‘Tis the season for shopping–but where, how, and for whom? Here’s the first edition of our annual Sandbox Retail Holiday Update for the biggest marketing moves, shopper insights and tech trends this season.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING STARTED EARLIER THAN EVER.
In a survey from e-commerce platform Profitero, 45% of respondents said they started holiday shopping before November, with 25% starting in September.
THE OVERALL 2019 HOLIDAY SPENDING OUTLOOK IS STRONG.
Consumers anticipate spending an average of $1,047.83 this holiday, a 4% increase over last year.
BLACK FRIDAY SHIFTS TO DIGITAL SHOPPING.
Forbes reports that Black Friday was a record-setting day for digital retail with sales of $7.2 billion—a 14% increase over last year. 65 percent of all digital orders on Black Friday were made on a mobile device. A majority of consumers (61%) said they avoided shopping in physical stores on Black Friday this year, citing the ease and convenience of online shopping as a deciding factor.
MOST CONSUMERS PLAN TO VISIT AT LEAST ONE BRICK-AND-MORTAR RETAILER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
90% of holiday shoppers expect to make at least some purchases in-store and 97% of them will buy gifts online from retailers with physical stores. Of those who plan to shop online, one quarter will use a smartphone for holiday shopping this year—up from 19% two years ago.
GIFT CARDS REMAIN THE MOST REQUESTED ITEM.
For the 13th year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular item on wish lists, requested by 59% of NRF-surveyed consumers. Women are significantly more likely to request gift cards than men (67% vs. 50%).
GAP DITCHES TV, ADOPTS EMOTIONALLY DRIVEN DIGITAL STRATEGY.
For the first time in its history, Gap is foregoing “razzle dazzle” holiday TV spots in favor of digital placements and a more sentimental story. Gap’s new cross-channel holiday campaign calls on shoppers to “Gift the Thought,” reflecting the heart-tugging story of a mother and son’s relationship over the years with his Gap hoodie as a connecting thread.
MESSAGING FOR THE CAMPAIGN IS FEATURED ON GAP’S WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUTUBE PAGES.
Digital takeovers on Hulu, Vevo and Facebook Watch anchor their web presence, in addition to ads for mobile, social, and video and audio streaming. The company has also created interactive shoppable units and custom gift guides this season.
HANG TAGS WITH THOUGHTFUL MESSAGES PRINTED ON THEM ARE ALSO PART OF THE MULTI-FACETED CAMPAIGN EFFORT
For shoppers purchasing pajamas as a gift, the accompanying hang tag reads: “Because sleeping is your favorite sport.” For Upcycled Puffer purchases, the hang tag is: “Because you can rock any color and still be green.”
“We wanted to create a platform that was unexpected this season. ‘Gift the Thought’ was our way of elevating gift giving this holiday season, making it not about the gift itself but the thought behind gift giving.”- Alegra O’Hare, Gap’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Grab a tissue and watch “The Hoodie” here.
TECH THE HALLS
MACY’S UNVEILS NEW TECHIE HOLIDAY FEATURES FOR ADDED CONVENIENCE.
Macy’s is rolling out a variety of new tech services this holiday to make the shopping experience simpler and more convenient:
– The interactive “Fragrance Bar” shows customers information about the bottle or scent stick they just picked up, including scent notes and customer reviews. Each product also has a QR code for instant purchase via Macy’s mobile app.
– The VR-enabled “See Your Space IRL” service will roll out to 140 stores nationwide and help customers see how various home goods fit in their own spaces.
– The “Style Inspo” feature on the Macy’s app will let customers swipe left or right to determine their style preferences.
– Another new app feature, Macy’s Store Maps, helps customers better navigate locations nationwide, identifying key brands, departments, restrooms and more.
– In addition, in-store pick-up via mobile will also be available – with most orders ready in as little as two hours.
“EXPERIENCE” SPENDING ON THE RISE.
According to Deloitte, over the last five years there has been a modest increase in experience spending, growing from 38% to 40% of total holiday spend. While people are still planning to give, they also intend to travel, dine out and spend more time socializing this season. In fact, two-thirds of holiday shoppers plan on socializing away from home, spending an average of $391.
As consumers’ emphasis on having fun increases, retailers will need to pull out all the stops to make holiday shopping pleasant. Fortunately, shoppers who prioritize having fun want to be in stores this holiday season. Only 26.7% of consumers who prioritize having a fun shopping experience named an internet retailer among their top holiday shopping options. The rest are heading to stores, with discounters and department stores taking the top slots. Electronics, home furnishings and jewelry stores rank higher with those looking for a fun time.
DID YOU KNOW?
(answer: 33 M)
ICSC, NPD Group, PR Newswire, National Retail Federation, Profitero, Salesforce, Retail Dive, BlackFriday.com, Deloitte, Field Agent, Forbes