing machines, and home computers), purchased by households accounts for almost two thirds of the UK’s entire economy.
More than 60 pence out of every pound that our country earns comes from household spending. Its contribution to all our lives is critical.
All the more reason then for retailers to do everything they can to make shoppers’ lives easier, to help them make good retail decisions that improve their lives and deliver value to them.
A strong shopper marketing campaign will create long lasting emotional connections between the brand and its shoppers, overcome barriers to purchase and drive long term sustained behaviour change.
When such a large proportion of our economy relies on shopping, retailers should be doing everything they can to help shoppers get it right.