Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012 - (Page 10)

SAGE ADVICE Pinch the Grinch Try these insights into consumer behavior to refine your merchandising strategy for this holiday selling season. With the average consumer’s household budget squeezed more tightly than Santa's belt this year, trend watchers agree that shoppers will be more thoughtful than ever about their choices. Converging strategic consumer buying habits with a lagging global economy and an enthusiasm for digital technology, the retail marketplace is now in the process of being transformed. To be successful this holiday season, retailers need to align with evolving consumer buying habits. From ensuring you have a robust digital holiday platform to recognizing that the holiday shopping calendar is on the move, there are several consumer insights (curated from FAME’s agency research, trend studies and reports) to help retailers compete during the critical third and fourth quarters of the year. and shopping of any kind is carefully planned and analyzed. They have become more realistic about their needs and more moderate in their aspirations for material things. In fact, 75 percent of consumers say it’s important to get the lowest price, and the majority of shoppers admit to regularly using coupons to do so. Nearly 15 percent of women say they use their mobile phones in-store to check for lower pricing elsewhere before they purchase. Women also say they make a point to search online for store discounts before they shop, and most admit they pause before they buy to ask themselves, “Is this a smart use of my money?” Value continues to be a driver, even among the most financially secure. By sharpening the store experience, putting assortments together in fresh new ways, and providing services that cannot be tapped online, retailers re-engage consumers to purchase on-thespot. Don’t underestimate the power of exclusives, and plan to promote holiday gift items in-store that consumers won’t get down the street or by simply pulling out their smartphone or tablet. tops, in-store kiosks and social media. Last year, e-commerce officially became a holiday shopping option. Consumers, buoyed by the selection, the price and the experience, shifted their gift-buying to the Internet in record numbers. Of online purchases, shopping on tablet computers accounted for 20 percent of all ecommerce sales in 2011 and is expected to skyrocket. Interestingly, 7 percent of those sales were actually tallied on Christmas Day when purchases were made on newly unwrapped iPads. Early in 2011, shopping apps were scarcely on the retail radar. By Christmas, 1.2 billion apps were downloaded between Dec. 25 and New Year’s – more than any other week in history. Although relatively few consumers will have the latest digital assistants launched in 2012, these virtual elves will take the pressure off and help in finding and ordering gifts, assembling shopping lists and coordinating family activities. Black Friday October and November are the new December. The once official kick-off to the holiday season, Black Friday, is fading to gray – 54 percent of consumers had completed at least one-fourth of their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. Unlike Christmases past, it is not enough to have one signature item. Plan an assortment that starts signaling the holidays early in the fall and can be refreshed right up through the time those post-Christmas gift cards are redeemed. Despite Black Friday’s historical reputation for “hot deals,” last year 80 percent of consumers avoided in-store shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Traditionally a female phenomenon dominated by moms checking off their holiday shopping lists, younger consumers and men are now the ones venturing out on Black Friday. Known as Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the biggest online shopping day of 2011 and the first day last year that online spending passed $1 billion. Merry Moderation Consumers appear to have become smarter when it comes to extracting value these days, Tech the Halls The lines between retail and e-tail are blurring thanks to mobile devices, tablets, lap- 10 September/October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012
Brand Licensing Europe
Showrooming Mushrooming
Pinch the Grinch
Category Insight
Upfront: BJ's Wholesale
Mind Candy
Outfit 7
Halfbrick Studios
Redasign Studio
Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Brentwood Licensing
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Chestnut Petroleum Distributors Inc.
The Hartley Co.
Mollie Stone’s Markets
Regal Oil
80Purple Cow Stores
Ocean State Job Lot
Staples Canada
Brookshire Grocery Co.
Wally’s Food Pride
Jewelry Television
Skin Science Labs Inc.
Great Clips
New & Noteable

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012