Holiday 2010 Shopping Trends: Surgical, Social and Sumptuous
Some things never change: Leading up to Black Friday, retailers are in a frenzy to capture wallet share among consumers shopping online. However, there are a number of new trends emerging as we head into Black Friday, including surgical shopping, social shopping and the return of luxury goods to shopping carts. Retailers who take advantage of these trends are sure to see an uptick of ringing cash registers this season, and will end the year on a high note.
The Rise of the Surgical Shopper
Consumer spending has been steadily increasing in November, driven by the fact that shoppers know exactly what they want and where to get it. Consumers are spending less time on retail websites and visiting fewer stores than they did last year. This indicates they have a specific item in mind for purchase, and then quickly move on to the next site. However, less time spent browsing doesn't necessarily mean smaller purchases. Although average session length is down, average order values are up from 2009 by $20 ($177 in 2009, $197 in 2010 for the same week).
Retailers should consider aggressively promoting personalized product recommendations to drive more product views and conversions. Grab your visitors’ attention with relevant content from the moment they arrive on your site, and guide them smoothly through to the check-out process.
Shopping Becomes Social
We're living in an undeniably mobile and tech-savvy time. Consumers aren't only aware of how to find coupons online, they understand how to use their own social networks to find bigger and better deals and discounts. Consumers are increasingly savvy about their favorite brands’ social presence, and frequently “fan” their favorite brands and follow them on Twitter. Smart marketers will watch their social communities carefully and engage followers with multiple holiday campaigns that incentivize them to buy and share discounts with friends.
Measure your social media investments using the key performance indicators of retail — sales, orders, conversions and the number of visitors that engaged with your social marketing efforts and then became customers. Don’t rely solely on social media metrics such as your number of "fans" or "likes."
Luxury Makes a Comeback
Even as consumers are turning to their favorite social sites for deals, they're also leaning more toward spending on luxury items. High-end retailers are seeing an increase in sales over the holiday season vs. last year. Overall, sales are up 13.4 percent. The jewelry market alone has seen a huge jump from 2009, with a 103 percent increase in sales.
Due to the economic climate, marketers who are looking to move expensive goods shouldn’t shy away from promoting inventory. Consumers are ready to treat themselves and their loved ones for the holidays. Just make sure to drive customer engagement and conversions through relevant product recommendations and personalized emails.
Retail sales are improving this holiday season as consumers are opening up their wallets for a variety of items. While some are ready and willing to splurge on luxury items, others are more bargain-savvy, opting instead to look for deals online before making a purchase. Regardless of how consumers go about deciding where and how to spend, it's clear that this gift-giving season is going to be a fruitful one for consumers and retailers alike.