FINANCE

Target.com experiences digital growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target says that online traffic continues to grow at double-digit rates, with mobile sales growing more than 100% for the holiday period. Target.com experienced two of the strongest days of sales in its history on Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

In addition, Target was recently ranked as the most-browsed retailer on mobile over the past six months, according to a new report from Mobiquity.

Cartwheel, Target’s omni-channel promotional program, has gained more than 1 million new users this holiday season, and now 4 million customers have signed up since Cartwheel launched in May. The average savings per guest has increased by more than 40%, and since launch, Cartwheel users have saved more than $25 million. Cartwheel users will also have a one-day sale on Dec. 19 when nearly 40 items, from toys and apparel to cookware, will have special offers with discounts ranging from 10 to 60% off. Also, Target.com’s new buy online, pickup in store service, will be available for holiday shopping through 2 p.m. local time on Dec. 24.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Shoppers expect top holiday deals in December

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – More than half (54%) of shoppers believe the best holiday discounts will be in December and 83% will continue to comparison shop for gifts throughout the month. PriceGrabber has released results from its December Winter Holiday Shopping Survey, of 3,299 U.S. online shopping consumers, that shows 87% of consumers will conduct most of their holiday shopping in December this year (compared to 78% in 2012).

When December shoppers were asked why they will complete most of their holiday shopping within the month, 54% indicated it’s when they will find the best discounts. Twenty-six percent said they use them to get gift ideas. About 25% indicated they have procrastinated on their holiday shopping and will wait until the last minute to shop.

According to the survey, 48% plan to "showroom" and inspect merchandise in a physical retail store and later purchase it online for less money. When asked why, 40% said they prefer to test the product in person to see if they like it then search online for the lowest price.

In addition, 25% of "showroomers" indicated they like to make side-by-side comparisons of products in-person before deciding to purchase online, and 42% of "showroomers" said they are simply trying to save money on holiday gifts this year and are searching for the best price. Busy shoppers savvy to the perks of shopping online like to browse first and then buy the item later when they have time, said 36% of those surveyed.

Furthermore, 61% of shoppers plan to take advantage of Free Shipping Day on December 18th to order online and have their gifts delivered in time for Christmas. Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, remains popular with last minute shoppers as 51 % plan to take advantage of one-day sales before the holiday.

"Last minute shoppers will get some of the best deals on gifts this December, especially on toys and electronics," said Rojeh Avanesian, senior VP of marketing and sales of PriceGrabber.com. "Holiday shoppers can expect to see extended online and in-store promotions throughout December as retailers try to push their inventory."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Post-holiday shopping looks strong

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – A majority of consumers (79%) plan to shop the end-of-year sales after the holidays are over. In addition, a new survey from RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Company shows that nearly half of consumers (42%) report that they typically end up returning at least some gifts they receive for the holidays.

Parents are more likely than those without kids (54% vs. 37%) to end up returning at least some winter holiday gifts, while 18-34-year-olds are nearly three times more likely than those ages 35 and up (11% compared to 4%) to return 25% or more of the gifts they receive for the winter holidays.

Determined to get what they want, consumers report that they are more likely to return an unwanted holiday gift (35%) than to keep it (27%), re-gift it (21%) or donate it (13%). Compared to last year, consumers report that they are more likely to return (35% vs. 31%) or re-gift (21% compared to 17%) unwanted presents this year.

More than one in three (35%) consumers surveyed have purchased a gift for themselves because no one got it for them for the holidays, and 64% of consumers planning to shop post-holiday sales plan to buy items for themselves during this time. According to the survey, it is a less popular time to shop for others, such as significant others (42%) or relatives (29%). It is more common for respondents that make more than $50,000 a year than those who make less than that (83% compared to 76%) to plan to shop end-of-year sales. Females are more likely than males (54% compared to 47%) to plan to shop for themselves during end-of-year sales.

Nearly nine-in-10 (89%) respondents indicated that they have received a gift card as a winter holiday present and about two in three (67%) consumers say they are most likely to use a gift card they were given for the holidays less than a month after receiving it. In addition to shopping for themselves, some consumers even wait until post-holiday sales to purchase gifts for others. Three-in-10 (30%) holiday gift-givers report having purchased a present after the holidays were over for someone they knew they wouldn’t see until afterwards.

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