More than ever, eCommerce has become the channel of choice for many consumers when it comes to finding and buying deals during the holidays.
Not exactly breaking news.
What’s interesting is that retailers, in their quest to turn holiday shoppers into 365-day loyal customers, are offering more and more promotions that are not tied to specific dates. You could say the twelve days of Christmas has become the twelve months of Christmas for savvy shoppers.
Thanks to showrooming, product recommendation systems, and comparison pricing apps, consumers are firmly in control. Their digital buying behavior is strongly influencing this year-round deal mentality, causing retailers to step up promotions to lure shoppers to their websites.
Advertising firm MDG Advertising recently released some very interesting data pertaining to holiday season online bargain shopping. Their findings show that “consumers are increasingly pursuing, finding and spending money on what were once holiday bargains all year long”. Here are some interesting statistics from the study.
2012 Holiday Digital Shopping Stats to Consider:
of the top 10 retailers got a head start on holiday shopping by advertising Black Fridays deals much earlier this year
43% of consumers actually started shopping around Halloween
40% of consumers plan to browse items on their mobile devices
42% of consumers will use them to search for special deals
41% of consumers will seek competitive prices on Amazon
37% of consumers will simply browse online for interesting items
98% of consumers doing some of their buying online
Compared to 2011, nearly 50% of marketers have raised their holiday spending on Facebook
Compared to 2011, nearly 1/3 of marketers have raised their holiday spending on Twitter
There are also a large percentage (57%) of holiday shoppers that will be shopping the day after Christmas, so retailers will keep the sales going right past the actual holiday. Some typical promotions include ‘friends-and-family’ day, (traditionally December 26th), campaigns to capitalize on gift card redemptions, and post-holiday clearance sales.
Then the deal cycle begins anew leading up to next year’s holiday sales. Promotions focused on Valentine’s Day, Easter, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Back to School and Veteran’s Day. Let’s just say there are many, many opportunities to keep deals flowing.
Since the trend of year-round promotions is not going away anytime soon, the question becomes how do retailers influence customer stickiness to their brand?
Smart retailers are actively trying to engage their shoppers at all points of interaction to keep them loyal to their businesses, not just during the holidays but throughout the year. It starts with a philosophy that puts the customer at the center of their marketing strategy, and includes ensuring they have the right tools and solutions in place to connect with and serve their customers no matter what channel they use to discover, research or purchase their products.
It is imperative for retailers to understand their customers’ preferences and buying behavior across all channels (online, mobile, in-store, social media) and move beyond traditional siloed data points and business operations. Those retailers that are embracing a true omnichannel strategy that includes combining customer insights across all channels are in the best position to turn 365-day holiday shoppers into loyal year-round customers.