Winter Is Coming: Don't Bet the Store on Traditionally Big Sale Days to Carry the Season

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New research from CPC Strategy indicates shift in how consumers are tackling their holiday shopping, and details what will drive purchase decisions in Q4

35% of shoppers will start tackling their holiday lists early

The truth is, retailers and brands can't afford to rely on the tactics they've used every year. Amazon has completely changed consumer expectations, for better or for worse.

CPC Strategy, a retail-focused digital marketing agency, announced today the publication of its 2017 U.S. Holiday Shopping Forecast. Last year, retailers rang up a whopping $658 billion in holiday sales. While consumer spending is forecast to remain steady, shopping habits are changing just as surely as Hatchimals will be stripped of its “must-have” status and replaced with a new toy that fuels this season’s frenzy. To help brands and retailers plan for the yuletide rush, CPC Strategy surveyed 1500 consumers about their holiday shopping plans, from how much they’ll spend to where they’ll look first. The research uncovered insights that should shape every retail advertiser’s Q4 2017 strategy -- including when shoppers are most likely to start buying holiday gifts, a breakdown of how different ages and genders shop, and how Amazon influences their purchase decisions. A full report on the study’s methodology and findings, along with analysis of the results, can be found on the CPC Strategy website.

"Our survey hints that Q4 2017 may be even bigger than last year--but not in the way you'd expect,” said Rick Backus, CEO and co-founder of CPC Strategy. “More shoppers expect deals far before Black Friday or late in December. Fast and free shipping is now the baseline. The truth is, retailers and brands can't afford to rely on the tactics they've used every year. Amazon has completely changed consumer expectations, for better or for worse."

The survey was commissioned by CPC Strategy and conducted by Survata, who asked 1,500 online respondents a series of questions, including when they plan to start holiday shopping, where they plan to look for gifts, how much they plan to spend and whether they price check products and where.

Among the key findings of the report: shoppers were divided between shopping early and shopping late. In fact, more than 35% of shoppers will begin tackling their gift list early, while 32% won’t warm up to the holiday spirit until December rolls around.

Amazon’s wildly popular Prime Day could be part of the reason why so many shoppers opt to stock up on gifts before the holiday lights are lit. This past July Prime Day sales grew by more than 50 percent.

Amazon looms large in the survey. Roughly 72% of shoppers plan to look for gifts on Amazon.com, and 32.0% of shoppers price check products on Amazon.com while in a store.

Other key takeaways:
88.1% of shoppers plan to spend about the same or more as last year
46% of shoppers plan to look for gifts at specialty retailers that cater to a specific demographic (Chewy.com, Anthropologie, Sephora.com)
46.1% of shoppers report overall price (including shipping) as being the most important reason to buy holiday gifts from a particular retailer.

For an overview of the research findings with a link to the complete research findings and analysis, please visit http://www.cpcstrategy.com/2017-u-s-holiday-shopping-forecast-study/

About CPC Strategy
CPC Strategy is a retail-focused digital marketing agency that specializes in driving performance growth on the channels that most directly impact a retailer’s digital bottom line. Founded in 2007, CPC executes on ad strategy and management for retailers and brands on Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other product advertising channels. CPC Strategy ranked #1,288 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies™ and was also honored as a finalist in "Best Places to Work" by the San Diego Business Journal. For more information visit http://www.cpcstrategy.com.

Contact:
Megan Leer
CPC Strategy
mleer@cpcstrategy.com
619.708.9500

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Megan Leer
@CPCstrategy
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