NEW YORK—December 22, 2011— While online retailers collect revenue from huge increases in holiday spending, digital marketing technology company AudienceScience is recommending that audience targeting strategies should adjust accordingly. The new AudienceScience report, “How Consumers Buy in the U.S.,” found that holiday shopping was not dominated by low-priced products and middle-class customers as previously reported, and it says that retailers need to further analyze their customer data to keep pace with the phenomena known as event-oriented retailing which happens throughout the year.
AudienceScience based its conclusions on independent research, sales analysis of the early weeks of the 2011 shopping season and its own database analysis. Marked by events like Small Business Saturday, Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, AudienceScience’s report makes the case that the compression and intensity of the holiday shopping season has created another layer of actionable information for use in audience targeting for these crucial selling times.
To keep pace with the changes in consumer holiday shopping behavior, retailers, or any marketer for that matter, must take a fresh look at the data generated by this change in order to market to their customers with greater efficacy. “You can’t follow the customer,” says Apple Store design guru and current JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson. “You’ve got to lead your customers – anticipate their needs and meet those needs, even before they know what they want.” Timely analysis of this evolving data set can help in the anticipation of these “needs”.
“The Thanksgiving shopping weekend was stunning in its illustration of a dramatic change in which retailers moved toward event-oriented e-commerce strategies,” says Jeremy Mason, VP & GM, AudienceScience Gateway. “We took a very close look at the 2011 Holiday season to date, with the idea of making improvements for event-oriented digital marketing moving forward. The dramatic changes we saw, and the questions these changes raised, will inform new digital strategies.”
The information in the new report illustrates some key points for marketers: