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Consumer Trends

Easter shoppers will hop to their smartphones, tablets in 2012

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As I mentioned recently, Easter announces that the annual spring gift giving season is truly upon us. This year, BIGinsight found in its latest consumer survey for NRF that 82.3% of online consumers plan to celebrate Easter – a number that has continued to inch up since 2007 (79.5%). Consumers intend to shop across channels, with almost 9 out of 10 online Easter shoppers buying food and candy, two-thirds expect to buy gifts, and approximately half will be in the market for greeting cards and clothing, followed by flowers and decorations. The combined net average forecast spend per online consumer celebrating Easter this year is $150.70, a nice start to Quarter 2.

So where should retailers focus their attention to capture the attention of online consumers?

Almost one in five (18.7%) of those consumers celebrating Easter will be going online for some part of their Easter shopping this year, a good leap even from last year (14.8%). In line with online shopping trends, online consumers will be spreading their Easter shopping activities over the web, across smartphones and tablet devices and – the omnichannel shoppers that they are – in traditional brick and mortar stores such as discount stores (63.5%), department stores (42.6%), and specialty stores (25.4%). Cross-channel marketing and promotions (such as promoting in-store specials online and via mobile, matching in-store specials online, offering access to customer ratings and reviews in the store, and so on) will appeal to consumers who move quickly and effortlessly from one customer touchpoint to the next.

Approximately half of online consumers who own a smartphone and/or tablet device will be reaching for those as part of the shopping process. Smartphone owners will use their device to research products and compare prices (28.8%) and look up retailer information such as location, store hours, etc. (22.3%). They will also use their smartphone to redeem coupons (17%) and to purchase products (14.4%). It's a great opportunity to make sure your mobile-optimized site is working seamlessly; that the retailer info is clear and easily accessible from the first screen the consumer sees; and you are clearly communicating your messages about Easter and spring offerings, both textually and visually.

Similarly, over a third of online consumers who own tablet devices will use those to research products and compare prices (38.4%), find retailer information (28.4%), purchase products (27%) and redeem coupons (18.9%). See how your tablet presence measures up – and where you can fine tune – using the advice of Resource Interactive’s Stephen Burke who gave these primary tablet device design principles: make the tablet shopping experience engaging, share-able, shoppable, and extendable.