Retail

Holiday Shoppers Were Incentivized More Than Ever

The holiday confetti has settled, quite a few gifts have gone back — on National Returns Day and this week — but reports show customers did indeed use their powerhigh confidence to shop and willingness to take risks and rack up some debt this holiday season. Consumers even outperformed analysts’ expectations for the season, with total eCommerce holiday sales bumping up more than 10 percent, and mobile device purchases alone nearly tripling.

Now, a new report from Market Track said holiday shoppers had higher incentives to spend more this year, with leading reasons being deeper discounts and shifting advertising strategies.

The advertising, promotional, brand protection and eCommerce intelligence solution firm said that highly competitive online prices throughout the season were the main culprit behind holiday customers’ robust shopping behavior. The two-month-long sales events — dubbed as the “Christmas Creep” — actually helped more than anticipated, rather than just acting as a few special days of promotions. Market Track said that Super Saturday and the Monday before Christmas were among the busiest shopping days of the season.

The calendar alone was also a factor in the shopping trends this year. The “Christmas Creep” paired well with the fact that Christmas and Hanukkah began on the same night, and all December holidays — including New Year’s Eve — fell on weekends.

Citing additional insights from the firm’s “Competitive Online Price Index” and “Print Circular Discounts” research, Traci Gregorski, SVP of marketing at Market Track, said that retailers have noticed these trends and are embracing the changes that consumers are making as they shop around the holidays. No longer are there just a few channels to advertise, she said; retailers are engaging with and reaching customers across digital, mobile, social media, email, TV and print.

“They are ensuring they are offering competitive pricing and promotions throughout the entire season by taking a synergistic approach to their overall marketing programs,” said Gregorski, adding that these insights will guide retail planning for 2017 and the next holiday season.

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