Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Survey Shows Holiday Shoppers' Offline-Online Mix

Heading into the holiday season, what should retail marketers do to maximize 2016 holiday sales? Start by asking the shoppers. Global marketing firm Epsilon has just released the findings of its 2016 holiday shopping survey. More buyers are likely to be in-store than online this year; 87% of Epsilon's 2016 respondents say they are “very likely” or "somewhat likely" to purchase at brick-and-mortar stores, compared with the 76% who say they are "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to purchase online. However, the shopping journey will probably involve a mix of channels from marketing trigger to final purchase. More than half (55%) of respondents are "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to look at a product online and then go to a store to buy, for example, while almost the same percentage (54%) are "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to look in store for a product and go online to find the best deal. Clearly, retailers will want to integrate messaging and create a seamless customer journey across channels to prevent dollars from slipping through the cracks in this multichannel environment. Since DBM Designs specializes in direct mail and supporting data services, we're happy to report surveyed shoppers cite direct mail as a potent offline marketing channel, with a big 77% of respondents saying advertisements received by mail will have at least “some influence” on their buying decisions this holiday shopping season. That's a lot more than the 41% who say banner advertisements will have “some influence” on buying decisions. Why does direct mail work so well in an increasingly "digital-first" world? No surprises: Respondents say they are influenced by direct mail because it usually contains an offer or discount, and the format allows for leisurely review time. Retail marketers can't afford to neglect online ads, e-mail and social media, of course; most respondents (90%) say they plan to access online sites or e-mails to learn about the best deals before starting to shop, and that's up from 88% of respondents in 2015. For more data from the survey, go to http://pressroom.epsilon.com/survey-results-indicate-consumers-more-likely-to-shop-in-store-than-online-this-holiday-season/

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