2010 Holiday Trends and Forecast: Pre-Thanksgiving

Posted by Christina Mannarino, Digital Research Manager

Executive Summary

Consumers continue to look for immediate discounts, sales, free shipping and incentives this holiday season and the expectations for brands to reach consumers across many channels (email, social networks, stores, catalogs, print media, TV, radio, search., etc.) continue. E-retailers are launching more day part and one-day sales, consumers are shopping less at discounters and are focusing on practical gifting (with a 10% YoY rise in interest for jewelry) and according to NRF.com, total spending on gifts is expected to rise 2.1 % from last year. Lastly, Iconoculture expects holiday sales to trickle into early February where retailers can carry over holiday gifts and gift cards to use for Valentine’s Day.

See below for PriceGrabber’s predication as to the gender breakout of purchases this holiday season.

Holiday trends 1 

Holiday Search Trends

Rising Google Searches in the last 30 days:

  • Apparel: northface, uggs, north face denali
  • Home Furnishings: gas logs, fireplace inserts, pellet stove
  • Consumer Electronics: televiseur, pocket projector, vizio 55
  • Toys: lego advent calendar, kidkraft kitchen, lego table

Our BenchTools competitive monitoring technology gives us a view of current advertisers leading the SEM and SEO space for keywords related to Black Friday or holiday deals:

Holiday trends 2 

Consumer Behaviors

Black Friday frustrations cause 55% of Americans to do holiday shopping online.  The top 5 Black Friday frustrations (according to CouponMountain.com) are:

  • Crowds (selected by 69% of all online shoppers)
  • Long lines to purchase (58%)
  • Early arrivals for best deals (50%)
  • Stores selling out (48%)
  • Lack of parking (37%)

Nearly 40 Million Americans (17% of all consumers) plan to do most or all their holiday shopping online. That percentage increases for higher income households: 25% of online shoppers earning $75,000-$100,000 plan to do most or all their holiday shopping online and 22% for those earning more than $100,000. (MarketWatch, 2010).

59% of Mobile Consumers will use mobile for holiday shopping & planning (October 2010 US Mobile Consumer Briefing, 2010).

  • Asians, Hispanics and adults ages 25-34 are the demographic groups most likely to use their phone to a great extent for holiday shopping and celebration planning
  • Thirteen percent of mobile holiday shoppers expect to use their phone to purchase or pay for gifts
  • Searching for locations where a gift is sold, and comparing prices, are the two most common holiday-related tasks that mobile holiday shoppers anticipate using their mobile phone for
  • Movies, music, consumer electronics and books are the top gift types that mobile holiday shoppers thought would be helpful to shop for using a mobile phone

Retailer/B2C Behaviors

  • October web sales increased 23.7% YoY: Revenues from full-priced item sales were up 48.0%, amounting to a record “health” increase of 43.3% compared to the same month one year ago on the MyBuys E-commerce Wellness Index. While intense discounting drove revenue in 2009, consumers are spending more this year and margins are dramatically improving. Also, Last month the average order value for transactions with personalization was up 21%. (Siwicki, 2010).
  • Google + Local Store Availability + Mobile: Google’s “Local Availability” is now showing mobile and desktop users stores with items in-stock. The Local Availability feature in the Android app offers a few handy extras in the way a shopper can search for an item. App users can search by text, bar code scanning and voice. For some items, consumers can search by taking a picture of a product. Google says despite online sales growing at a quicker clip, 93% of shopping is still done in stores and 7% online. (Deatsch, 2010).
  • Wine.com toasts the holidays with new iPad app: The new iPad app enables consumers to research, browse and buy wine through an optimized interface that makes shopping different than when on the Wine.com e-commerce site or iPhone app. Search filters, interactive labels, saving feature called the “Wine Cave”, direct purchase, deals, Facebook sharing and interactive geolocation tours make this app the perfect holiday season. (Siwicki, 2010).

Agency/Marketer Considerations

Mobile marketing last-minute holiday mobile marketing tips:

  • Simplicity: During the holiday season, consumers are bombarded with offers. Keep the message simple
  • Relevance: Mobile is a personal device and, as such, the audience’s expectation is that the communication that they receive through it is personal and relevant
  • SMS is highly successful in driving audiences to act on impulse. An SMS message that lets your customers know that your store will be open late on Sunday will be most effective if it is sent that day. (Nakar, 2010).

Agency Considerations:

  • Ensure that programs with retail clients capitalize on rising search trends, keywords and phrases
  • Focus heavy lifting on key transaction and conversion time periods–use live monitoring tools when possible
  • Ensure campaign copy and verticals align appropriately with user demographics–know your audience

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