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Trend Spotting: 2012 Holiday Shopping Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year (especially for retailers). The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and whether brands are focusing on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or beyond, taking total advantage of the latest consumer behaviors and trends is essential. What to Expect this Season In-store Technology Top trend spotter Marian Salzman predicts consumers this season will be 'shopping under the tech influence'? more than ever before. Brick-and-mortars are sitting heavy under the influence of trends as they use interactive technology in-store to attract tech-savvy customers. An example is Macy's past holiday promotion, which installed a Magic Fitting Room at the Herald Square store in NYC. Shoppers were able to try on the hottest new items in-store, creating up to 16 outfits which could all be placed in a digital closet. They then had the option to share with friends Facebook or email. Not only are stores integrating tablet use in-stores, but mobile shopping is also expected to be all-the-rage this holiday season. Consumers are using their tablets and smart phones to receive coupons, read product reviews, and share their in-store findings via social media. According to Baynotes 2012 Holiday Online Shopping Experience Survey, 60% of tablet owners expect to use their tablets to research and/or purchase in 2012. Major fashion retailers such as French Connection, Zara, and Marks & Spencer are allowing their Facebook fans to shop their products on their smart phones and more are expected to follow in the upcoming season. Pop-Up Shops Holiday 2012 is all about the Pop-Up Shop. Pop-ups continue to emerge and offer one-off items with less sticker shock for consumers while also providing out-of-the-box ways for brands to co-produce and present an exciting new experience for consumers. Even NYC Mayor Bloomberg is embracing the trend by teaming up with Rachel Shechtman, founder of the Concept Shop, to host a pop-up shop competition for emerging local fashion retailers and tech companies. Business of Fashion writes that the competition is a part of Bloomberg's Fashion NYC 2020 initiative.The winners will get a temporary space inside the concept shop Story, a "tool kit of business services valued at $25,000" and industry exposure. Brick-and-mortar stores are adapting to the evolving marketplace by offering exclusive products and customizing the experience to the location. Pop-up shops and limited-time, exclusive events are ways to give visitors a reason to buy while also limiting retailers' risk. Click here to check out some of the hottest pop-up shops coming this fall and holiday season. In-Store Incentives Because consumers need more of a reason to shop in-store, brands are amping up the experience. Take 'hoteltailing'? for an example. Boutiques, fashion brands, and retailers are teaming up with hotels that reflect their target consumers' preferences/ lifestyles in the cities in which they reside. The Ace Hotel in New York City introduced its Opening Ceremony store to do just that. By partnering with each other, retail outlets and hotels can reflect their unique values and aesthetic while connecting with consumers on a deeper level. Though there are many different trends forecasted to affect retail this season, technology and out-of-the-box concepts are definitely two of the biggest on the radar, ranging from designer pop-up boutiques on the streets of NYC to the most innovative and interactive shopping apps. Consumers today are all-digital, impacting social media and the online world in a big way. Brands who truly want to influence the marketplace this season will engage with consumers through with a hybrid of technology and unique experiences in-store.  Rich Text AreaToolbarBold (Ctrl / Alt + Shift + B)Italic (Ctrl / Alt + Shift + I)Strikethrough (Alt + Shift + D)Unordered list (Alt + Shift + U)Ordered list (Alt + Shift + O)Blockquote (Alt + Shift + Q)Align Left (Alt + Shift + L)Align Center (Alt + Shift + C)Align Right (Alt + Shift + R)Insert/edit link (Alt + Shift + A)Unlink (Alt + Shift + S)Insert More Tag (Alt + Shift + T)Toggle spellchecker (Alt + Shift + N)? Toggle fullscreen mode (Alt + Shift + G)Show/Hide Kitchen Sink (Alt + Shift + Z) FormatFormat? UnderlineAlign Full (Alt + Shift + J)Select text color? Paste as Plain TextPaste from WordRemove formattingInsert custom characterOutdentIndentUndo (Ctrl + Z)Redo (Ctrl + Y)Help (Alt + Shift + H) It's the most wonderful time of the year (especially for retailers). The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and whether brands are focusing on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or beyond, taking total advantage of the latest consumer behaviors and trends is essential. What to Expect this Season In-store Technology Top trend spotter Marian Salzman predicts consumers this season will be 'shopping under the tech influence'? more than ever before. Brick-and-mortars are sitting heavy under the influence of trends as they use interactive technology in-store to attract tech-savvy customers. An example is Macy's past holiday promotion, which installed a Magic Fitting Room at the Herald Square store in NYC. Shoppers were able to try on the hottest new items in-store, creating up to 16 outfits which could all be placed in a digital closet. They then had the option to share with friends Facebook or email. Not only are stores integrating tablet use in-stores, but mobile shopping is also expected to be all-the-rage this holiday season. Consumers are using their tablets and smart phones to receive coupons, read product reviews, and share their in-store findings via social media. According to Baynotes 2012 Holiday Online Shopping Experience Survey, 60% of tablet owners expect to use their tablets to research and/or purchase in 2012. Major fashion retailers such as French Connection, Zara, and Marks & Spencer are allowing their Facebook fans to shop their products on their smart phones and more are expected to follow in the upcoming season. Pop-Up Shops Holiday 2012 is all about the Pop-Up Shop. Pop-ups continue to emerge and offer one-off items with less sticker shock for consumers while also providing out-of-the-box ways for brands to co-produce and present an exciting new experience for consumers. Even NYC Mayor Bloomberg is embracing the trend by teaming up with Rachel Shechtman, founder of the Concept Shop, to host a pop-up shop competition for emerging local fashion retailers and tech companies. Business of Fashion writes that the competition is a part of Bloomberg's Fashion NYC 2020 initiative.The winners will get a temporary space inside the concept shop Story, a "tool kit of business services valued at $25,000" and industry exposure. Brick-and-mortar stores are adapting to the evolving marketplace by offering exclusive products and customizing the experience to the location. Pop-up shops and limited-time, exclusive events are ways to give visitors a reason to buy while also limiting retailers' risk. Click here to check out some of the hottest pop-up shops coming this fall and holiday season. In-Store Incentives Because consumers need more of a reason to shop in-store, brands are amping up the experience. Take 'hoteltailing'? for an example. Boutiques, fashion brands, and retailers are teaming up with hotels that reflect their target consumers' preferences/ lifestyles in the cities in which they reside. The Ace Hotel in New York City introduced its Opening Ceremony store to do just that. By partnering with each other, retail outlets and hotels can reflect their unique values and aesthetic while connecting with consumers on a deeper level. Though there are many different trends forecasted to affect retail this season, technology and out-of-the-box concepts are definitely two of the biggest on the radar, ranging from designer pop-up boutiques on the streets of NYC to the most innovative and interactive shopping apps. Consumers today are all-digital, impacting social media and the online world in a big way. Brands who truly want to influence the marketplace this season will engage with consumers through with a hybrid of technology and unique experiences in-store. Path:

I'm Popping-Up'?¦ I Want the World to Know

You've definitely heard of them. Your sister got her nails done in a mobile spa while watching episodes of 'Nail Files,'? your coworker brought his girlfriend to a Valentine's Day weekend only chocolate-themed restaurant, and even your niece picked up some sassy new shoes from a curbside shop. They've been around for almost ten years, but it seems that the pop-up phenomenon is starting to literally pop-up almost everywhere. Everybody's talking pop-ups, and there are many reasons brands choose to do one. To help you join in the conversation I have outlined a few of the major draws to hopping on this trend: While many of us in marketing feel that we have the skill to innately know what the consumer wants, even before they do, sometimes companies are uncertain of how a particular market will respond to their product, service, or brand. Finding a way to cost effectively test the waters is often a challenge, but pop-ups allow these brands to become a part of the retail landscape without investing too much of themselves to the market. Some companies thrive on a seasonal basis and do not need to be available 365 days a levitra cost year. Many of our holidays require a specific product or service for one day of the year, but are deemed unnecessary for the rest ' think Christmas tree sales. These parking lot takeovers are a kind of pop-up of their own! On the other side of things, many brands strive to stand out among the clutter during the holiday season. In the winter of 2010 Kate Spade opened a holiday themed igloo pop-up featuring the brand's new line of clothing and accessories. Situated right next to Citi Pond's ice skating rink, the retail bubble even handed out free hot chocolate to visitors. For new launches and premieres there needs to be a lot of hype, and having a trendy, word-of-mouth pop-up can be just the ticket. Disney opened a TRON pop-up before the movie premiered, offering merchandise and artwork related to the motion picture. Reminding consumers about an existing brand is always a challenge, and to address this concern the Coca-Cola brand opened a 'Live Tastefully'? sampling pop-up in New York and Boston in the fall of 2009. Seeing the familiar logo on morning commutes reminds consumers of the brand, and being handed a free sample of  Diet-Coke puts the company back in buyers' minds. A lot of people would like to have access to certain products and services but are unwilling to make the trek to actually get them. The pop-up makes it easier for consumers to access the goods and services they desire by bringing it directly to them. Like the food truck phenomenon, making products convenient for consumers will make them more willing to purchase. Last on my list is that pop-ups allow companies to interact directly with consumers. Having staff and brand ambassadors work with customers one-on-one is a great way to show dedication to the brand, and also to get a sense of consumer sentiment. If consumers love a brand, this is a good way to find out. Also, if there is a premiere of a new product at a pop-up that sells out within hours, or even minutes, it is a sure indication that the company should make it available to the mainstream market.

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