With Christmas right around the corner, companies in all segments are making their last moment preparations for winter holidays promotions. By the looks of it, they’d better prepare interesting offers as 7 out of 10 consumers will spend the same amount of money or more this year, according to a new survey.
Yesmail Interactive’s combined data from a survey on 500 consumers, research of digital campaigns for 20 major brands, as well as 3rd party data they found interesting and useful and put together the shopping trends for the 2012 winter holidays in an infographic.
The findings are rather interesting and encouraging for businesses and marketers. The US holiday spending is evaluated at USD 586.1 billion, which is up 4.1% compared to 2011 and above the 10-years average increase of 3.5%.
The average spending on gifts is estimated at USD548.56, with 6 out of ten shoppers (over 50%) saying they’ll spend an average of USD139 on gifts for themselves. 96% of consumers say they will buy something for the family, 72% for friends, 32% for co-workers and 43% for others.
People start their shopping sessions early, 13.8% even before September. The main shopping month is however November, with 31.7% of respondents mentioning this is the moment they buy gifts. December is also in the top with 23.2% of mentions. Of those shopping in December, 19.4% choose the first half of the month, while 3.8% leave shopping for the last moment.
The most purchased online items include music DVDs (56%), consumer electronics (47%) and toys (40%). The most frequent in store buys include jewellery (73%), clothing/shoes (65%) and toys (60%).
Mobile technology has a big impact on sales, with 48% of shoppers considering their smartphone as an essential tool. These tech savvy users say they will use their devices to visit brands’/products’ websites (64%), look for reviews while in-store (63%), compare in-store prices with online ones (48%). Moreover, 41% say they made a purchase as a result of an email promotion.
We also asked Yesmail Interactive representatives some questions regarding the findings included in the infographic. In what the most effective tools and channels to bring leads and sales this winter season are concerned, they say that
“While Facebook is a channel most often utilized by marketers, and our research has shown that this use is warranted, a channel that has shown to be very effective for Engagement is YouTube. After Facebook, the our data showed that YouTube was the 2nd most popular channel among the 500 people surveyed with 17% saying they viewed a video on a brand’s channel. The fact that videos have tremendous staying power (once they are on a brand’s channel, they can be viewed at anytime by consumers) and combine video and audio that, if done right, can tell a compelling story to consumers about a brand’s product / service. In terms of what worked well among the 20 brands we reviewed, YouTube videos that had links in the description had higher than average engagement scores. This can be attributed to a smart marketing team understanding the importance of multi-channel engagement, the value of back-linking and the value of SEO” explained Matt Gault, VP, Channel Strategy, Yesmail Interactive.
Mr. Gault pointed out also the importance of Pinterest in marketers strategy this year.
“Our study combined primary survey data of 500 consumers, along with direct and detailed research of digital campaigns for 20 major brands, as well as 3rd party research that we found relevant to our report. With this in mind, we were surprised to discover that Pinterest was the 3rd most popular social channel (ahead of Twitter) where 14% of people we surveyed said that they have used it to pin an image on a brand’s page. With the rapid growth in popularity, along with the fact that 80% of Pinterest channel users are women (with 50% having children), it’s important for brands that focus on this demographic to incorporate Pinterest into its digital marketing strategy. Another additional detail on Pinterest, is that due to its visual nature, user demographics and its top focus areas of Gifts, Crafts, Hobbies & Leisure and Interior Design, brands targeting women and/or moms and offering products and services in any of those focus areas should develop a Pinterest-specific communication strategy designed to generate brand awareness and develop relationships with target consumers early on so they can be top of mind during the holiday season.”
By far, the most surprising finding “was the significance of mobile use to the consumer from a research perspective. The fact that over 60% of the people we surveyed used their smartphone for research on a product while they were in a store shopping for a particular product showed how critical it was for brands to ensure that not only were their emails mobile friendly, but their websites needed to be as well. After all, per our survey data, since about 50% of emails are opened via mobile devices and, if there is a link in the email, it is imperative that brands reward consumers who click on that link with a website that can be easily viewed on their mobile.”