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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2916 - October 18, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    4 of 5

Creative Holiday Shoppers Gifting Themselves Too

By David A. Utter
October 18, 2012

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We have it almost ingrained as a habit to think of the holiday retail season as a time when ecommerce shoppers seek items primarily for other people. Maybe it's the spirit of the season, or too much holiday entertainment programming reinforcing those thought.

Coupon business Valpak recently released results of their 2012 Consumer Spending Report, their third annual effort. Savings figures greatly in the minds of shoppers. The report found 53 percent of respondents plan to take advantage of whatever cost-cutting options they can find when purchasing those gifts.

But shoppers have needs and wants of their own as well.

Valpak noted that about a quarter of men and women hitting the stores on those early shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (a term creatively coined by Shop.org a few years ago that seems to have stuck), will be working on their own shopping lists.

Twenty-six percent of women plan to make Black Friday a little more special for themselves, while men at 27 percent favor Cyber Monday as the day to add something nice to their lives, just in time for the holidays.

This should be suggestive to ecommerce professionals as they set up their various ad campaigns. It may be worthwhile to target some messages at the shopper's desires as well as at their gift recipients.

"Another notable takeaway from this year's report is it marks the third year nearly 20 percent of shoppers indicated they plan to spend less during the holiday season than they did the previous year, highlighting a pattern of how consumers approach the holidays with a goal to cut back," said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, provider of Valpak.

When they spend, they'll spend early, according to Valpak's findings. One in three men and women said they plan to brave the Black Friday crowds; 36 percent of women and 31 percent of men intend to take to the internet on Cyber Monday.

A handful of shoppers, 14 percent, will mark both days on their calendars and look for deals offline and online. Quite a few will start sooner, as in this very month of October, with 40 percent hunting for gifts amid the Halloween candy. It's definitely not too soon to test out some holiday-style marketing, to perhaps bring some online sales home early.

About the Author
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. Find him on LinkedIn.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to media@davidautter.com and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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