By Rueya Ceylan and Sonja Sobota, Research Analysts

For successful Christmas Marketing Analysis, marketers have to understand consumer behavior when it comes to holiday shopping and new trends.  It is crucial to analyze the consumers needs and the gateways used for holiday shopping.  With the internet already being a huge platform for today’s generation, online shopping has been taken to new stages.

The holiday shopping season starts with the usual Black Friday hype:  Manufacturers claiming to have the newest items for the lowest prices, while the sale is announced in the newspapers, TV and radio stations.

Millions of shoppers storm into the malls and stores hoping to get a great bargain for the Christmas season.  As a result of the retail trade group, over 200 million consumers visited stores and websites over the Black Friday weekend.  Last year’s results came up to 195 million.

Spending totaled about $365 per consumers compared to last year’s $343 during the holiday season. Total spending reached an estimated $45.0 billion.

Midnight shopping has grown from 3.3% in 2005, to 9.5% in 2010.  Stores opened earlier this year than ever before.  Starting at 4 am on Black Friday, over 24% of consumers already started their holiday shopping.  This has been great news for retailers as online and in-store sales have more than doubled over the past five years, from 10.3 million in 2005 to 22.3 million in 2010.

So what is different this winter?

First, more consumers appear to be cost conscious by shunning debt as a means to purchase Christmas gifts.  According to a Transunion survey, the percentage of people using debt fell 11% in 2010, whichis one of the lowest levels in the survey’s 27 year history.  As a result, credit card companies are providing new rewards and incentives to get consumers to spend more on their cards.

Moreover, a study by LinkShare has noticed that the majority of all marketers will be using social media this winter.  About 37 % marketers think to use online coupons and discounts.  Some companies will be venturing into social media for the first time to capitalize on retailing industry’s busiest time of year.

Successful Christmas Marketing begins by offering more value to consumers.  That means postings discounts and coupons, while maintaining the steller quality of the product and or service.

It is in the manner of presenting the content that’s most important to the company that will be shown as a blog post, tweet, facebook app, or through another social media outlet.

The importance of implementing online marketing strategies such as the use of social platforms is shown by the following numbers.  Not only it is important to impliment these strategies, but these strategies will also determine the future of retailer’s marketing strategy from a global perspective.

Many retailers have already reacted to that change of shopping by creating Cyber Monday, the online version of Black Friday.

In consumers 18-34 in age, over 41% have purchased products or services through cell phones, compared to 26% between the ages of 35 and 44, 18% between the ages of 45 of 54, and just 9% at the age of 55 and over.

Listing of consumers’ mobile devices in the age of 18-34:

  • Comparing prices among retail stores: 20%
  • Looking for coupons: 19%
  • Reviews and comments: 12%
  • To search for retailer’s product: 12%
  • To get the direction for a store via GPS: 10%
  • To check out information about a product: 9%
  • To get mobile product advertisement: 8%

A new trend for this season, woth mentioning, is the shipping of Christmas trees.  Many retailers offer the opportunity to buy online fresh-cut Christmas trees.  It is a great option for customers that don’t have the time to shop outside for a tree.  The ordering process takes only a few minutes and the tree will be delivered within a few days directly to the customer’s home.  And if this trend continues, we can soon expect to see people ordering Christmas trees through their phones!