LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SocialVibe, the pioneer in engagement advertising, released key findings from its first Holiday Season Retail Research Study today, citing four consumer attitude and behavioral trends for the 2012 holiday season including a continued focus on deals and savings, the importance of in-store shopping experiences, a preference for electronics and media over apparel-related gifts, and the use of smart phones to optimize the shopping experience.
The SocialVibe survey was designed to gauge seasonal holiday shopping attitudes and behaviors and to identify and measure holiday shopping trends.
The study revealed four key trends driving consumer purchases in 2012:
1. Attitudes toward holiday shopping remain focused on deals and savings
While shoppers are almost always sales, promotion and deal-focused during the holidays, the SocialVibe study underscored the lingering impact of an uneven economy on consumer purchases this year.
When shopping for the holidays, 41 percent of those surveyed said they will look for big deals and promotions, 36 percent will search for a better price before they buy and 22 percent said low price is more important than brand name. Only 17 percent said they would pay more for higher quality this year.
Cost-conscious behavior also drives where consumers will shop this holiday season. Among those surveyed, 43 percent said they expected to visit more big discounters like Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart for their in-store purchases this year as compared to last year. This sentiment translated to online purchases, with 24 percent of consumers saying they would shop online retailers known for deals and discounts such as Amazon, eBay and Zappos.
“With the economy not fully recovered, it’s not a complete surprise that consumers remain very sales and deal-focused this year,” said Jamie Auslander, SocialVibe’s director of research. “We hear a lot about shoppers seeking deals on Back Friday and Cyber Monday but we see that trend continuing right up to and through the holidays.”
2. Mobile phones will optimize holiday shopping experiences
Consumers say they plan to use their mobile phones as a key tool to aid them in both in-store and online shopping far more this holiday season.
Among those surveyed, 36 percent said they will save pictures of potential gift items on their phones to use as reminders, 28 percent will rely on their phone to create shopping lists and to help them stay organized, and 27 percent will use their mobile phone for price checking or showrooming--checking out products in brick-and-mortar stores before going online to find the best price.
Posting social updates, checking-in, and mobile coupon use will be more common than mobile loyalty app usage, mobile payments and mobile purchases. Among those surveyed, 19 percent said they will use their mobile phones to post social updates and 11 percent will use their phone to post location check-in while shopping.
Eleven percent of consumers said they will use their phones to redeem mobile coupons, but only 6 percent will pay with a mobile phone app or wallet and just 3 percent said they will make online purchases via their mobile phone.
“Advertisers now need to look at new ways to reach consumers during the retail experience with the rise of mobile phone usage to aid the shopping experience,” said John Capano, chief marketing officer at SocialVibe. “We expect the most successful retailers to begin designing in-store experiences and implementing pricing policies to directly combat the consumer’s new found ability to price check while on the go.”
3. The majority of consumers will shop for the holidays both in-store and online
Combined brick-and-mortar and online shopping is the new normal among consumers, although brick-and-mortar still has a strong hold with 96 percent of those surveyed saying they plan to shop in-store.
Among those surveyed, 69 percent said they will buy online and at brick-and-mortar stores and shops, with only 27 percent saying they will completely skip online channels in favor of an in-store only experience. Four percent said they will do their holiday shopping exclusively online.
Beyond deals and savings, 36 percent of shoppers see the holiday shopping season as fun and entertaining and the majority indicated that they will shop for holiday gifts both in-store and online.
“The fact that the majority of consumers see the in-store experience as an important aspect of their retail experience is something advertisers can really look to maximize,” said John Capano, chief marketing officer at SocialVibe. “It is important for retailers to create marketing and promotional strategies that combine in-store and online. The days of having online and brick and mortar in silos doesn’t work anymore because consumers are no longer experiencing retail in silos.”
4. Consumers will buy even more electronics and media this season
In general, the majority of consumers expect to shift their category purchases from last year.
Specifically, 27 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to purchase more electronics during the 2012 holiday season, while 17 percent will purchase more media including movies, music and video games and 11 percent will purchase more books this year, as compared to last year.
Interestingly, purchases of apparel and related items are expected to remain flat over last year. Only 1 percent of those surveyed said they plan to purchase more clothing, accessories and shoes this holiday season.
“This finding goes hand-in-hand with the increases we’ve seen in electronics sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Auslander said. “The lower price for flat screen TVs, new smart phone models and the proliferation and consumer adoption of tablet computers are all driving this trend.”
SocialVibe conducted research used in this study during November 2012. The company surveyed consumers while engaged on the streaming music, social gaming and loyalty sites they frequently visit. Respondents opted in to participate in a multi-question survey activity and were provided with an online social gaming currency or similar type of incentive for their time.
The survey closed with 999 completed interviews by SocialVibe’s audience of 101MM consumers.
SocialVibe combines the power of an extensive network of premium online and mobile partners, a large, 750x500 rich media ad unit, and innovative new placements such as value exchange and interstitials to deliver proven results for brands and marketers. This combination is one of the most powerful in digital advertising, driving industry leading results like five to 10 times the engagement of display, 60 seconds time spent, 80 percent-plus completion rates and more than 15 percent lift in key brand metrics including consideration and purchase intent.
SocialVibe is a next-gen digital ad-tech company that powers engagement advertising for some of the world’s top brands. In today’s online landscape where consumer attention is hard to capture, SocialVibe’s interactive ads deliver better results through deeper engagement by delivering an improved consumer experience and more powerful brand interaction. As a pioneer and recognized leader in engagement marketing, SocialVibe enables advertisers to reach consumers where they are most passionately engaged across the web and mobile, including social, social gaming, content, music, video, Wi-Fi, travel and sports. SocialVibe is based in Los Angeles, Calif. with offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and London. For more information, visit socialvibe.com or engage with us on twitter.com/socialvibe.