New this year, though, I’m detecting a marked increase in curiosity about how social media –and digital technology, in general –will impact buying behavior.
Have you given it any thought? Do you think you’ll make more purchases online this holiday season? Will you scan online customer reviews or ask your Facebook friends and Twitter followers for product recommendations?
A new survey from the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch suggests that digital technology is going to play a significant role in consumer behavior over the next few months, and that means retailers with digital marketing strategies already in place are best positioned for potential wins. For example, the survey showed that:
- Americans plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping –that’s a slight increase from last year $681.83.
- Interestingly, though, people who shop online will spend 25 percent more than average adults ($858.49 for online shoppers vs. $688.87 for all adults).
- What’s more, online shoppers are also more likely to start shopping early (43 percent say they will start before Halloween) and to make non-gift purchases for themselves (61 percent of online shoppers vs. 57 percent of adults).
- Mobile is exerting considerable influence. Among the smartphone users in the survey, more than one-fourth (27 percent) said they’ll use these devices to research or make holiday purchases. If you single out just the young adults (18-24) in the survey, that number jumps to 45 percent.
Earlier research from Aberdeen Group revealed that most retailers (85 percent) have some kind of social media strategies in place to help manage brand reputation and encourage revenue-building consumer activity –and obviously, that’s good news in light of these new results.
If shoppers are buying online, I suspect that they’re also researching product information online and using their social networks for advice and recommendations. Retailers can take advantage of these new trends by beefing up their digital tactics even more –particularly with mobile apps, websites and reviews specially-designed for all of those who now want to use their phones to shop.
Most retailers don’t officially kick off the holiday season until at least November 1. So, stay tuned. Over the next few months, I predict we’re going to be hearing plenty more about how digital marketing now drives consumer behavior.