Tag Archives: Holiday

Digital Drove Holiday Sales

As we turn the calendar to January, we’ll take a look at the first data back on shopping this holiday season.  Much of the research pointed to how big of an impact digital devices (computers, tablets or smart phones) would have this season – particularly how consumers used them to save money.

shutterstock_85671796• Over 80% of smart phone owners used a digital device to research or browse holiday purchases this year – that’s a jump of 22% over last holiday season

• Nearly three-quarters said they made a holiday purchase via digital device, that’s an increase of 35% from last year

• Over 60% used an email offer from a retailer.  Usage of email offers increased close to 40%

• One-third used a mobile coupon this holiday season.  Consumers redeeming mobile coupons grew more than 80% compared to last year

What Does This Mean To You?

While the holidays are a once a year happening, they (on average) account for upwards of 40% of total retail sales nationally.  The reason behind the growth in digital shopping this year was convenience – Nearly 40% of shoppers said they shopped online because of the convenience and ease of it.
The trend towards online shopping continues to rise – over four in 10 consumers said they shopped more online than in physical stores this year compared to
last year.
One of the things every business needs to do is stay relevant with its customers. Making sure that it’s convenient to buy from your store vs. the competition is part of staying relevant.
Just having a mobile site or ecommerce solution is not enough.  Part of your due diligence should be to continually look at the experience your digital and mobile presences offer.
Are there things that the competitors have that you don’t?
How intuitive is the navigation?
Is it easy to find and buy products from your site?
Are you effective promoting your digital and mobile capabilities?
It’s easy to launch and forget, but if consumers have a bad experience – it’s a good bet they will not return.  In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at what improvements consumer’s want to see from businesses.  For more information on creating digital presences that drive results, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; GfK Roper; SapientNitro

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Happy New Year

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Merry Christmas

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Why Consumers Are Using Social Media For Holiday Shopping

Recently, we posted information on ways consumers are using social media during gift buying.  Today, we’ll look at the specific social media functions social networkers are using when making gift decisions.

shutterstock_20917339• Over four in 10 online consumers checked out reviews on social media when making a holiday purchase decision

• Nearly 20% looked at online wish lists

• Over 10% engaged in online discussions with social friends about things they may purchase

• Roughly one in 10 reviewed a gift recipient’s Facebook page for information or checked out photos the recipient may have placed online

• Less than 10% followed brands on social media to see what popular gifts might be, gone to pinterest to see things that the recipient might have “pinned” or looked to see what holiday gifts were trending on social media sites

• Other social media actions consumers engaged in were seeing what products had a lot of  “likes”, watched product demonstration videos or followed a gift recipient on Twitter to see what they might like as a gift

What Does This Mean To You?
Social media gives great insight into who consumers are and what they buy.  It also can be great to promote your offerings.  With competition as stiff as it is for the holiday dollar, what are you doing to leverage social media?  If product reviews are important to shoppers, odds are reviews of your business are important too.  If you haven’t  taken a social inventory yet, you need to.  If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at what people are saying about you online, it’s time to look again.
You may find that there are some good reviews that you can use as virtual testimonials.
You also may find negative postings, out of date information or unanswered questions.  While positive comments are hidden gems that can create new business, negative or out of date information can push shoppers away – possibly to your competition.  Unanswered questions may falsely portray your company as one that doesn’t care about its customers.  For more information on how to create a social reputation that will bring you business, please contact, your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: eMarketer; ConsumerSearch

How Big Was Cyber Monday?

Last month, we had a post that looked at the reasons why consumers were shopping on Cyber Monday.  All indications point to lots of businesses having ecommerce success during the first official weekend of holiday shopping.

shutterstock_119962987• Total online sales on Cyber Monday reached nearly $1.5 billion – making it the biggest day for ecommerce in US history

• Cyber Monday shopping increased nearly 30% from last year

• Thanksgiving Day online shopping had the second highest year over year gain at 20%

• Ecommerce sales for Black Friday were up 17%, the Saturday after was up 15% and the Sunday prior to Cyber Monday saw a 19% jump

• The top day for mobile shopping was Black Friday.  Over half of iPhone users and over 40% of Android user shopped on their mobile device on Black Friday

• In total, 28% of Mac users and 23% of Windows users shopped online during Cyber Monday

What Does This Mean To You?
Holiday shopping is no longer just about hitting the stores; it’s also about filling the electronic shopping cart.  With so many consumers using their desktop, laptop and mobile devices to make holiday purchases, what are you doing to ensure you get your share of the shopping?
Do you offer an ecommerce option?
Is there a mobile companion for your online storefront?
How are you promoting your ecommerce capabilities?
Ecommerce and Mcommerce are all about convenience for the consumer.  It gives them the ability to shop when they want to.  As hectic as the holidays are, online and mobile shopping gives shoppers the gift of time and eases the stress of dealing with holiday crowds.
If you have an online shopping option, you need to promote it and the value you offer.  While you may not be able to compete with major online retailers in the price arena, things like easy returns and exchanges are important when buying someone a gift.  For more information on how you can be competitive with Ecommerce and Mcommerce solutions, please contact, your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Marketing Vox; comScore; Exelate

The Importance of Gift Cards

A few weeks ago, we had a post on the types of gifts shoppers plan to give this year. Gift cards came out as one of the top presents people plan to give. Knowing what types of gift cards people plan to give can help you create a gift card strategy for your business or what gift card vendor your business should do business with.

shutterstock_112219064• Gift cards are going to be a major purchase this year – reports show that roughly half to three quarters of consumers will buy a gift card as a present this year

• Four in 10 consumers plan to give 1 -3 gift cards this holiday season

• A quarter of shoppers plan to give 4 to 6 gift cards

• Gift cards to discount retailers will be the most purchased – 36% of consumers expect to buy cards to that store type

• One in four consumers gift cards purchased will be for a restaurant

• One in five cards bought will be for a prepaid multi-use card such as a prepaid Visa or an online only retailers such Amazon or iTunes

• 17% of holiday gift card buyers will buy a card for a regular department store

• 15% of gift cards purchased will be from a specialty retailer or from an electronics retailer

What Does This Mean To You?

If your company doesn’t have a gift card available for itself, it might be something you wish to explore. Partnering with a vendor who sells cards for other companies may also be something to think about.
Not only are consumers buying them as gifts, they are the type of present the most consumers want to receive. Gift cards make a great point of purchase sale – especially during the holidays. Shoppers are in a hurry and gift cards are a clean, easy purchase to make. If your business sells greeting cards, that is another place to locate them. For more information on how to make your company more profitable for the holidays and beyond, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Deloitte

How Consumers Use Smart Phones In-store During Holiday Shopping

There is mounting evidence that “showrooming” will be commonplace this holiday season.  One of the benefits that mobile consumers find while shopping is that smart phones give them all the information they need.  This can lead to showrooming.  Smart phone functionality can also be used to reinforce the value of making purchases in stores.

shutterstock_117336892• Close to 70% of holiday shoppers said they will use their smart phones in stores this year

• Nearly 60% of these “smart” shoppers are planning to check or compare prices

• Roughly four in 10 will get product information or scan a barcode associated with products

• 36% will use mobile devices to find discounts, coupons or other information
on sales

• Over one-third will read reviews

• Just under a quarter will check product availability mobil-ly

• Approximately one in five shop or browse via mobile web

• 16% receive text messages or exclusive offers from retailers

• 14% plan to access social networks on their mobile device

• Roughly one in 10 will use geo-location applications

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile’s affect on all shopping – not just holiday buying – is going to continue to grow. During the holidays, when consumers are short on time, making purchases  for the best deals – mobile’s impact is just amplified.  Some of the mobile activities that consumers engage in can help you mitigate “showrooming”.  Nearly 40% of shoppers are scanning bar codes.  Utilizing QR with custom messages promoting the value of shopping in-store can sway shoppers to complete there purchases in-store.  Permission-based SMS campaigns can being the same affect.  Using virtual testimonials in your social entities are also something that can draw traffic in-store and keep keep them shopping there.  Consumers are looking for the quickest and easiest way to get through the holidays – but they also don’t want to pay too much. If you leverage mobile functionality to keep sales in-store, you will diminish the affect “showrooming” can have on your business.  For more information on how mobile can make your holiday sales stronger, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Deloitte