Big in 2011 Retail: Social, Multichannel, and Value Shoppers
In 2011, shoppers got social, used multiple channels, and sought out a good deal. Brands listened to shoppers and responded with some innovative marketing efforts!
Shoppers Get Social
40% of all Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter users said they followed brands on their social sites to get access to discounts and special deals. And these interactions are not just a passive follow, 9% of consumers who visited a retail site from a social media site made a purchase (Source: Get Satisfaction, CRM Study 2011).
And so did brands
- Walmart paid $300 million for social media company, Kosmix (April 2011)
- Two-thirds of marketers surveyed were already conducting social media advertising activities, and 18% more planned to do so in the next year (Source: eMarketer, August 1, 2011)
- Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, H&M, and Amazon are at the top of social commerce trends.
- 9 ways top brands – Best Buy & Zappos – use social media for better customer service. Mashable
- 3 sites that meld content and commerce. Mashable
The average person plans to do 36 percent of their holiday shopping online - including researching products but not necessarily buying online. Multiple-channel holiday shoppers are expected to spend 22 percent more this year than people who only shop in a store. 70 percent of tablet owners will use their devices for holiday shopping this year, and they are twice as likely as smartphone users to use their devices to make purchases. (Source: National Retail Federation 2011 Holiday Forecast).
More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products than purchasing them—80.8% compared to 41.4%. (Source: BIGResearch Survey September 2011). Millennials are more comfortable with m-commerce: Nearly twice as many under-35s vs. older respondents agreed that being able to research and buy products on the go was a true convenience. (Source: Barkley Survey September 2011). 59% of smartphone owners plan to use devices to compare prices during holiday season (Source: Deloitte October 2011).
So retailers created multichannel experiences
- Macy’s gives shoppers a Backstage Pass to learn about the latest fashion trends via mobile technology. (Macy’s press release, February 24, 2011)
- Target goes mobile with limited time deals
- Scrolling banners key for retail mobile sites targeting back-to-school shoppers. Mobile Commerce Daily
- One-in-four retailers have a mobile app. Acquity Group
Online coupon usage was up 23% in the months leading up to the holiday shopping season. Same-store merchant sales, driven by coupon and deal seekers, increased by more than 70% year-over-year. (Source: Shoppers Trend Report (STR), Ipsos Survey November 2011).
Younger consumers are especially on the lookout for a good deal: 63% of Gen Y consumers say they spend three hours per week or more online looking for better deals (Source: Valassis Report, October 2011). “It’s not always about the price: consumers are really looking for value” Burt Feinberg, Group Head of CIT Commercial & Industrial (October 2011).
"Non-essential spending has been placed by the wayside in favor of controlled spending," said John McIndoe, senior vice president, Marketing, SymphonyIRI (November 2011). "Clearly, value is the carrot for today's shopper.”
So how did the retail industry respond?
- A record 92.5 percent of online retailers will offer free shipping this holiday season. 56% of retailers say their budgets for free shipping are higher this holiday season. (Source: Shop.org eHoliday Survey October 2011).
- Layaway is back, with heavy emphasis on such pay-as-you-go plans by major retailers including Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, Toys ‘R’ Us and TJ Maxx.
- Walmart offers Christmas Price Guarantee, sparking price war.
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