MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

What shoppers want when it comes to holiday shopping

BY Gina Acosta

It turns out that the No. 1 retail perk for shoppers is not speedy delivery, according to Deloitte's 30th annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.

The survey shows that free shipping is the top retailer policy preferred by shoppers. Furthermore, the ubiquity of personal mobile devices allows consumers to take their time researching purchases and store policies giving them opportunity to request exactly what they want.

"Consumers value their time as much as dollars saved. So when it comes to shipping their holiday purchases bought online, they are expecting free shipping and they want options to get it delivered quickly," said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution practice leader.

In the store, shoppers prefer self-help technologies that expedite the buying process over other in-store technologies. Topping the list are price checkers (57 %) and self-checkout payment lanes (41 %), well ahead of other tools including kiosks, retailer mobile apps, mobile payments, handheld product scanners, electronic shelf labelling, video screens, beacons and digital signage – all of which came in under 20%.

Nearly 87% of shoppers prioritized free shipping over fast shipping (13%) when purchasing gifts shopping online. In fact, 60% of consumers think they could order after Dec. 17, just one week prior to Christmas Eve, and still receive free shipping. Despite shoppers expecting free shipping to be fast, they are not willing to pay much to expedite their shipping. On average, respondents were willing to pay only an additional $5.10 for same-day delivery.

Mobile purchases rise this year; many minds made up before the store visit. Shoppers we surveyed expect 57 % of their purchases will be on specific items they planned before going to a specific store or website. Just under one-quarter (24%) expect to get inspiration from the store or website, and less than one in five (19 %) expect to make completely unplanned purchases.

Mobile device ownership is at an all-time high: 77 % of surveyed consumers own a smartphone, 56 % own a tablet, and almost half (49 %) own both a smartphone and a tablet. Among the 78 % of smartphone owners who plan to use their devices for holiday shopping, the top uses include researching store locations (60 %), price checking and comparisons (55 %) and online shopping or browsing (50 %). A growing number of smartphone-toting holiday shoppers (41 %) are using their devices to make purchases online, up six percentage points from last year.

Social media continues to influence holiday shoppers with 76 % of all respondents active on social media websites (blogs, discussion boards or social networks), an increase of four percentage points from last year. While 82 % of shoppers plan to use the Internet to research their holiday purchases, 60 % expect to follow recommendations from online retailers specifically.

Of all respondents surveyed, 81% are concerned about retailers that have experienced a data breach, up five percentage points from 2014; however, more than half of consumers (54%) plan to continue shopping at retailers with data breaches in their past. More consumers are concerned about their personal data when shopping online (54%) than in the physical stores (41%). Top concerns for shoppers in terms of data compromises include, in order, loss or theft of identity (83%), fraud (78%), inconveniences from dealing with data compromises (74%), monetary damages (64%), and stolen social security numbers (62%).

While respondents expect to spend 12.5% more on gifts and non-gift items for the holidays overall, 67% plan to buy items on sale and 47% plan to use store coupons while shopping.

While the majority of consumers (75%) surveyed say they plan to remain loyal to certain retailers, the No. 1 motivator for consumers to try a new store or website is to seek better prices (70%).

In regards to refund policies, nearly half of consumers (48%) responding cite refund options, not including store credit, as the most desirable policy. They also considered returns without restocking fees (40%) and free online returns (39%) desirable.

Seven in 10 (70%) plan to shop local this holiday season, primarily to support the local economy (59%) and find one-of-a-kind gifts (54%). Roughly four in 10 go local for convenience (42%) and excellent customer service (38 %).

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As Black Friday nears, retailers say yes to Turkey Day

BY CSA STAFF

With a little over two weeks until Black Friday weekend, Best Buy, HHgregg and other retailers are hoping many U.S. consumers have made shopping after Thanksgiving dinner a holiday tradition.

The consumer electronics retailers joined a growing list of retailers that released their Thanksgiving
plans this week. Both Best Buy and HHgregg have decided to keep their same holiday sales plans from last year.

Doors at Best Buy will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for “Doorbuster Deals.” Nearly all stores will remain open until 1 a.m. local time on Nov. 27, and re-open for a second round of “doorbuster” deals at 8 a.m.

Some of Best Buy’s deals will include:

• Toshiba 49-inch LED 1080p HDTV for $149.99 (Best Buy exclusive) – savings of $280
• Samsung 60-inch LED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV for $799.99 (Best Buy exclusive) – savings of $700
• Up to $125 off iPad Air 2
• $80 Best Buy gift card and free 64GB memory card with the purchase of GoPro Hero4 Silver
• $250 Best Buy gift card with any Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge or S6 edge+ smartphone with installment billing purchase or lease and activation

For customers who prefer to shop from home on Black Friday weekend, online “doorbusters” and almost every item in the Black Friday ad will be available for sale on BestBuy.com throughout Thanksgiving Day, with additional deals available all weekend long. This year, online shoppers can take advantage of free shipping throughout the holiday season with no minimum order required and convenient in-store pickup options.

HHgregg will open this Thanksgiving at 4 p.m., giving shoppers the opportunity to find doorbuster deals on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday before most other retailers open their doors.

Holiday hours at HHGregg will be:

• Thanksgiving: 4 p.m. to Midnight (12 a.m.)
• Black Friday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
• Sunday: 9 a.m to 9:00 p.m.

According to a recent survey conducted by HHgregg, more than three in four (78%) Americans who shop Black Friday weekend say the lowest prices are important to them when choosing their shopping destination.

Other retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day includeJCPenney, Target, Toys"R"Us, Kohl’s and Macy’s.

Meanwhile, some shops are just saying no to retailing after turkey dinner: At Home, H&M and Staples will stay closed on Thanksgiving this year. And outdoor specialty chain REI surprised the retail world with the decision to remain closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

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What customers want when it comes to holiday shopping

BY CSA STAFF

It turns out that the No. 1 retail perk for online shoppers is not speedy delivery, according to Deloitte's 30th annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.

The survey shows that free shipping is the top retailer policy preferred by shoppers. Furthermore, the ubiquity of personal mobile devices allows consumers to take their time researching purchases and store policies giving them opportunity to request exactly what they want.

"Consumers value their time as much as dollars saved. So when it comes to shipping their holiday purchases bought online, they are expecting free shipping and they want options to get it delivered quickly," said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution practice leader. "With consumers spending more time comparing prices and policies for the holiday season, they are going to seek out the retailers who offer them exactly what they like. The challenge for retailers is that free and fast shipping are standards year-round, potentially causing a disruption for the industry as a whole as they redefine the supply chain process to be more efficient."

Nearly 87% of shoppers prioritized free shipping over fast shipping (13%) when purchasing gifts shopping online.In fact, 60% of consumers think they could order after Dec. 17, just one week prior to Christmas Eve, and still receive free shippingDespite shoppers expecting free shipping to be fast, they are not willing to pay much to expedite their shipping. On average, respondents were willing to pay only an additional $5.10 for same-day delivery.

Mobile purchases rise this year; many minds made up before the store visit.Shoppers we surveyed expect 57 % of their purchases will be on specific items they planned before going to a specific store or website. Just under one-quarter (24 %) expect to get inspiration from the store or website, and less than 1 in 5 (19 %) expect to make completely unplanned purchases.

Mobile device ownership is at an all-time high: 77 % of surveyed consumers own a smartphone, 56 % own a tablet, and almost half (49 %) own both a smartphone and a tablet.Among the 78 % of smartphone owners who plan to use their devices for holiday shopping, the top uses include researching store locations (60 %), price checking and comparisons (55 %) and online shopping or browsing (50 %).A growing number of smartphone-toting holiday shoppers (41 %) are using their devices to make purchases online, up 6 %age points from last year.

Social media continues to influence holiday shoppers with 76 % of all respondents active on social media websites (blogs, discussion boards or social networks), an increase of 4 %age points from last year. While 82 % of shoppers plan to use the Internet to research their holiday purchases, 60 % expect to follow recommendations from online retailers specifically.

In the store, shoppers prefer self-help technologies that expedite the buying process over other in-store technologies. Topping the list are price checkers (57 %) and self-checkout payment lanes (41 %), well ahead of other tools including kiosks, retailer mobile apps, mobile payments, handheld product scanners, electronic shelf labelling, video screens, beacons and digital signage – all of which came in under 20%.

Of all respondents surveyed, 81 % are concerned about retailers that have experienced a data breach, up 5 %age points from 2014; however, more than half of consumers (54 %) plan to continue shopping at retailers with data breaches in their past.More consumers are concerned about their personal data when shopping online (54 %) than in the physical stores (41 %).Top concerns for shoppers in terms of data compromises include, in order, loss or theft of identity (83 %), fraud (78 %), inconveniences from dealing with data compromises (74 %), monetary damages (64 %), and stolen social security numbers (62 %).

While respondents expect to spend 12.5 % more on gifts and non-gift items for the holidays overall, 67 % plan to buy items on sale and 47 % plan to use store coupons while shopping.

While the majority of consumers (75 %) surveyed say they plan to remain loyal to certain retailers, the No. 1 motivator for consumers to try a new store or website is to seek better prices (70 %).

In regards to refund policies, nearly half of consumers (48 %) responding cite refund options, not including store credit, as the most desirable policy. They also considered returns without restocking fees (40 %) and free online returns (39 %) desirable.

Seven in 10 (70 %) plan to shop local this holiday season, primarily to support the local economy (59 %) and find one-of-a-kind gifts (54 %). Roughly 4 in 10 go local for convenience (42 %) and excellent customer service (38 %).

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Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

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