As national economic challenges continue and consumer spending remains tentative, what can brands expect from the 2010 holiday season? An increasingly mobile, social, and green consumer, according to Experian Marketing Services' new 2010 holiday marketer report.
Indeed, the percentage of consumers who purchase from mobile phones has grown from 10% in 2009 to 13% in 2010. Pricing and product research via mobile devices has also grown significantly during the same time frame.
Social networking, meanwhile, is becoming an increasingly important traffic acquisition channel for online retail, accounting for more than 3% of all visits to the top 500 online retail sites.
Americans are also getting greener. The percentage of U.S. adults who are "Behavioral Greens" -- those who think and acts green -- rose 5% between 2006 and 2009, while the percentage of Americans who are "True Browns" -- those who have negative attitudes about environmental issues -- remained flat.
For the upcoming 2010 holiday season, email marketing volumes are expected to increase 15-20% compared to the same time period in 2009.
Multichannel retailers registered the largest increase at 42% from 2008 to 2009 holiday seasons. Experian's research reveals that email offer-types can make a key difference in campaign success. Email campaigns with offers such as free shipping, discounts and reward points had lower open and click-through rates, but higher transaction rates and revenue per email. Offers including a free gift had the highest transaction rates, while offers for points in affinity programs had the highest revenue per email.
Overall, as preparation for the upcoming holiday season continues, a review of indicators surrounding consumer economic sentiment and outlook suggests a mood of cautious optimism, reports Experian.
"As we approach this holiday season, various economic indicators show signs of improvement," said Bill Tancer, general manager of research at Experian Marketing Services. "At the same time, however, consumer spending remains cautious."
The University of Michigan/Reuters Consumer Sentiment Index recently reported that consumers' outlook on the economy reached a two-year high this past May -- the same month that the U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumer spending dropped unexpectedly by 1.2%.
Transactional shopping data from Experian Marketing Services' Catalog Cooperative Database indicates that while 2008 and 2009 holiday seasons registered the first declines in sales since the early 1950s, in analyzing 2010 catalog sales data, we expect that this year's fourth quarter will register a 1%-2% increase over the previous quarter.
According to Tancer, integrating channels such as direct mail, email, search, mobile, online communities and social media with insights on consumers' preferences worldwide, across them all, will be essential for marketing success this coming season.
Experian breaks shoppers down into six key segments: the 26% who go for the bargains and use the Internet to help find discounts; the 20% who think that shopping is fun and recreational; the 17% who are knowledgeable consumers, and who buy either in-store or online, always carefully research purchases online first, and shop around and compare prices before buying; the 14% who primarily purchase necessities; the 13% who are loyal to their brands, stores, services and country; and the 10% who are considered "try-sumers" for the taste for trying new products, stores and styles.