SOURCE: MarketLive, Inc.

MarketLive, Inc.

October 14, 2015 08:15 ET

MarketLive Annual Holiday Survey Reveals What Consumers Want From Retailers This Shopping Season

Merchants Should Focus on Mobile Shopping Convenience, Personalized Product Recommendations, and Leveraging the Value of Social Network Endorsement

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2015) -   MarketLive, the e-commerce technology platform for fast-growing retailers, today released results from its 7th Annual Holiday Research Study revealing what shoppers are expecting from retailers for the 2015 holiday season.

Among the trend highlights uncovered, the survey found that 78 percent of shoppers are likely to visit a store as a result of a text promotion or alert via mobile device, 56 percent look for gift ideas on social sites like Pinterest, and 55 percent are now comfortable with sharing their preferences with retailers in exchange for convenience and personalized product recommendations.

"Consumers are adopting new technologies that seemed futuristic just a year ago," said Ken Burke, founder and CEO of MarketLive Inc. "Text alerts are now an accepted way to receive coupons and promotions, and personalized product suggestions based on prior purchases or online viewing patterns are now expected. Also, no retailers should question the value of their social network in the millennial realm. A staggering 47% with Pinterest accounts said they had purchased something online after pinning it.1 Millennials should become an advocate of your brand -- that is paramount."

"Every year, these survey results surprise and delight us. This year we are seeing confident consumers who know how to use their smartphone to be an informed and efficient shopper across all available channels. Winning retailers will have to engage these shoppers on mobile and across every channel, and use technology effectively to personalize promotions and capitalize on evolving social dynamics," said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group, a market research firm that conducts the annual shopper survey for MarketLive.

Study highlights include:

Always-On Mobile Will Shift Holiday Retail Purchases:
Consumers are using their smartphones as shopping tools, whether it is to search for product availability nearby, hunt down coupons, or comparison-shop while standing in the aisles of a physical store:

  • 89% want the ability to buy online and then pick up in-store
  • 78% are likely to visit a store as a result of text promotions or alerts sent via mobile prior to store visits
  • 69% will ask an in-store associate to use a mobile device to locate a product and have it shipped to their home
  • 62% will make a purchase as a result of a notification or offer sent to their mobile device while in the store

Social Networks are About Gift Discovery:
The role of social networks has evolved as shoppers seek and share gift ideas and product information among their social networks and peer groups. Whereas only 27% of survey respondents have made a purchase as a result of an engagement with a social networking site, the majority of shoppers are now using social channels for ideas and recommendations:

  • 75% find product reviews to be the most valuable/influential type of "content"
  • 56% look for gift ideas on social sites like Pinterest
  • 53% share product recommendations with friends/family via social channels
  • 51% discover new products via social channels

Personalized Product Recommendations are Paramount:
Technology that tracks shoppers' preferences and proactively recommends related products is now perceived as efficient and convenient, and is welcomed by a majority of consumers:

  • 55% of shoppers are likely to take advantage of personalized product recommendations sent to them by a retailer via e-mail
  • 52% of shoppers are likely to take advantage of personalized product recommendations they get when visiting a retailer's website
  • 42% of shoppers are likely to take advantage of personalized advertising they receive on their mobile phone

Quality of the Website 'Store Experience' is Just as Important as the Physical Store Experience:
For the first time, this year an equal percentage of shoppers are deciding where to buy based on retailers' websites as on their physical stores. And the shopping experience on mobile screens is becoming more important:

  • 48% of shoppers take into account the quality of the website experience when choosing a particular retailer; also 48% consider the quality of the physical store when choosing where to buy
  • 28% of shoppers consider the quality of the mobile website experience when selecting a particular retailer

In-Store Technology is Catching on with Consumers
Motivated by convenience and efficient shopping experiences, a majority of survey respondents eagerly want to use advanced technology features:

  • 76% want technology that assists in finding the exact location of a product within the physical store (e.g. aisle maps on a mobile phone), particularly important for big box retailers
  • 77% want the ability to purchase items in-store for same day delivery
  • 69% want in-store text messages (prompted while visiting the store) to receive coupons or be alerted of promotions
  • 66% want the ability to pay via a mobile device using a method beyond standard credit card such as PayPal or ApplePay

Methodology
MarketLive's Holiday Research Study, conducted by the e-tailing group, examined the shopping experiences of 1,000 U.S. consumers who have shopped online at least four times within the past year, own a smartphone, and typically spend $250 or more online annually. The sample was balanced 50% male and 50% female, and was completed during September of 2015.

The annual survey provides merchants with a roadmap for how to engage shoppers during the next few critical retail months and into the New Year. Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group will share survey highlights from the survey in a webinar scheduled October 14th at 11:00 a.m. PDT/2:00 p.m. EDT. Registration link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3670851879565582081 

About MarketLive
Since 1995, MarketLive, Inc. has been the leading provider of e-commerce technology and services that help fast-growing companies successfully sell goods and services online. Designed to meet the unique requirements of catalogers, retailers, direct marketers, and manufacturers, the extensible MarketLive® Customer Driven Commerce technology and services solution integrates commerce across all channels, enabling merchants to enhance their customers' experience online while dramatically improving acquisition, conversion, and retention rates.

The MarketLive platform is the most retail-targeted, fully featured, customizable Total Commerce solution on the market today. MarketLive powers many successful retail e-commerce sites, including Armani Exchange, Party City, Sundance, Helzberg Diamonds, John Deere, Title Nine, Intermix and others.

For more information, visit www.marketlive.com.

1 Center for Marketing Research University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Renee Newby Friedman
    Rocket Science PR for MarketLive Inc.
    Office: +1 415 464 8110 x213
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    Email: Email Contact