This year’s holiday shopping season may be nearly a week shorter, but the opportunities to make up the difference in sales with personalized digital tactics have never been greater.
So what’s in store (and online) for the holidays, from both a marketer's and consumer's perspective? Among our discoveries, we found consumers will continue their quest for discounts, they’ll be shopping more from their mobile and tablet devices than ever before, and yet desktop will remain supreme this holiday season.
1. Double-digit growth is expected early on Cyber Monday (up 15 percent) and Black Friday (up 17 percent), while Thanksgiving will be the fastest-growing online shopping day (up 21 percent) in 2013.
2. This year will be the shortest online shopping season with only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's six days less to shop than in 2012. While online sales are still expected to grow by 12 percent, the abbreviated season will cut a whopping $1.5 billion in potential online sales for retailers.
3. Ninety-four percent of consumers polled said that discounts will be important to their purchase decisions this holiday season, 20% plan to spend more on gifts this year over 2012. In fact, 46% expect to exceed their 2013 holiday budgets.
4. Ninety percent of 2013 U.S. holiday retail sales will occur in brick-and-mortar stores. But don't discount digital. Online holiday sales are expected to hit $82 billion this year.
5. More consumers (42 percent) plan to shop more on their smartphones or tablets this year compared to a year ago. But not a lot of the mobile activity will happen in the store, with a majority (84%) using their smartphones or tablets to research a purchase. And 39 percent will use mobile to search for product coupons.
6. When it comes to spending, more than a third of consumers (35 percent) will spend $250 or more using a mobile device, while a smaller number (17 percent) will spend more than $500.
7. Sixty-three percent of holiday shoppers will engage in “showrooming” this holiday season, the practice of entering a brick-and-mortar store only to gander in person at items that they will likely return home to find at a better price online.
8. One in seven shoppers (14.3 percent) have already started buying presents for the holidays, and another 11.8 percent plan to start before Thanksgiving.
9. Almost 92 percent of holiday shoppers plan to go online to research gifts and/or make purchases this holiday season. Twenty-five percent say their favorite aspect of shopping online (or with apps) is that it's relaxing; they avoid the stress of store crowds, finding parking, and more.
10. A whopping 64 percent of Twitter users said they have bought a product because of something they saw on Twitter.
11. Thirty percent of Twitter users start thinking and tweeting about holiday shopping before October.
12. When asked, “What type of holiday content are you most likely to share?” 67.2 percent said digital coupons and 63.4 percent said a link to a holiday contest or giveaway. When asked, “What type of holiday content are you most likely to share?” 67.2 percent said digital coupons and 63.4 percent said a link to a holiday contest or giveaway.
13. Ninety-two percent of consumer trust earned media over all other types of advertising.
14. Four out of five shoppers consider the Internet the single most “useful” resource for their shopping. By contrast, only half find customer reviews, TV, and catalogs helpful. And three in four consumers say online research will influence the brands they buy and where they buy them.
15. Eighty percent of consumers will use more than one device at once while holiday shopping, and 84 percent will start on one device and finish on another.