15% of Consumers Start Holiday Shopping in September

Thu Jun 29, 2017

Kathy Crosett

It’s never too early to think about the holiday season. Your clients need to be on top of how technology has changed consumer holidaybehavior during the hectic months of November and December. In A Marketer’s Guide to Reach Consumer Generation by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, analysts explain how the results yielded by their recent research can impact media sales.

Yes analysts call the youngest shoppers, the ones following millennials in chronological age, the Centennials. Other research shops call these folks Gen Z. Regardless of the label they are given, these consumers have made smartphones their closest companions.

But, during the holidays, these young shoppers are more likely than those in other age groups to visit the physical store. At least 45% say they go to traditional stores. On a year-round basis, the in-store experience is more important to Centennials (18%) and millennials (19%) than Baby Boomers. Your clients need to tout the excitement and fun that shoppers can expect when they walk through the doors at any time of year. They’ll want to increase that kind of messaging during the holidays.

The only other buying influencer to get a higher score with Centennials was mobile sites (52%.) Your clients will want to get their social media channels up to date for the holidays as Centennials, more than any other generation, pay attention to what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In fact, 50% of all consumers look at customer reviews when making shopping decisions during the holidays. Millennials, with a score of 65%, are mostly likely to engage in this behavior.

Marketers who want to get a jump on the competition should also consider the timing of their holiday promotions. Consumers generally don’t like to be nagged or pressured into shopping. They’re not fans of seeing holiday decorations or hearing holiday music too early in the season, but 15% of people start making purchases in September and October. For millennials (25%), buying a holiday gift can happen at any time during the year. On the other hand, Gen Xers (22%) tend to wait until Black Friday. If your clients are targeting baby boomers, they’ll want to ramp up promotions and communication in early November as that’s when 17% of this group starts buying.

While much of the Yes research focused on digital, analysts also took a look at direct mail. Millennials (60%) once again took the top spot when it came to acknowledging that direct mail influences purchase decisions. Baby boomers weren’t far behind at 59%.

As your clients start to think about the coming holiday season, remind them use multiple media formats to attract store traffic and generate higher sales. They should also keep consumer age in mind with respect to when they release their holiday campaigns.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett