This holiday shopping season, consumers and retailers can’t help but feel uncertain as the economy continues its slow recovery. Election-fueled economic fears about turtle like economic growth, combined with tax increases and future deep spending cuts are still in the air. All of this is weighing heavily on consumers this holiday season.
Still, according to Deloitte’s 2012 holidays forecast, there has been a retail sales increase of 3.5 percent to four percent over last season. Additionally, total holiday sales are expected to reach $920 to $925 billion. Those are huge numbers, but the anticipated increase won’t be as strong as that of 2011.And, the National Retail Federation is expecting a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales this year – its most optimistic forecast since the recession.
Amidst this uncertain economy, consumers that are mothers are still getting their holiday shopping done by increasingly turning to social media in search of the best possible deals.
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Recently, Mom Central, a Web resource dedicated to providing influential moms with knowledge, brand opportunities and a supportive environment to grow their platforms, surveyed more than 1,000 moms in search of their views on technology, their families' tech-usage patterns, and how these tools are changing their homes. Mom Central then highlighted the top five ways technology impacts family life today.
First, 90 percent of Moms value word of mouth marketing. In tough economic times, moms won’t take chances on holiday purchases, and choose instead to search for recommendations from other mom bloggers, online product reviews, and pins from fellow moms’ Pinterest boards. During the rush of holiday shopping, moms also use smartphones and tablets to ensure they’ve found the best available deal. In fact, 50 percent of moms have downloaded a coupon from their phone, while 48 percent have scanned a QR code.
Additionally, mothers value bargains over brand loyalty. Social media fuels product trials, as moms get the scoop on new holiday products through Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (News - Alert). Today, 92 percent of noms say a coupon has caused them to try a new product.
These days, moms keep tabs on the latest brand happenings and holiday sales via social media. It turns out 74 percent of moms say they’re likely to connect with a brand on a social networking site if offered a coupon.
Moreover, first-person recommendations and online reviews on social media are important to moms because they provide them with the facts they need to feel comfortable making holiday purchases. 80 percent of those with children reveal they’re comfortable buying smartphones or cameras and 73 percent make laptop purchases on their own.
Mom’s Central has also offered some key tips for small businesses to follow this holiday season including:
Draw Loyal Customers Near: Small businesses should focus on forums where customers most want to interact.
Use Coupons & Discounts: In tough economic times, moms are always looking to save money. Small businesses can encourage trials through sampling or other financial incentives.
Cultivate Brand Advocates: Moms want to hear personal experiences. So, small businesses should develop a network of loyal customers who can offer insight into their product experiences.
Create Content: Small businesses can use their expertise to create content that can provide value to their customers.
Edited by Jamie Epstein