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How Retailers Can Turn 2014's Holiday Spending Habits Into 2015 Revenue

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

There's a famous saying those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” that comes to mind when thinking about this particular topic. How could it not after all? Especially when you consider the fact that we, along with Edison Research, did a lot of the heavy lifting for you, Mr. and Mrs. Retail Marketer. 

In the fall of 2014, Oracle Marketing Cloud, in partnership with Edison Research, began a multiphase study to examine the habits of holiday shoppers. And unlike previous snapshot studies of consumer intent or self-reported behavior, the project involved both quantitative and qualitative studies of the same sample of consumers during two distinct time periods:

  • October: When consumers are generally in the planning stages.
  • Mid-December: When consumers have either largely finished or are still actively engaged in holiday shopping. 

We then applied those findings, added in some specific ways to learn from past behavior and spending habits – and put it all together in one gift-wrapped eBook entitled Turning 2014's Holiday Trends into 2015 Revenue.

Think of it as an early present from us to you and it's surely better than a fruitcake, sweater or membership in the Toe Fungus of the Month Club. 

Quantitatively Speaking

Lets' take a look at one quantitative finding, shall we?

The chart above shows the planned vs. actual when it comes to gender and spending.  As you can see women said that in October they planned to spend an average of $646 on holiday shopping. What they actually spent was $651, a deviation of less than 1%. This particular finding in fact warmed the cockles of Vice President of Strategy for Edison Research Tom Webster's heart "because they were so in lock step with each other."

And then then are the male of the species who clearly are unable to stick to a budget or plan of any kind. Being a man myself I can undeniably attest to this fact.

Qualitiatively Speaking

Below are some videos from a series of interviews of shoppers—12 men and 12 women—who are seasoned holiday shoppers. We conducted video interviews with this group in early October and then interviewed those same people in early January after the holiday season was over. 

The first video speaks the differences between what consumers said they would do vs. what they actually did and as you will see many best laid holiday shopping plans often go awry. 

This next video, while not a before/after type, is definitely one worth watching as it highlights the differing channels consumers want to be contacted by during the holidays. 

Next Steps

Ok so now you have a taste, or sampling of the different findings we uncovered when it came to planned vs. actual. As to how to best use those findings to your advantage I suggest you download Turning 2014's Holiday Trends into 2015 Revenue right now or sooner, if that's humanly possible. 

And oh yeah, Happy Holidays! 

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