The back to school shopping season results in data that can serve as indicators to trends in the holiday season to follow, according to a blog posted by Suzanne Blackburn at Experian Marketing Services, a firm that studies the behavior of connected consumers.
The firm's head of global research, Bill Tancer, said reaching buyers during the 2013 holiday season will entail marketing to the consumer, not to the channel.
The phenomenon of the "always on" consumer is still defining, and driving, a large part of the shopping behavior. These are the shoppers who make use of many different channels to locate the lowest prices.
Tancer saw two trends from 2013's Back to School season that will live on through the holiday shopping season.
One trend that was clear during Back to School: shoppers continue seeking the best deals. This was apparent during Back to School shopping from the increase in online searches for "value qualifiers," the blog reported--terms like "sale," "coupon," and "cheap" combined with Back to School search terms.
Experian also saw the highest unique click rate on emails offering coupons. It saw the highest open rates on emails that offered discounts.
A second trend that the market research firm saw during Back to School: marketing efforts are starting earlier but shoppers are waiting until later in the season to make their purchases.
Shopping season marketing efforts to consumers started going out earlier during the Great Recession. That's continuing. The research firm said email promotions for Back to School shopping went out earlier than they ever have in 2013.
At the same time, the firm found higher August revenues resulting from Back to School emails, but not during earlier months. The share was 54% in August 2012, up from 41% in August 2011.
This "delayed shopping" tendency is continuing from the 2012 holiday shopping season, the firm said. The blog said that the 2013 holiday season could see even longer delays in big ticket purchases, with shoppers waiting for late-season deals.
Blogger Suzanne Blackburn wrote: "Expect Black Friday 2013 to be a weeklong-event again this year, if not longer. We call it Peak Week, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, because it is a crucial time for marketers and shoppers alike."
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