Holiday Shopping Trends

Christmas is approaching yet over thirty-six percent of Americans have admitted they haven’t started to shop yet. This is despite the fact that this year’s Black Friday’s weekend sales and Cyber Monday set records. Unfortunately, according to a recent Consumer Reports poll those who have been shopping are going to mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart instead of local merchants.

This is not boding well for the smaller locally owned businesses as the consumers feel mass merchandisers offer better deals than that of the local retail merchants. There is still hope for the local retailer; as of this report, those that have started shopping, only 42% of them are finished or close to finished. The biggest hope for local is that 58% of the shoppers who have already begun their shopping are less than half way done.

The prevalent message from the poll for this year’s holiday shopping is that more shoppers are watching their dollar closer than they have in years past. Shoppers are also showing that they are willing to wait for a better deal before they spend their money. If you have been contemplating a sale, it may produce a better return for you to start your sale early and capitalize on those frugal shoppers.

The most shocking statistics coming from this report is not where consumers are spending their money, but rather where and how consumers are finding the sales. It appears that this year, the traditional advertising methods rather than via social media is gaining the most attention. Only 13% of shoppers reported to look to Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest for their holiday deals. Email promotions are considerably better this holiday season with 29% of shoppers relying on it as their main source for holiday deals. Traditional print media such as promotional flyers or circulars (38%) and newspapers (43%) are where the majority of shoppers are learning about the deals.

If you have any advertising budget left, this may be a great opportunity and a nice validation to return to print. Do not ignore the less expensive digital opportunities for advertising; they may prove a better return on your investment this holiday, but print is almost a sure thing according to this report.

Overall, no matter the state of the economy, Americans are shopping; the question as always, are they shopping in your store or your competition’s? This is where top of mind awareness with social media campaigns can pay off. If you have a unique idea that you are using to drive business, share it with us. We would like to begin highlighting successful retailers and you could be our first for 2013.