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It’s Already the Holiday Season

It’s Already the Holiday Season

Guess what? Just because you may be one of those last-minute holiday shoppers, either convinced that the best deals are out there December 24th, or on a mission because you procrastinated all month, it does not mean the rest of the world thinks or acts like you. The truth of the matter is that more than a third of consumers begin shopping for Christmas at least nine months before the stockings are hung. Yep, gulp! Rest assured that the majority, however, do wait until the proverbial leaves begin to change. Global marketing company Epsilon conducted a consumer holiday shopping survey in June and uncovered ways marketers can capitalize on shoppers’ behaviors. Here are some of the takeaways: When asked what advertising would be most likely to influence the types of gifts one might buy this holiday season, 22% said a TV ad and 22% said an email sent from a brand. Newspaper ads and mailers came in third and fourth. Although you may think these percentages fly in the face of what you have read or think to be true, the holidays are a time when shoppers are more likely to look at newspaper circulars — and popular fall and winter tv shows get lots of eyeballs and, therefore, lots of eyeballs on ads. Online banner ads and texts sent from brands garnered the least amount of influence during this time. For those who start their holiday shopping later in the year, 18% shop in September, 25% in October, 31% in November, and 14% in the first two weeks of December. Just 2% wait until the last two weeks of December. Think you’re exempt from deal shoppers? You aren’t. More than half of shoppers will go to a brand’s site to look for coupons and three out of four shoppers will use coupons they receive in the mail. Money is money, budgets are still tight and everyone is happy to save a buck. When asked in what ways they would purchase gifts this holiday season, 90% said at the store, 77% said online on a computer, 51% said online on a tablet, 39% said by mail, 29% said online on a cellphone/smartphone, 13% said by calling from a cellphone or smartphone, and 9% said by calling from a landline. Although clothing, toys, and electronics topped the list of gifts people will be buying this season, 35% responded that they plan to buy jewelry. Overall, take a hard look at your advertising strategy for the holidays. Make sure your site is mobile responsive, your media schedules are placed, your direct mail is ready to go and your offers are compelling. It’s a cutthroat retail world out there. With a solid plan in place, you’ll be much more likely to focus on sales and creating a wonderful holiday shopping experience for your customers. Statistic source: Epsilon
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