5 Consumer Trends for this Holiday Season

Consumer Trends for this Holiday SeasonReady for some good news?

After a relatively dismal 2011 holiday shopping season, marketing experts are cautiously optimistic that 2012 will be much more successful. A survey by Experian Marketing Services indicates that two-thirds of marketers predict holiday sales to be “higher” or “much higher” than the previous year. This continues a recent trend that, despite a shaky economy, has seen holiday retail growth returning to pre-recession levels.

Denise Zaraya of Value Click Media targets 5 consumer trends that can help marketers continue to build momentum and increase holiday revenue…

1. Better informed consumers

The state of the economy has necessitated that consumers do their “due diligence” before making purchases. Today’s customer expects compelling offers and will aggressively comparison shop before pulling the trigger. Know your audience!

2. The early bird catches the worm

Remember when the holiday season officially began after Thanksgiving? Not so anymore. According to Zaraya, 40% of holiday shopping activity now begins before Halloween! It would be wise to incorporate this larger advertising window into your holiday campaigns.

3. Think mobile

Smartphones and tablets are the tools today’s shoppers are using to research and to purchase goods.

Bill Tancer, head of global research at Experian, suggests that marketers “…need to focus on providing a personalized and dynamic customer experience to remain relevant. Implementing loyalty programs and in-store experiences through social media and email will yield additional possibilities for marketers to engage with consumers this season.” You might also consider joining the 71% of marketers who will be investing in Pinterest boards this year.

4. Hit the hot spots

Like it or not, Thanksgiving Day is becoming more and more popular as a key shopping day. You can thank the efforts of retailers for the fact that Thanksgiving Day sales have jumped from $16 million to $28 over the last 5 years. And don’t overlook Cyber Monday, which has already surpassed Black Friday as the biggest online shopping day of the year.

5. E-Commerce is a pretty big piece of the pie

It’s hard to beat the selection, value, and convenience that online shopping affords. This holiday season consumers plan to do around 36 percent of their holiday shopping online. Research shows that running digital holiday ad campaigns can provide a sales lift of up to 650% when run during key shopping days.

You can find other helpful information and stats on Experian’s Marketing Forward blog.

Let us know if you’ve taken advantage of these or any other trends this holiday season!

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