Report: Always-on consumers, showrooming among 2013 retail trends
New York — A new report by Experian Marketing Services finds that several key retail trends will impact how marketers shape their messages in 2013.
According to the 2013 Digital Marketer Report, consumers today are multi-device and multichannel shoppers, forcing digital marketers to adapt and evolve their message to reach consumers across channels and all along the path to purchase.
It also found that 74% of marketers surveyed have either coordinated, or are in the process of coordinating, customer interactions among both online and offline channels.
“The way consumers gain information from brands — the means by which they get it, even the ways in which they process it — is constantly evolving given the complexity of our multichannel world and evolving consumer behavior driven by economic variables,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services. “With the recent retail numbers coming out of January, retailers can anticipate consumer hesitation, making it imperative that marketers create integrated customer experiences and maximize digital marketing opportunities and return on investment.”
Among the key findings:
- Showrooming will continue: Comparison shopping continues to be strong as shopping sites are the third largest driver of traffic to other retail sites. In fourth quarter 2012, shopping sites accounted for 19% of referral traffic on average to the top 500 retail sites;
- Economic uncertainty will also continue, but online retailers will still benefit as consumers search for better deals and consumer awareness continues to improve with more retail information readily available;
- Consumers are “always on”: Fifty-nine percent of adults say they email from at least two different devices during a seven-day period. Nearly one-third of adults under age 35 email from three or more devices each week; and
- Maturing mobile market: 48% of adults ages 18 to 24 say that a conversation via text message is just as meaningful as a telephone call. A similar share of adults ages 25 to 34 feel the same way; in a given month, 8% of all smartphone owners report having shopped from their phones, whereas nearly 40% of tablet owners say they shopped from their tablets.
Consumer confidence rebounds in February
New York — Consumer confidence rebounded in February, reversing three straight months of declines, according to The Conference Board, a private research group. The Conference Board’s closely-watched Consumer Confidence Index stands at 69.6, up from 58.4 in January. Economists had expected 60.5, according to research firm FactSet.
It was the highest reading since November’s 71.5 metric.
"Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions is more positive than last month,” said the group’s director of economic indicators, Lynn Franco. “Looking ahead, consumers are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for business and labor market conditions. Income expectations, which had turned rather negative last month, have improved modestly."
Consumers’ assessment of present day conditions improved in February. Those claiming business conditions are “good” rose to 18.1% from 16.1%, while those stating business conditions are “bad” decreased to 27.8% from 28.4%. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was mixed. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.5% from 8.5%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged up to 37.0% from 36.6%.
Consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook this month. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 18.9% from 15.6%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined to 16.5% from 20.4%.
Ax falls at Best Buy; cutting 400 headquarters jobs
Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. announced it is cutting 400 jobs at its headquarters as part of its “Renew Blue” transformation efforts.
The job reductions are part of a move to save $150 million in selling, general and administrative costs. The cuts are the first phase of the larger cost-cutting plan that new CEO Hubert Joly announced at an investor and analyst meeting last November. At that time, he said that Best Buy would remove $725 million in costs. This $150 million reduction is the first phase of the initiative, with additional reductions to come during the year.
Best Buy said it will offer more details on its cost reduction efforts when it reports fourth-quarter results on March 1. The chain had planned to report earnings Feb. 28, but it postponed the reporting release by one day to see whether founder Richard Schulze will bid for the company.
Best Buy “wants to allow for the expiration of the period of time that Schulze has to respond to the company,” Jeffrey Shelman, a company spokesman, told Bloomberg.