Monthly Archives: November 2012

Smart Phone Holiday Shoppers Will Spend More

Every day more research is released that point to mobile having a huge affect on holiday shopping in 2012.  A recent report showed that on average consumers are planning to spend roughly $600 on gifts this year.  New information has just come out that shows smart phone owners are planning to spend much more than those who do not own smart devices.

• Nearly seven in 10 smart phone owners plan to use their device to shop this holiday season

• Smart phone owners expect to spend more than $1,400 on gifts this year

• Over 60% will use their devices to find store locations

• Nearly six in 10 will compare gift prices on their smart phone

• Half will look up product information

What Does This Mean To You?

This holiday season it is important to do more than just embrace mobile shopping.  While there is a danger in “showrooming”, mobile offers your business a wealth of opportunities to create revenue.
Besides that, consumers have become so reliant on their devices that avoiding mobile because of “showrooming” will hurt your business in the long run.
Because mobile is so valuable, it’s important that you stay on top of new functionality and solutions that are available.
When was the last time you audited your company’s mobile offerings?
How difficult is to find your contact and location information?
Do the pictures display well?
Are product reviews and descriptions available?
Have you watched customers try to make a mobile purchase or navigate your mobile site?
Mobile is growing at such a rapid pace and convenience is the main driver of why consumers depend on mobile so heavily.  If your competitor’s site offers a better user experience, it could cost you dales or customer traffic.  For more information on how to generate better results through mobile devices, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Deloitte

Attitudes Towards Holiday Shopping

The holidays, paraphrasing Shakespeare, can be both the best of times and the worst of times.  There’s time spending with friends and family and there’s the hustle & bustle of fitting family time in with decorating and shopping. New information is out on the attitudes of consumers and how it affects their holiday shopping plans.

• Four in 10 consumers say they tend to spend less on themselves so they can buy gifts for friends and family

• More than one in four don’t feel
their dollar will stretch as far this holiday season

• 23% love the holiday shopping experience

• Over one in five like to treat themselves to gifts during the holidays and 22% say that paying for the holiday season makes them very stressed out

• 19% say they save throughout the year to pay for the holidays

What Does This Mean To You?

Holiday shopping is all about the experience – either good or bad.  Many people avoid malls and shopping at any cost, others look forward to Christmas carols and colorful holiday displays.
Think about some of the things your business can do to make holiday shopping a good experience.
A great offer can help your customers be less stressful about spending money this time of year.  Gift with purchase shows how much you value your shoppers.  Stressing the value you offer can help you keep shoppers coming back after the holidays.  There are several things you can do to create value. One way is to address the reasons why consumers are not planning to spend much this year.
The top three factors that negatively affect holiday shopping are:

• Gas prices

• Rising food bills

• Home energy bills

Have you thought about giving away $5 gas cards for consumers who spend
over a predetermined amount?

You can partner with a local restaurant in your area and create reciprocal
coupon offer.  Their customers get a discount off merchandise at your store
and your shoppers can get free appetizer or other complimentary offer at
their establishment.

Things like this will set your business apart, but it all starts with awareness.  If you do not promote your offers and why shoppers should spend money with your store, it’s a moot point.  For the more information on creating the most effective efficient campaign to keep you top of mind this holiday season, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

How Consumers Plan To Pay For Holiday Gifts

Yesterday’s post dealt with the reasons consumers are not spending more this holiday season.  Today, we’ll look at how they plan to pay for gifts this year.  Consumer’s planned method of payment can affect not only how much they spend but where they spend it.

• Over half of consumers say they put money aside to pay for holiday shopping, that is up 13% from last year.

• Just one in three consumers will be putting their holiday gifts on credit cards – that is a drop of 30% from 2011

• 15% will use gift cards to make holiday purchases

• 14% are using discretionary income to buy presents – that is down 33% from last year

• 13% will put gifts on store credit cards

• Fewer than 5% of shoppers will delay making mortgage payments or paying other bills to buy holiday gifts

What Does This Mean To You?

When customers are paying for things with cash, they tend to do more research and comparison shopping.  This maybe one of the reasons “showrooming” activities are expected to be so high.
To make sure shoppers make their purchases at your location versus your competition, you need to promote the value you offer and the intangibles that make shopping at your location a better experience than making a purchase elsewhere.  Promote positive reviews your store has received through social media and reward customers who post virtual endorsements about your location. Take advantage of every opportunity to make a positive impression.  Make sure your staff is customer service focused and educated about the products you sell, the offers you have available and the offers your competition is promoting.  These are things that will allow you to show shoppers your value.  For more information on how you can utilize social media and mobile technology to drive more shoppers this holiday season, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

Are Consumers Planning To Spend More Or Less This Holiday Season?

Recently, we had a post that talked about consumer spending during the holiday season.  Many consumers are still struggling with economic issues and are questioning their holiday spending plans. New research has been made available that looks into why consumers are not spending more this holiday season vs.
last year.

• Four in 10 holiday shoppers say they want to keep their holiday season simple and not too extravagant, that’s nearly 30% more than last year

• One-third say their living expenses have risen – there has been an increase of over 40% in people gave a rise in living expenses as a reason they are not spending more this year

• Another third said that they have less discretionary income this year

• Just over 20% say they have less in savings

• 11% say they have less job security

What Does This Mean To You?

Less than 15% of consumers said they are spending more this year vs. last year and shoppers are looking to save money wherever they can. As a business, you need to find ways to get shoppers into your store and have them spend their money with you.  Creating efficient communications and delivering valuable offers are paramount in creating customer traffic.
What kind of offers are shoppers looking for?
Free shipping is the most sought after form of discount.  Many consumers said they shopped on Cyber Monday because historically that’s when retailers offered free shipping. Gift with purchase has been another offer that works well – especially with gift cards.
The value of the offer is often determined by who the shopper is.  The more you can target your offers, the more valuable they are.  This is where loyalty programs can help.  The more information you can gain on a customer – what they like and don’t like, they types of products they buy and how much money they spend can help you create offers that bring consumers into your stores.  For more information on strategy to help your business have a profitable holiday season, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

Holiday Shopping – In-Store Vs. Online

Many people believe that the holidays bring out the best in others.  There are gifts, lights, presents & family all around.  Then there’s holiday shopping, which often does not bring out the best in many people.  A new study is out that looks at why people shop for the holidays in stores vs. online.

• 30% of shoppers prefer
to shop online to avoid
the crowds

• 22% say they would rather shop in a store to look and feel products before purchasing

• 17% like to buy online because they feel they can get the best deal there

• 11% prefer to shop in stores because they like to browse while holiday shopping

• 10% like to shop in a store because they enjoy the experience of holiday shopping

• 6% would rather shop online because there is a bigger range of products online

What Does This Mean To You?

Whether you are trying to attract shoppers to your physical location or your virtual storefront, you need to develop a sound strategy to create awareness and drive traffic.  There are many options available across a variety of platforms.  You can create your message through digital, print, direct & broadcast –  these are just a few of the media options available to you.
The best way to start any campaign is by asking yourself two questions:
Who is my target consumer?
What are my goals and objectives?
Two answers that are really unacceptable –
Everyone as a target consumer & make more money as a goal.
These answers have to be actionable.
Because these two things allow you target your message and be much more effective and efficient.
It also lets you compare your campaigns and determine if they were successful.
For more information on creating a strategy to maximize your message and get results, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

Younger Diners Go Mobile

Restaurants always seem to be a little more crowded during the holidays.  It may be because shoppers are already out in stores or it’s an easy place to meet friends who you only catch up with during the holidays.  Because of these factors and others, getting a tablet for dinner can sometimes be a challenge.  When it comes to deciding where to eat, mobile technology is having a bigger impact.  This affect is greater with younger diners.  New research has been released on 18 to 34 year old restaurant-goers and mobile devices.

• Nearly 40% of adults are frequent diners – meaning they ate at a sit-down restaurant 4 or more times in the past 30 days

• 47% of these frequent diners own a
smart phone

• Two-thirds of millennials (adults age 18-34) who are frequent diners are also smart phone owners

• Almost 33% of millennials have looked up restaurant menus on their smart phone – that’s nearly double the percentage of Generation X adults

• Nearly one in four millennials follow restaurants via social media

• 19% of millennials have “checked in” at a restaurant using an app

• The top three types of restaurants that millennials have dined at in the past 30 days are Chinese (46%), Pizza (40%) and Mexican (37%)

What Does This Mean To You?

We are an on-the-go society and mobile can help nearly every business create the awareness and loyal customers it needs. For restaurants, mobile is even more important.  Millennials make up the largest percentage of frequent diners – these adults are extremely mobile enabled.  Their devices are extensions of themselves and are their main form of communication.  From research, we know that they already use their devices to check into restaurants, look at menus and follow restaurants on social media.  But the mobile activities of 18-34 year olds make them a great target for other forms of mobile marketing – and not just for restaurants.

• Over 80% of millennials are texters

• 47% open email on their mobile device

• 42% visit social networks on their mobile device

• Over four in ten conduct mobile searches

Since millennials are already using functions like these, permission based SMS promotions, email coupons, SEO campaigns and social reputation management makes perfect sense to reach them & affect their shopping and purchasing patterns.  For more information on mobile tactics to monetize millennials, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: eMarketer; The 2012 Scarborough Multi-Market Report, Release 1

Consumers Clicking For Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday originated before high speed digital access was something that was available in most homes.  It was a way to secure online shopping from people who had just gotten back to work after the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Even though high speed connections are the norm, consumers still see Cyber Monday as a great time to shop online retailers and get deals.

• 45% of consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday

• Over 40% shop on Cyber Monday because stores usually offer free shipping

• Four in 10 purchase online on Cyber Monday because they feel they will get the best online deals that day

• 37% say it lets them avoid shopping with Thanksgiving crowds

• One in five shop then in order not to waste their Thanksgiving weekend shopping

What Does This Mean To You?

Ecommerce is going to play a huge part of holiday spending this year.  Over $95 billion of holiday spending will come through online channels.  Consumers value the convenience that online shopping provides.
When was the last time you looked at your ecommerce solution?
Have you checked out the competitions online checkout functions?
Consumers are comparison shopping – not just for the best deals, but also who is the easiest to do business with.  If your solution is clunky or not intuitive, count on a high rate of shopping cart abandonment.  Shopping cart abandonment is something else you should have tactics in place for.  For more information on how to maximize online shopping dollars this holiday season, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture


Happy Thanksgiving

Shoppers Coming Back to Black Friday

Yesterday’s post looked at the number of people who planned to shop digitally on Thanksgiving Day and their disdain for in-store shopping on Thanksgiving.  Today, we’ll look at the Super Bowl of in-store shopping – Black Friday.  New research suggests that shopping on Black Friday will make a comeback this year.

• Over half of consumers plan to shop on
Black Friday

• From 2011 to 2012, the number of consumers who plan to shop on Black Friday has increased by 20%

• Nearly 30% said they are very likely to hit the stores – that marks a jump of nearly 50% from 2011

• One in four shoppers said they were unlikely to be in the stores the day after Thanksgiving

• Last year, 35% of shoppers said they were not likely to shop on Black Friday

• 40% of consumers plan to spend more on Black Friday this year vs. last year

What Does This Mean To You?

Black Friday shopping looks to be on the rebound after three years of
being down.
How are you planning to get shoppers into your locations?
What kind of offers are you promoting?
Are you monitoring what the competition is doing?
Many consumers are in the stores well before the break of dawn on Black Friday.
Creating graduated, time based offers can get shoppers into your stores early and help you get a bigger share of their holiday spend.  Developing special Black Friday desktop and mobile sites can help you generate excitement about what you have to offer. Since many holiday shoppers are more likely to be charitable this time of year, creating a program where a portion of sales goes to charitable organizations might be something that gives you an advantage over the competition. This may especially be true because of Superstorm Sandy.  Black Friday is an important shopping day for most businesses.  It not only may make you profitable, it also is a chance to create new customers that will do business with you for the rest of the year.  For more information on getting more business throughout the holidays, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture;

Shopping On Thanksgiving Day

Many American’s will spend Thanksgiving afternoon on the couch in a tryptophan stupor watching Tony Romo and RGIII go at it in the NFL’s second game of the day.  Others though, will be probably be on the couch getting a head start on their holiday shopping.  New research shows that many consumers could be lured online on Thanksgiving – if the discounts were worth it.

• 52% of consumers said they would shop online on Thanksgiving if they got discounts

• One in five said they were very likely and nearly one-third said they were somewhat likely to shop

• Fewer than 30% said they were not interested, even if they received discounts

• Last year, consumers spent nearly $480 billion online on Thanksgiving Day

• While consumers may want to shop online – the vast majority of consumers were not interested in shopping in-store on Thanksgiving Day.  Nearly 90% said that retailers should not open on Thanksgiving

What Does This Mean To You?

Considering the holidays represent such a large portion of many businesses overall retail sales, extending customers purchasing opportunities makes perfect sense.  Also, many consumers start shopping well before Thanksgiving.  While many consumers say they don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving day – this year many major retailers will be opening their doors Thanksgiving afternoon.  This may work for big box retailers, small and medium businesses will have a hard time doing the same.  Work-force issues alone might not make it worth your while.  But, mcommerce and ecommerce gives you the ability to fulfill customer needs and possibly get sales you might not otherwise realize.  You can use Thanksgiving Day online coupons as part of a loyalty program to increase your database and create additional sales later.  For more information on generating more money this holiday season, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture; The About Group; IBM