5 MORE Key Insights from the 2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Report

A couple things stand out as I share another five key insights gathered from our recent Invoke Live! – 2011 Holiday Shopping study. No matter how convenient and easy online shopping becomes, brick-and-mortar will always have a place in consumers’ ...

A couple things stand out as I share another five key insights gathered from our recent Invoke Live! – 2011 Holiday Shopping study. No matter how convenient and easy online shopping becomes, brick-and-mortar will always have a place in consumers’ hearts. Journeying through a physical store delivers a tactile experience that online shopping just can’t. Those who rely on a brick-and-mortar model to sell their wares should really capitalize on this. Isn’t this why food sampling is still such a viable marketing strategy in grocery stores? Why not bring that frame of reference outside the realm of perishables?

Maybe a “Try It On!” event? I’m picturing an ad showing a woman printing out a picture of a dress she is considering buying, and she’s struggling to hold up the printed picture in front of herself, looking in the mirror, frustrated by not knowing how it’s really going to look on her. The tagline, “There’s only so much you can do online. Try It On!” resonates the dilemma to other women using the same, awkward virtual shopping tactic in the privacy of their homes.

And I LOVE insight #5 (below) about loyalty programs and in-store promotions. I think, during the holiday shopping season, when shoppers are stressed and maybe a tad low on holiday spirit, it might make sense for stores to consider some type of “free gift with purchase” program. As it states below, it may help to steer shoppers in your direction and boost a store’s image, but it can also improve the overall mood of shoppers. Think about it – holiday shoppers spend dollar after dollar on gifts for others. I have to assume that receiving something themselves would not only instill good feelings towards the retailer, but also help boost their spirits. A simple gifting of good cheer.

I hope you find this next list of five insights helpful for your holiday planning. I feel that all of these insights carry some important information to consider for the upcoming holiday season. But of course I do. After all, I wrote them.

1. Both online and brick-and-mortar stores have a place in shoppers’ agendas this holiday season. Often, shoppers are choosing between the two based on the deals offered or the presence of free shipping. However, for some, brick-and-mortar stores have the specific benefit of being able to touch and physically experience the gift they are buying.

2. Amazon.com is the most popular shopping destination for shoppers, often because of its selection, free shipping and competitive pricing.

3. Although shoppers expect high-end electronics, such as iPads, to be the hottest gifts this season, their desire to be more practical in their gift-giving may lead them to be more likely to buy items such as clothing or gift cards.

4. Shoppers are listening to recipient requests often, though lower incomes may cause shoppers to rely more on their own intuition as to what their recipient may want.

5. Loyalty programs or in-store promotions that offer shoppers a free gift with purchase may factor into some shoppers’ decisions to shop a specific store and/or create loyalty. They also help to boost a store’s image, especially during the holidays when shoppers might be more attuned to genuine acts of goodwill.

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