Consumer Brand Manufacturing Spotlight: Holiday Shopping Stats

5293708979_2988b5c92a_zIt’s the holidays, which means, as a marketer for a consumer brand, chances are you’ve seen an endless parade of stats about the habits of holiday shoppers. Fear not. I’m not going to bludgeon you with 10, 19, or 99 more stats. I have merely a handful, but I want to tease out some significance from below the surface. Rather than having you cry for an ice pack after having absorbed so many numerical blows to the head, I’m hoping you can coolly reflect on a few numbers* with a clear mind. Here we go:

More than half (55%) of brand managers use email as the #1 holiday marketing channel.

What does this mean? If email is your #1 holiday marketing channel, then you better have done your testing and template optimization well in advance of the holidays. Are your competitors doing email exceptionally well? More importantly, are they doing it better than you? Are there things they’re doing with it as their #1 marketing channel that you should be?

47% of consumers say the Internet is their favorite shopping destination.

What does this mean? OK, consumers didn’t necessarily say your site is their favorite destination, but you want way more than 47% of them to feel it’s user-friendly. Maximize your site’s usability, and even more consumers will think of the Internet (with your site in mind) as their favorite shopping destination. Translation: More than half of consumers are NOT saying the Internet is their favorite mode of shopping. How many of them generally value the in-store experience over the Web entirely. On the other hand, how many of them have negative feelings about your website or online shopping as a whole? These are objections you can and should address. Your website should make consumers feel like the Internet is their favorite place for holiday buying.

92% of holiday shoppers will research and/or buy gifts online this year.

Appeal to the buyers in the research phases as much as you do to the purchase-ready. Everyone rightly talks about optimizing the shopping cart, but by giving consumers information they need to make an informed purchase before they hit the cart, you increase the chances of their actually buying from you—if not immediately, then later on down the road. Your authority may eventually win their loyalty, but it has to be earned. And you don’t earn it without helping first-time buyers (or repeat customers of new items) understand what your products are all about.

39% of shoppers hear about the best holiday deals by visiting a company’s website directly.

What does this mean? Update your website with the latest deals because consumers are looking for them. Make sure promotions are clear and easy to find. Deadlines and terms should be explicit, and outdated deals should be removed promptly so as not to create failed expectations and lack of trust.

*All stats taken from this infographic by Mainstreethost.

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Photo courtesy of Colin and Sarah Northway via Flickr.

Paul Richlovsky

About Paul Richlovsky

Paul brings a writing and teaching background to his decade-long marketing career. He advises clients on content strategy and editorial direction. He is an enthusiastic marketing automation practitioner and active member of the Cleveland Marketo User Group. He has written/edited multiple marketing guides, including those aimed at healthcare, higher education, financial services, B2C brands and manufacturing audiences. With a BA in English from the College of Wooster, he is also the author of a collection of poetry, "Under the Lunar Neon."He is particularly interested in usability, digital governance, ballroom dancing, bachata, racquet sports, and romping with his niece and nephews.

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