Fasten your seat belts because Accenture is about to drop some knowledge on you that you definitely aren’t already aware of. Totally new shopping trends that us idiots had no idea about before. According to their 11th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey ” US Consumers Are More Reluctant to Shop During Peak Holiday Shopping Days and More Likely to Purchase Online Than in Stores”
Quick! Somebody call Amazon and let them know more people prefer to shop online than in stores and they should expect a lift in sales. While you’re at it, can you also let know these guys know that people are shopping in stores less: Radio Shack, Sears, JCPenney, Macy’s, Payless Shoes, and everyone else on this list.
Ok, now that the sarcasm is out of my system…I throw the word “literally” around with wanton disregard for it’s literal meaning, however, I’m going to use it 10,000% correctly here when I say these are LITERALLY the least surprising results I’ve ever heard from a survey. OF COURSE people want to shop online more often. It’s easier. I can click a couple buttons on my phone and 2 days later (or same day) some product I don’t need shows up at my door. And now, it’s also cheaper…I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper. I think waking up at 3am to go shopping for a deal is idiotic and I have enough money to just pay more and sleep late. However, I spent some time in corporate retail management so I know how much retailers rely on this shopping day to make or break their year. The fact that people can (or feel like they can) get a better deal at other times throughout the year is really not good for most B&M retailers who’s holiday season lives and dies on this one day.
The survey wasn’t a total joke though… I took away two very important learnings to help guide me this holiday season.
According to the survey a “Lower percentage of consumers say they’ll spend more money on holiday gifts this year.” I am by no means a cheap guy, in fact I spend ton’s of money on gifts. The thing is, I usually prefer that those gifts are for ME. Knowing that everyone else is planning to spend less on gifts then that means, by comparison, I can too without looking cheap. Looks like it’s macaroni jewelry for everyone this year.
71% of survey respondents said they plan to purchase gift cards this holiday season. Music to my ears. Picking out gifts for family members and friends is the worst and it just gets harder as you get older. I can’t get my dad any more Brookstones shit or he’ll kill me and my mom is literally drowning in Yankee Candles and Body Shop crap. Gift Cards are that present you’re always nervous to get cause it says “I don’t care enough to be creative about this gift”, but hey everyone else is doing it so, gift cards it is.
Jill Standish, head of Accenture’s Retail practice. “Smart retailers are taking a longer-term view of the season. Rather than just striving to win new sales through ever-lower discounts, they instead see the holidays as an opportunity to define their purpose, engage in a way that is memorable and be clear about the role they will play in shoppers’ lives both practically and emotionally. Experiences that are distinct, memorable and worth sharing with others can be the foundation for a more-profitable, enduring and year-round relationship.”..…..I totally understand where Jill is going here. CLTV (Customer Life Time Value) is critical for retailers to maintain because it’s a major factor in their sales forecasting, marketing plans and what they can stomach for a customer acquisition cost just to name a few. But give me a break with the “role they play emotionally” and “experiences worth sharing”. We want to buy product as easy and cheap as possible. Here’s some simple advice, build a top notch eCommerce site, offer free 2 day shipping, and invest in a good CRM system to target the right customers at the right time.