How Can Retailers Gain “Share of Wallet”?



2012 Holiday Shopping Trends

What I noticed too is that some of the offers are from brands such as airlines whose images have suffered during tough economic times. I am observing a spirit of entrepreneurship and persistence to set our economy back on its feet again. Here are some trends I’ve noticed:

    • Loyalty and Collaborative Deals – loyalty programs can be suspect. You sign up, give the vendor your personal information and receive offer after offer that cannot be used. Airlines are particular abusers of their loyal clients by deploying blackout periods and limiting available seats. Recently I was able to book a flight, a hotel and a car rental using airline points from three different airlines (Delta, United and American) very easily and with minimal fees. My former perception of the airlines’ lack of flexibility instantly transformed as I responded to sincere wishes to help me with my travel plans. Beyond hospitality and travel, these types of collaborations could occur with business services, technology products and even healthcare, all while emphasizing value and customer retention.


    • Doubling Down – Popular retail websites, borrowing from the famous Amazon, are using gift lists and “gift yourself” suggestions to tempt the consumer to spend a little more in one visit to the site. These companies are using buyer demographics to offer purchase suggestions and special in-site discounts as you shop. Most of the time the lead-in email offer is like a well-decorated window display drawing you from the street into the store and voila – you shop! Masters of these techniques worth observing are Garnet Hill; the Piperlime/Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic/Athleta group, owned by Gap, Inc.; and Nordstrom’s Not only do these retailers offer value, but also shipping is frequently free both ways and their customer service representatives are extremely responsive and helpful.


  • Social Consciousness – losses of Hurricane Sandy hit hard for the victims and inspired a spirit of giving and sharing. Occurring as it did, right before a season when most people’s consumption of goods increases, Sandy was a startling reminder to not only purchase for ourselves but also to help those in need. Many vendors such as grocery stores and clothing retailers are making it easy to add on a few dollars to clients’ purchases. For example Bloomingdales is asking shoppers on to donate $1 as they submit their order. The dollar supports a donation of bottled water for victims. Aligned with organizations such as the American Red Cross and the state government, these retailers are not only generating good will but also a mutual bond with their customers.

Going Beyond Demand Generation

You can probably add to this list ideas for your demand generation. In my next article, I’ll talk about how these retailers go beyond demand generation to manage leads and pipelines and keep customers coming back.

Other articles by Andrea:


Sandy-NYC: To Run or Not to Run?

Do You Know What Customers Want?

Confidence is Key for Women in Business

Developing a Relevant Brand Strategy

Smart Companies Listen and Respond to Customers

Teachers Set Students’ Course in Life


Andrea Cotter
Andrea Cotter
Andrea Cotter is the Founder and President of Virgilio & Cotter, LLC where she focuses on Marketing and Communications Strategies specializing in the Health Care industries. She also teaches C-Suite Leadership in her role as an adjunct faculty member at NYU's School of Professional Studies. In addition to her own company, Andrea has had both a corporate and entrepreneurial career in marketing and communications as a Global Executive at IBM Corporation and as SVP and Chief Communications Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), followed by a brand consultancy role at Straightline and a partnership in the workplace culture startup CultureTalk. She speaks several languages, including Spanish, Italian and French has done consulting work with clients in Europe, US and Asia.

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