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Will It Be a Green Holiday Season for Retailers?

According to the most recent holiday survey done by the National Retail Federation, American consumers are planning on spending an average of just under $689 on holiday-related items, a slightly higher amount than the average from last holiday season.

Because the recession is far from over, capturing this spending by retailers could make or break them for 2010. Suppliers are heavily invested in this capture as well, obviously because they depend on the retail outlets to move their products.

According to the survey, almost 2/3 of American shoppers have said the economy will impact their spending. Some will spend less, some will shop for the best price, some will use coupons and some will surf the web to find the best bang for their buck.

What this means to retailers is that they have to find a way to make their outlet the most attractive to consumers. According to the survey, customer service and merchandise quality are two very important factors to consumers. These are two ways that retailers don't have to be creative in order to supply what consumers want, they just need to be diligent and ensure their employees have a positive attitude toward their customers, make themselves available to assist consumers and do a good job of quality control and carry merchandise that has a strong track record of being a solid product.

Surprisingly, the younger demographic (18-24) had the highest percentage of responders that said they will choose a store based on service. With that being the demographic that uses electronic media the most, a good, positive shopping experience with just one consumer could bring you dozens more. The flipside is also true. A bad experience could end up costing you hundreds, maybe more, in sales.

Many consumers this season will be more focused on value and not just price. They will be looking more at the big picture. Paying more for longevity or for less hassle (like paying $100 for the fake Christmas tree vs. $75 for the real, but think of the ease of clean up after the holiday) is part of the value equation. Getting more satisfaction for your money, even if it means spending a little more, seems to be a trend many are following.

One of the biggest trends from the study (although not a surprise) is that online shoppers have much deeper pockets this year.  According to the survey, people who are holiday shopping online will spend 24.6 percent more than the average adult.  This group starts shopping early and tends to make a lot of non-gift purchase for themselves.   This group is willing to pay more and is said that sales and discounts are not their main factor when shopping online.

Regardless of the online phenomenon, many of us still enjoy the 'live'? experience of shopping in 'Brick and Mortar'? stores during the holiday season. As a holiday consumer, here are a few tips to keep our experience with you positive and ultimately green!!

1.) Offer quality and value at a reasonable price.

2.) Have top-notch customer service (who doesn't appreciate service with a smile?)

3.) Remember I use my smartphone, so the opportunities to drive me to retail are endless

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Console wars were back in late 2020 with the release of the next gen systems. Although one console was the clear winner, both Xbox Series X and PS5 saw record numbers for units sold. We looked to Google search trends to see which console would come out on top. As we continuously look at search trends throughout the year, we noticed that one console stood out over the other. We wanted to see if we could use this data to predict which console would sell more units. Major Date Announcements On September 9th, Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X would release November 10th. Microsoft also announced the price of both editions, $499 for the Xbox Series X and $299 for the all-digital Xbox Series S. Pre-orders were announced to go live September 22nd. Sony did not release their pre-order or release date info for another week. During the PlayStation Showcase on September 16th, Sony announced the PS5 would release November 12th and would cost $499 ($399 for the all-digital). Sony then ended the event with a surprise announcement that pre orders would go live the following day, September 17th. Pre Orders Google searches for both Xbox Series X and PS5 skyrocketed after the announcements. The search queries with the highest increase in volume were queries related pre orders, price, release date, and retailer availability. Comparing exact match queries, PS5 had almost 4 times as many searches as Xbox Series X for pre orders, price, and release date. According to search trends, the most popular retailer to pre-order an Xbox from was Amazon, and for PS5 was Walmart. Xbox searches September 2020: Xbox series x pre order – 1,800,000+ queries    Xbox series x price – 550,000+ queries    Xbox series x release date – 370,000+ queries Xbox series x pre order amazon – 110,000+ queries PS5 searches September 2020: PS5 pre order – 7,500,000+ queries PS5 price – 1,800,000+ queries PS5 release date – 1,500,000+ queries PS5 pre order Walmart – 300,000+ queries Post Launch According to Google trends, search interest for the PS5 pre orders was double that of Xbox Series X pre orders. The sales numbers confirmed these trends. Through the first 4 weeks of sales, the PS5 sold 1.5 times more units than the Xbox, both globally and in the US. Consoles sold globally through first 4 weeks: PS5 Global sales – 3,368,098 units Xbox Series X global sales – 1,817,303 units Consoles sold domestically through first 4 weeks: PS5 US sales: 1,389,963 units Xbox Series X US sales: 988,641 units After launch, we saw “restock” queries skyrocket as retailers everywhere were completely sold out. We saw similar trends here as we did with pre order queries, with PS5 restock queries outnumbering Xbox Series X queries almost 4 to 1. “Restock” searches November 2020: PS5 restock – 2,200,000+ queries Xbox series x restock – 500,000+ queries “Restock” searches December 2020: PS5 restock – 5,000,000+ queries Xbox series x restock – 800,000+ queries Overwhelming Demand Crashes Retailer Websites Both consoles saw an unprecedented demand online due to COVID-19 restrictions at physical retail locations. This caused retail websites to struggle to keep up with the demand. In some cases, the demand was too much, and the websites went down temporarily. When these sites were down, consumers turned to Google search for answers. During the month of September, the Best Buy website went down multiple times. The queries “is best buy website down” and “best buy site down” had the most volume during that time. “is best buy website down – 5,400+ queries “best buy site down – 2,400+ queries During November, the Walmart website went down on multiple occasions. The queries “Walmart website down” and “Walmart site crash” had the most volume during that time. “Walmart website down” – 6,600+ queries “Walmart site crash” - 5,400+ queries As we continued to track search interest daily, we found there was more buzz for the PS5 over the Xbox Series X. When we compared the most popular keywords for each, PS5 queries had over twice as much volume as Xbox queries. We were able to accurately predict that PS5 would outsell the Xbox Series X, as the search trend data directly correlated to sales. All brands should be paying attention to search trends in order to have a better understanding of the marketplace, their own brand health, and the search interest in their competition. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of March 1, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TWITTER RE-LAUNCHES TEST OF WARNINGS ON POTENTIALLY HARMFUL TWEET REPLIES Twitter is now re-launching the alerts, with a new format, and further explanation as to why each reply has been flagged. Read more CLUBHOUSE FACES NEW SECURITY QUESTIONS AFTER SIGNIFICANT DATA BREACH The latest comes as a result of hackers gaining access to Clubhouse audio, and re-recording that data into third-party streams. Read more 15 TIKTOK TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BRANDED CONTENT EFFORTS This overview of tips from the team at Socialtyze covers everything from choosing topics to user demographics to hashtags on the platform. Read more That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMP Agency Wins 4 Hatch Awards

AMP Agency took home 4 awards last night at the 60th annual Hatch awards that celebrates creative excellence in New England. AMP won bronze awards for the below work: “Eastern Bank’s Color & Capital for Good closing Boston’s wealth Gap” Work for Good Category “Facebook’s Gaming Just Like Us” Film Category “Stop & Shop’s On Your Terms”Design Category AMP also won a Merit award for work done with RXBAR.  Be sure to check out AMP’s article featured in the Boston Globe that looks at the virtual realities of advertising and how flexibility led to a creative growth spurt in marketing in 2020.