The holiday shopping season is upon us and Americans are expected to spend $655.8 billion this year, a 3.6% forecasted increase from 2015. We surveyed over 1,000 Alabamians to find out their shopping habits and preferences this holiday season.
Here are some of the insights we discovered that hopefully will influence your marketing plans this season.
- 42% of Alabama shoppers begin their shopping at least 3 months in advance and 19% shop throughout the year to avoid the holiday shopping frenzy. Build a strategy to reach your target customers beyond the peak season when everyone else is advertising. By building brand awareness throughout the year, shoppers are more familiar and favorable to your brand by the time the holidays roll around.
- Alabama likes to shop local. 40% of respondents say they like supporting the local economy and almost 30% shop at local stores to find unique gift ideas. If you have unique and local goods, be sure you are advertising them this season.
- Black Friday appears to be losing some appeal. In fact, only 14% of Alabama shoppers think Black Friday still has the best deals of the season and 39% of respondents don’t shop on Black Friday. Retailers should have a long-term promotional plan rather than putting all of the emphasis on major shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- An overwhelming number of respondents look at print ads during the holiday season. In fact, 66% of shoppers said newspaper/magazine ads are the top resource for specials and sales during the holiday season and 74% look at the Thanksgiving Day paper for deals.
- While online shopping continues to increase, there is still a demand for the in-store shopping experience. 54% of Alabama shoppers prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar stores during the holiday season. Technology may make holiday shopping easier, but being able to walk in a store and physically touch items is a trend that may never fade.
- 71% say will conduct research on their phones while in a store and 87% say have done additional research and returned to a store for a purchase. Retailers that capture email addresses will be able to follow up with these undecided shoppers and bring them back in with specials and sales.
- 83% say they will visit a retailer where they normally do not shop to find a particular item on a wish list. And, 90% of respondents said they buy for themselves while shopping for others. Take advantage of this opportunity to turn one-time shoppers into life-long customers.
This survey proves it will take multiple touch points through various marketing channels to effectively reach holiday shoppers this season. Alabama Media Group offers affordable advertising packages for all budget sizes. Learn more about advertising specials now.