It’s official. Overnight the ghosts and goblins are on the clearance table, and turkeys and tinsel are center stage. It’s no secret that remaining top-of-mind is a priority for advertisers each holiday season. That’s why focusing on capturing consumer demand early is the first step for a holly, jolly year.
Here are our top 6 things you should know about holiday shopping trends this year:
1. Consumers plan to spend more this year
This year holiday spending is predicted to increase 11%+ from 2012. The top three products consumers buy for the holiday season are apparel (60%), gift cards (59%) and books (52%). Toys, food/candy and electronics closely follow these products.
2. The early bird gets the worm—before and after the holidays
Advertisers are beginning to notice the cause and effect their timing can have on holiday volume. In 2012, 42% of retailers were already advertising in October. Because of the earlier jump in holiday marketing, more consumers started their shopping prior to November. A staggering 43% of the 2012 holiday consumers began shopping before November as opposed to 35% in 2011. Of course, there will always be the last-minute shoppers trying to find that perfect gift. Studies have shown that, in recent years, 20% of consumers were finishing their shopping on Christmas Eve. The Christmas rush doesn’t stop there, because 40% of consumers continue holiday shopping after Christmas.
3. Don’t neglect your online store
Most consumers shop at a variety of places during the holiday season, with department stores (54%), online stores (44%) and discount stores (39%) coming in as the most visited, while electronics, clothing and grocers follow closely behind.
4. Don’t depend on loyalty
Remaining loyal to particular retailers within these categories is not always a holiday shopper’s focus. While good service and location are important, 40% of consumers consider the best price as their reasons to not be dedicated to a particular retailer, and 22% consider the best selection.
5. Be aware of your online reputation
Today’s consumers are also tech savvy, which leads to an increasing amount of consumers using mobile technology to enhance their shopping experience. Studies show that 75% of consumers search online to research product or service information, 40% read reviews, 20% use smartphones to compare prices while in the store, and 25% share a positive in-store experience over social media.
6. No turkey hangover here
Consumers have access to a wide range of sources to help complete their holiday shopping choices. Newspaper readers are anxious to get their hands on holiday deals, with a sizeable 89% of readers searching for Thanksgiving specials in their newspaper. Among newspaper readers, 61% use coupons, 61% refer to newspaper ads, 56% search online retail and 56% source newspaper inserts. Rounding the bottom of the holiday shopping sources list are TV and radio ads, which only 18% refer to as a decision-making factor.