Social Media Users More Demanding
Research from Lightspeed Research and the IAB reveals that consumers have much higher expectations of social media customer services compared to more traditional channels; a quarter of people who complain about brands through Twitter or Facebook expect a response within the hour, and around 6 percent within 10 minutes. DMA 1/18/11
Mobile Improves Shopper Experience & Sales
55% of retail associates said that 2010 holiday shoppers, driven by increasing availability of online shopping tools and mobile phone applications, were better connected to consumer information than in-store associates, according to a survey by Motorola Solutions.
The survey says that when surveyed shoppers received guidance from a retail associate armed with a handheld mobile computer, over four in 10 (43%) reported the device improved their shopping experience. Chain Store Age 1/17/11
U.S. Consumers Making More Frequent Shopping Trips But Spending Less
Continuing economic conditions, and a need to preserve cash means consumers are making more frequent shopping trips but spending less. In response, food and CPG companies are making smaller packages and changing displays. NielsenWire 1/13/11
A study published in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, says that online Advergames, which are a blend of interactive animation, video content and advertising, should be more closely regulated because they expose children for extended periods of time to online messages that primarily promote corporate branding and products. University of California - Davis - Health System (2010, June 4). Online games new marketing tool for unhealthy foods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 4, 2010
“Reverse graffiti,” the practice of “washing” corporate logos onto dirty sidewalks using stencils and high-pressure water sprayers, is increasingly being utilized by “environmentally conscious marketing agencies. NYTimes.com 6/3/2010
Coupons appeal to affluent shoppers too. A Harris Interactive survey conducted for Coupons.com found that 61% of adults with annual household incomes in excess of $100,000 had redeemed a coupon in the preceding six months; 39% had redeemed a printable online coupon in that time. PromoMagazine.com 6/2/10
Mashable Founder and CEO C. Pete Cashmore predicts the themes and trends that will define the Web in 2010. CNNTech 12/3/09
A new study by the Marketing to Moms Coalition, a not-for-profit industry group, reveals that mothers are sacrificing purchases for their own use in order to ensure their families get what they need. For example, seventy-two percent of survey respondents say they gave up on the quality of new clothes they buy, while 51% cut back on health and beauty product quality. Yet the majority of mothers say they are not scrimping on the quality of their children's' food, medical needs and clothing.
The annual State of the American Mom Report is a nationally representative sample of 1,225 moms with kids under 18 years old living in the home. It includes both English-speaking mothers and Spanish-speaking mothers in the U.S. Findings were analyzed by the research firm Insight to Action, and include valuable information for marketers such as:
- An overwhelming majority of moms (78%) have cut back on household spending this year.
- Moms are sacrificing quality for value in everyday expenditures
- 61% of moms are focused more on the environment this year
- More than half of all moms are making special trips to retailers that offer the best price
- Majority of moms (58%) are making more home-cooked meals
- 77% are using more leftovers
- 39% are on Facebook, while 11% are on Twitter
- Majority of moms plan to spend more than $600 on holiday gifts this year
The study was conducted in the second quarter of this year, and covers a range of insights and information, including mothers' media habits (both traditional and online); their computer usage; their consumption habits and priorities; their attitudes toward shopping and marketing; and the influence of their children in product purchases.
The recession has caused more U.S. consumers continue to turn to cheaper fare, such as fast food, canned, and frozen processed foods are higher in fat and calories and are made with refined grains and sugars. The result: obesity, diabetes and other illnesses are increasing. Wall Street Journal 11/1/09
Consumers say they would consider buying secondhand items; during the last 12 months, 29% said they have been buying more secondhand goods and fewer new items. 15% said they only started buying secondhand goods within the last year. Brandweek 10/31/09
The retail industry will lose an estimated $2.7 billion in return fraud this holiday season and an estimated $9.6 billion this year according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Return Fraud Survey. Chain Store Age 10/30/09
Deloitte’s 24th Annual Holiday Survey of retail spending and trends reports that two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers are planning to shop differently due to concerns about the economy. Despite expectations for economic improvement, consumers continue to reduce their spending on gifts. The average number of gifts people plan to purchase declined to 18.2 from 21.5 last year and 23.1 in 2007. The amount consumers plan to spend on gifts is down as well, to $452 compared with $532 in 2008, and $569 in 2007. Deloitte 10/28/2009
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 on holiday-related shopping, a 3.2 percent drop from last year’s $705.01. Two-thirds of Americans (65.3%) say the economy will affect their holiday plans this year, with the majority of these consumers saying they’re adjusting by simply spending less (84.2%). National Retail Federation 10/20/09
When drug companies are cited by the FDA for deceptive marketing, they lose 1% of market value on average, according to new research by Diana C. Robertson of Wharton and two colleagues. Harvard Business Publishing 10/22/09
Consumers are using the internet to find the best deals at retail outlets, toy stores and more “So what happens online, doesn’t always stay online in the new economy where deal hunting is driving buzz.” Nielsen Wire 10/23/09
Buzz about Christmas and holiday shopping on social media sites is down 3% year-over-year. This activity is in line with other research at Nielsen relative to retail expectations and consumers’ personal finances that indicate modest spending from a cautious consumer base. Nielsen Wire 10/23/09
Despite some anecdotal reports of a surge in drinking accompanying the economic recession, the percentage of U.S. adults who consume alcohol is fairly steady at 64%, and there has been little change in self-reported drinking volume. Gallup 6/29/09
A Nielsen report on the “myths and realities of teen media trends
debunks the notion that American teens are “too busy texting, Twittering or LOL-ing to be engaged with traditional media." One example: Teens are watching “more TV than ever, up 6% over the past five years in the U.S.” Free download of research available: How Teens Use Media June 2009.
“Twenty-two percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in banks, down from 32% who said the same at this time last year.” Gallup 6/24/09. This may provide an opportunity for small banks say some marketing experts.
Money, anxiety and guilt are causing more than a third (35 percent) of workers to say they haven't gone on or aren't planning to take a vacation in 2009; 71 percent of those indicate it is because they just can't afford it, according CareerBuilder's annual vacation survey.
The survey was conducted from February 20 through March 11, 2009 among more than 4,400 workers. Additionally, close to one-in-five workers indicate that they are either afraid of losing their jobs if they go on vacation or feel guilty being away from the office.
Taking a vacation doesn't necessarily mean a clean break from the office. Fifty percent of employers say they expect employees to check in with the office while they are away, with 40% indicating it'll be necessary only if they are working on a big project or there is a major issue going on with the company.
The latest WealthSurvey from the Luxury Institute finds that luxury brands are failing to deliver on the fundamentals of luxury at a critical time for the industry:
- For wealthy consumers, superior quality (82%), superior craftsmanship (78%) and superior customer service (60%) are the top three requirements of a luxury brand. Yet, more than one-third of consumers say luxury brands are worse today than in the recent past on delivering superior customer service and on failing to have salespeople who are experts in their products.
- Half of consumers earning more than $200k annually and 46% of those with a net worth more than $1 million think luxury brands are becoming commodities.
- 64% of wealthy consumers believe luxury goods prices are too high relative to the value they deliver. One reason may be that while major luxury brands are trying to spread themselves into as many categories as possible, 68% of the wealthy consumers believe a luxury brand can only be an expert in a few truly related product categories.
- The failures come at a time when 43% of wealthy consumers say they are becoming more practical in their luxury purchases, are becoming more budget conscious (43%) and are purchasing more of what they need rather than what they want (30%).
- 62% of wealthy consumers say that the current state of the economy has changed their view of the luxury industry. When asked why in an open-ended format, consumers cite the following as key reasons for the change of view: becoming more budget-conscious and prudent, the need to re-think and re-prioritize, a strong feeling that luxury goods are too "mass" vs. price, a sense that flaunting luxury at this time is insensitive and a desire to help others rather than spend on themselves.
- A majority of wealthy consumers state that they like to buy luxury items for the quality because they last longer and keep their value (77%)and that they buy expensive items for their own pleasure, not to show off (72%).
- Half of luxury consumers cited discounts and sales as a major influencing factor in making luxury purchases and more than half of wealthy consumers say they are likely to respond to a special offer or sale from a luxury brand over any other factors.
A national sample of 500+ wealthy American consumers was surveyed online by the Luxury Institute. The Institute's respondents had an average income of $308,000.00 and an average net-worth of $3.9 million.
Source: The Luxury Institute 2/10/09 , Chain Store Age 2/10/09
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Starbucks Corp.(SBUX) is offering coffee and breakfast food combos for $3.95, and training baristas to educate customers on coffee prices to reposition itself for a “prolonged economic downturn,” and fight incursions by Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s. (MCD) WSJ Online 2/09/09. May require subscription.
“Live Nation Inc.(LYV) and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.(TKTM) are reportedly close to approving an all-stock deal to combine the two companies…The new entity is to be called Live Nation Entertainment Inc…” WSJ Online 2/09/09. May require subscription. UPDATE: Live Nation and Ticketmaster have agreed to merge. New York Times 2/10/09.
Cold Stone Creamery and Tim Horton’s (THI) have announced a partnership where each will add the other in 100 franchised locations within 90 days. If the combined stores generate expected sales the concept could be significantly expanded by year-end. Brand New Day 2/6/09
OfficeMax (OMX) is testing a new concept called Ink Paper Scissors, a scaled down (1,500-2,000 ft) office supply store, to minimize retail expenses and provide faster, more convenient access for business customers. Staples (SPLS) has adopted the idea of a dollar menu to lure value-conscious consumers.” Brandweek 2/5/09
Denny’s (DENN) free breakfast promotion announced during its Super Bowl ad, was a ‘Grand Slam,’ reportedly serving two million people. The purpose of the promotion was to reintroduce people to Denny’s. Brand New Day 2/3/09
The Home Depot (HD) is closing all 34 of its Expo Design Centers. The Expo stores targeted an upscale home remodeling market that never seemed to catch on says the LA Times 1/27/09.
ForecastIQ study of consumer intentions data projects sales increases for many discount and wholesales stores including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Fred’s, Family Dollar and BJs. Specialty store retailers Aeropostale, Buckle and Hot Topic are projected to increase same store sales while declines are projected for Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and TJX brands, including TJMaxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods. ForecastIQ 1/19/09
Belkin was caught offering to pay people to write positive reviews of their routers. Writers were given specific instructions including “write as if you own the product and are using it”, “thank the website for making you such a great deal.” Saying they were surprised and dismayed to hear of the deception, Belkin’s president has apologized and says the company has removed the phony reviews. Techcrunch 1/18/09
Harley-Davison (HOG) faces a 30% drop in sales during 2009 with demand for luxury items sinking and tighter credit, a big problem since 80% of bike sales are financed. MarketWatch 1/12/09
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