Black Friday And Cyber Monday Recap

December 7, 2009

 

The 2009 Black Friday results from The National Retail Federation reported that while 195 million shoppers hit stores or Web sites over Thanksgiving weekend (up considerably from 172 million in 2008) shoppers spent less, with average spending falling 7.9 % (from $372.57 per household last year to $343.31 this year).

According to the survey, 32% of shoppers purchased toys, an increase of 13% from last year. Additionally, more people purchased sporting goods (13% vs. 11% last year), personal care or beauty items (22% vs. 19%) and gift cards (21% vs. 19%). The most popular purchases were of clothing (51%) and books (40%), which remained nearly unchanged over last year. In order to nab the best holiday items, more shoppers headed out for bargains while it was still dark outside – nearly one-third of shoppers (31%) were at the stores by 5 am compared with 23% who were at stores by that time last year.

Check out eBay’s activity on their transaction map for a Black Friday shopping visual representation.

Most signs point to a positive trend when it comes to online sales and traffic this year. comScore reported Cyber Monday 2009 online sales were up 5% over last year to $887 million which matched the heaviest online spending day in history (December 9, 2008). For the holiday season-to-date, $12.26 billion has been spent online, marking a 3% increase over the same period last year. Hitwise reported Amazon once again topped the list as the most visited retail website, seeing a 44% increase in visits compared to 2008 and received 16% of the visits among the top 500 online retail sites. Wal-Mart was the second most visited with 10% of visits followed by Target with 5%, BestBuy came in fourth with 4% followed by JC Penney with 3 %. Wal-Mart took the top spot for the most visited online site on Thanksgiving Day this year but Amazon edged out Wal-Mart on Black Friday. This is the fifth year in a row that Wal-Mart was the top visited site on Thanksgiving Day and Amazon has been Cyber Monday’s top visited site since 2006.

Among the top 20 sites visited on Cyber Monday 2009, Staples saw the largest increase in visits compared to 2008 with a 61% increase while Barnes & Noble saw a 46% increase. The Apple Store, which didn’t make Hitwise’s top 20 sites, saw a 71% increase in visits on Cyber Monday 2009 versus 2008. Online stores who dropped in traffic from last year included Overstock.com (down 25%) and Home Depot (down 29%).

So now that you have the numbers for this year’s buying frenzy be sure to review the 13 worst holiday spending blunders from MSN Money 

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Halloween 2009 Survey Results

October 30, 2009

 

Halloween 2009 Survey Results                               

                                  Double, double toil and trouble;
                                  Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
                                  Fillet of a fenny snake, 
                                  In the cauldron boil and bake; 
                                  Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
                                  Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
                                  Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, 
                                  
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
                                  For a charm of powerful trouble,
                                  Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

                                  – Incantation of the Three Witches, Macbeth

Despite the consecutive steady increase on Halloween spending over the last several years the economy has finally caught up to Halloween, with this year’s trend best summed up as creativity on a budget. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween, down from $66.54 last year, with total spending expected to reach $4.75 billion. The survey found consumers plan to spend an average of $20.75 on costumes (including children’s and pet’s costumes); $17.99 on candy; $14.54 on decorations and $3.02 on greeting cards. 

To gain further insight into celebration plans for this year, Zoomerang recently conducted an online Halloween survey. The spirit of the holiday (pun intended) is still running strong for respondents, with 71% of respondents planning on celebrating in some form. Holiday plans vary from handing out candy (67%) to attending a costumed work party (9%). With 41% planning on going trick-or-treating, others will be busy visiting pumpkin patches (27%) and haunted houses (18%). For the 54% planning on dressing up, humorous costumes at 19% are the more popular choice over the 11% who are choosing horror-related costumes.

There is good news on the eco-friendly front: 42% will be making their own costumes at home, 18% will be reusing previous costumes, 6% will be going to a used clothing or consignment store and 5% will be borrowing from friends. Only 11% will be buying from a brick and mortar store while 18% will be buying from an online retailer (it is always a good thing to cut down on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by shopping online).

One thing does remain true each year: Halloween is the perfect time to express your individuality. As for my plans, I tried my best to be creative on a budget while celebrating in an eco-friendly way. With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, I decided that I will celebrate with a weekend-long Simpsons Treehouse of Horror 20 episode marathon. Oooh, Scaaareeeyyy!Count Floyd

Okay Marge, you hide in the abandoned amusement park. Lisa, the pet cemetery. Bart, spooky roller disco. And I’ll go skinny dipping in that lake where the teens were killed one hundred years ago tonight. –Homer Simpson

Happy Halloween!

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Spending On Trade Shows Is Down, The Value Remains Indisputable

March 30, 2009

 

tsea

The Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) recently announced the results of their 2009 Exhibit Management Survey. Professionals who use exhibits, events or face-to-face marketing to promote and sell their products participated in the Zoomerang survey this past winter.

 

Overall, budgets for exhibiting and the number of trade shows that exhibitors plan to attend are set to decline in 2009 – but only by about 17% – most likely because trade shows are still a primary means for generating sales leads.

 

Key findings from the survey include:

 

Exhibitors attended an average of 30 trade shows in 2008 and expect to attend 25 in 2009

 

Trade shows will account for one third of an organization’s overall marketing budget in 2009

 

Budgets for exhibiting will decrease from an average $459,100 in 2008 to $381,000 in 2009

 

Spending for medical/healthcare/pharmaceutical industry events will increase 5% in 2009, but spending for technology shows will decrease 46%

 

A survey is an easy way to collect multiple data points from a large group of people. Zoomerang users in the marketing and event planning departments have deployed surveys to ask representatives about their arrival times to a trade show, their requested shifts, etc. and have used that information to plan their event. Afterward, they deployed a separate survey to ask the representatives for their opinion on the value of the tradeshow, the number of sales attributed to it, and whether they plan to attend next year.

 

Zoomerang can also be used to gather data outside of the standard email or web link deployment process. For example, you can use Zoomerang surveys to collect information at a kiosk at a conference or trade show.

 

Be sure to visit the Zoomerang Event Planning Survey Center to get the most out of your events. Whether it’s pre-, during or post-event, Zoomerang makes it easy to evaluate your event and solicit the feedback you need to be the best in the business.


St Patrick’s Day 2009 – Will Americans Be Sharing or Only Wearing The Green?

March 13, 2009

 

st-pats-clover-dollar

Along with New Year’s and Halloween, St Patrick’s Day is one of the major party-inducing holidays each year. The National Retail Federation’s latest Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found that the average spend per person will fall this year, as Americans look for cheaper ways to celebrate such as parties at home or cheaper drink brands. While total spending is expected to reach $3.29 billion, the average per person spend is expected to drop from 2008’s $35.04 to $32.80.

 

According to the survey, 25-34 year-olds will spend the most, with an average of $39.42 per person, but even young adults aged 18-24, who are usually eager to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, are expected to spend less – $36.05 this year compared to $42.20 in 2008.

 

When asked If they will be celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year, 44% of the respondents said yes while 56% had no plans to do so.

 

The celebration plans breakdown:

 

82% plan to wear green

17% plan to attend a private party

30% plan to attend a party at a bar/restaurant

22% plan to decorate home or office

33% plan to make a special dinner

 

Want to have your St Patrick’s Day opinions heard? Take our 5 questions St Patrick’s Day Survey. Once you have completed the survey look for “View Survey Results” on the top of the Thank-You page to view the results in real-time to see how your answers compare. 


Americans Show Heart And Resilience This February

February 14, 2009

 us-flag-heart

The results of the Zoomerang February 2009 Consumer Survey, focused on how the economy has affected people’s love lives, have been released. Of the 52% who said they would be shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift this year, 58% of the respondents said they plan to spend the same on a gift this year as they did last year

 

Additional highlights from the study include:

 

19% of people buying a Valentine’s Day gift this year will not buy a card

56% of people list trust as the most important aspect of a love relationship, while 0% listed money

8% of people say appearance most attracts them to another person after they’ve spoken with them, while 56% say personality is the biggest factor and 17% list a sense of humor.

 

When all is said and done, money does still play a factor in people’s relationships. In fact, another study done by the National Retail Federation finds that consumers will be spending less this Valentine’s Day. When asked to rate how important money is in a love relationship, only 15% of Zoomerang survey respondents indicated it was not at all important while 31% indicated it was important.



Online Retailers Updating Websites To Drive More Traffic And Sales

January 26, 2009

online-retailers

 According to Internet Retailer’s latest monthly survey, online merchants are making site optimization a top priority. The study revealed that 49.9% of merchants have rolled out a new site design in the past year, including 26.6% in the last six months and 13.3% within 90 days.

 

The retailers are also focused on redesigning their web sites to achieve speedier navigation and faster performance as well as creating interactive page treatments and adding video, customer reviews and other advanced features. Improved site optimization is the top priority for 72.9% of merchants, followed by clearly organized home, category and product pages at 62.4%, better navigation at 49.4%, improved site search at 47.1% and faster checkout at 40%.

 

The Internet Retailer survey also finds that 43.3% of merchants will update their e-commerce sites with video this year, followed by 40% with personalized product recommendations, 36.7% with customer reviews and ratings, and 35% with product configuration tools.

 

By taking a more business-oriented approach to web site design, 81.7% of merchants also expect their latest redesign to attract a higher number of visitors and shoppers, compared with 76.7% that anticipate higher sales, 66.7% a higher sales conversion, 50% improved customer service and 48.3% better multi-channel sales.

 

One feature I always like to see on any e-commerce sites is customer reviews and ratings so I am glad to see more online retailers will be including and expanding those. I am always interested in hearing feedback on products and services from those with experience to help me make a better informed decision.