Healthy competition is a good thing. I happen to believe that, for it is the spirit of competition that brings out the best in all of us. Or in Lance Armstrong’s case, the worst.
But I digress.
The holiday season is (a) upon us and (b) often the deciding factor in whether a given brand had a successful year or not. Not exactly the kind of information that makes one sit up and say “I did not know that.” Of course you know that.
In recent weeks I have told you how the Lack Of Mobile Integration Means Not So Happy Holidays For Brands and also How Retailers Can Make Their Email Marketing Glisten This Holiday Season.
The former article speak to the fact that more and more consumers are turning to their cell phones to shop this holiday season and more than half of America’s fastest growing retailers have yet to fully connect online and offline shopping experience, leaving shoppers unsatisfied with their shopping experience.
The latter piece tells you how you can make the most of your email marketing campaign this holiday season by downloading and reading the Retail Email Guide For the Holiday Season, put out by Responsys. Full disclosure: At the time I wrote the latter piece I was not employed by Responsys but have since taken the position of Sr. Content Strategist.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to why I think competition will be fierce this holiday season. The cold hard truth is of course it has to do with the economy as it was in years past. This year there is the added uncertainty of who will be in the White House as well. A good recipe for shopper weary which translates into major competition among brands.
Shoppers Remain Conservative With Holiday Gift Budgets
This was the headline of a press release on the website of the National Retail Federation. The headline spoke directly to the findings the NRF uncovered during a recent survey of consumers.
From the release:
“According to the survey, the biggest portion of shoppers’ budget this year will go towards gifts for family members with the average person planning to spend $421.82 on children, parents, aunt, uncles and more. Additionally, people will spend $75.13 on friends, $23.48 on co-workers and $28.13 on others, such as pets and community members.
Consumers will also spend on food and candy ($100.76), greeting cards ($28.66) and flowers ($19.55.) When it comes to decorations, the average person will spend $51.99, up from $49.15 last year and the most in the survey’s history. Total spending on holiday décor will reach $6.9 billion.”
Wow, who knew holiday décor was so popular?
But I digress, again.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says the competition will heat up and in fact, already has. “As the most promotional time of the year, retailers will continue to look for ways to stand out, specifically with attractive deals on toys, electronics and apparel, even well before the ‘official’ start of the holiday shopping season – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”
Judging by the survey results, I would say Shay is right as four in 10 (41.4%) of consumers say they will begin holiday shopping before Halloween.
So what this basically tells me and should tell all brand managers and brand marketers and ALL marketers that if they have not already started their holiday marketing and advertising push, they may in fact already be too late to the dance.
If The Price Is Right
Not surprisingly over one-third of respondents (36.6%) said the most important factor in deciding where to shop are offers for sales and discounts.
Source: National Retail Federation