2012 Holiday Shoppers will Shop Online

In a new study that should not surprise anyone, US shoppers will be leaning on the internet to make their shopping easier.  According to a study cited in MediaPost.com’s recent article, shoppers will be spending as much or more as last year, on average, and doing much of their planning online.  Average spending will be approximately $500 per family.

Given that we have about 80,000 families in Jackson County (source: CMB) in round numbers, that says that your business will be fighting for a slice of a great big pie.  A $40 million pie.  That’s great news!

There are a couple of good news takeaways for our local businesses.  Even though the survey was taken online and sponsored by an online shopping site, 41% of the respondents say that they prefer shopping in local independent retail shops.  If you own one of those “mom and pop” type businesses, this good news!  The real percentage in southern Oregon probably skews even higher, given our population make up relative to the study sample.  So you have a chance to have a great Christmas season.

When we dig a little deeper into the data though, there are some potential to do items that crop up for you to consider.

88% of shoppers plan to research online before shopping in order to find the best deals.

Can they find you when they do?  We are busier than ever, and heading out just to “shop” doesn’t happen for most of us anymore.  We visit local stores in order to buy.  The shopping part is done ahead of time, sometimes by calling ahead, but most often anymore by searching the internet for the best deal, best selection, closest location, etc.  Your business absolutely has to be easy to find when your potential customers are looking for what you sell.

Shoppers will look long and hard for the best place to buy.

  • 29% will spend up to 2 hours shopping online
  • 38% will spend 3-6 hours shopping online
  • 14% will spend 7-10 hours shopping online
  • 19% will spend more than 10 hours shopping online
The good news here is that they are putting in effort.  Even if your website doesn’t list at the top of their search results, they may hunt for you until they find you.  But imagine how much more lucrative that your season will be if you make yourself easier to find?

Shoppers will be starting early and shopping well into December.

When asked to guess when the best deals will be available, the survey respondents said:

  • Black Friday – 28%
  • Cyber Monday – 16%
  • After the Thanksgiving Holiday – 33%
  • Month of December – 23%
What this most likely means for your business, is that after the initial rush, there may be a steady rise in business as Christmas gets near.  A marketing strategy that covers this period, as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan approach may help you to generate the a larger market share through the season.
My grandpa used to always say how important it was to make hay while the sun was shining.  A $40 million Christmas season after the way things have been recently, is a sunny day indeed.  Not sure how to effectively make sure you get your fair share?  Your SOMG marketing consultant is available to help you plan out your strategy.  With extensive training in print, online, television, radio, and direct mail advertising strategies, you can consider them your free advertising agency.
Greg Thompson
Digital Manager
gthompson@mailtribune.com

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