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Holiday Season Trends Deck

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2012 22squared 1

During the summer of 2012 I was selected as the Brand Planning / Strategy Intern at 22squared.

My greatest accomplishment was aiding in the development of Shoe Carnivals strategy for the upcoming holiday season (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Day After Thanksgiving, and Day After Christmas). This summarized deck showcases my experience.

The following holiday season trends deck was created after: Conducting qualitative / quantitative research on industry & consumer trends. Leading focus groups. Analyzing technological trends. Evaluating Shoe Carnivals previous holiday season efforts.

** Sensitive / client confidential information has been removed from this deck **

Grant A. Emory Work Sample


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2011 Stats..4Trends in Holiday Shopping7Trends In Tech.19Trends in Consumer Spending.27DAT...30

2012 Trends.36Cyber Monday....40

2012 Trends.47References..52

2012 22squared

About 44% of people own a smartphone.3

Overall, consumers spent approximately 48 hours on holiday-related activities in 2011:

19.3 hours shopping (vs. 15.2 in 2010)

8.5 hours traveling (vs. 7.4 hours last year)

13.7 hours partying with family and friends (vs. 15.2 hours)3


Stats from 2011

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2012 22squared

Immediately after the 2011 holiday-shopping season, IconoCommunities participants were asked where they had their worst purchase experience.3

Participants who did have a bad experience named key in-store complaints, including:

lines were long and slow, stores were too crowded, the deals were lacking, desired products were not in stock, poor customer service, understaffing3

The small number who had a beef with an e-tailer mentioned slow shipping or said it was a hassle to return items, that orders never came or that the checkout process was slow3


The Experience

Trends in Holiday Shopping

2012 22squared

Examining mentions of holiday shopping, a sizable spike begins in early October, peaking on December 24.3

Even though consumers are getting their holiday shopping started earlier, Christmas Eve showed the highest spike in chatter-- last-minute shopping still hasn't gone out of style.3



2012 22squared


Consumers will be more value conscious, seeking low prices and avoiding some discretionary spending.1

This will require good brand management and differentiation from competitors.1

Customers will shift to discount retail venues, a shift toward private label products.1


Value Seeking

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The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, cautions that retailers too focused on price will also appear tone-deaf.2

Consumers are saying, "Don't try to tell me you have the best price, I expect that.'"2

More than Price

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Long-Term Worth In a post-Consumerist era, families are taking the long view when it comes to holiday


Do we really need this?

Will this bring the emotional benefit we want, or can we get that benefit in a lower cost way?

Always insure the bond with consumers is authentic.26

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The message: We give you the comfort of giving a great gift without spending too much and the joy of the hunt to find it.2

"Consumers want to make sure they're shopping smartly and getting the best possible deal, but they also want to make sure they're giving great gifts."2

Smart Shopping

2012 22squared

The holiday shopping season turned out to be two seasons: the Black Friday binge and a last-minute surge.8

The doldrums in between showed how shoppers have learned to wait for the discounts they know will come.8

The companies that spread their discounts over the season did well, while those that used up their promotions during the weekend after Thanksgiving suffered.7

Still, the increase in sales and traffic may not help retailers' fourth-quarter profit much since discounts were so liberally used to attract customers.7

"Many retailers got caught up in offering deals and didn't plan for later. They're going to take a hit on profit."7



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The NRF reported last year that consumers had been more influenced by advertising.9

That's good news for marketers who worked hard to craft messages that would resonate with cautious shoppers.9

Nearly 20% of shoppers said last year's holiday commercials motivated them to shop at a particular retailer, the highest figure in at least five years.9

Shoppers also said they were more swayed by in-store and email promotions, online advertising and social media last year.9

Ad Influence

2012 22squared


Self-gifting emerged as a trend last year, as consumers snapped up sale items and rewarded themselves after several years of holding back.9

Some retailers offered steep discounts last year, motivating shoppers to buy gifts and treat themselves.7

With the help of plucky brands, they're giving themselves the gift of excitement and discovery with mystery-product parcels.3

Four years into a deep recession, indulgence-yearning consumers are ready for a little retail escape.3


2012 22squared

Today, the surprise has largely been sucked out of shopping: Apps plan shopping trips and coupons dictate the list; e-retailers suggest "something else you might like" etc.3

Budget constraints and e-retail advancements are changing recreational shopping: Window shopping and its splurges are shaded by guilt, while online shopping turns browsing into a more methodical activity.3

Spontaneity gives a unique feeling of thrill and satisfaction.3


Dull Shopping

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2012 22squared

Returns Returns are a natural part of doing business, but they increase with tough economic

times as consumers either have buyer's remorse or find the same thing or similar at a cheaper price somewhere else.3

Retailers could easily reduce the latter by offering price guarantees that meet or beat competitors' prices, and eliminate the cost of restocking.3


2012 22squared

Trends in Tech

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2012 22squared



18% of people have a tablet.3 which is up 50% from summer 2011.

Catch users between leisure activities and commerce pursuits, the tablet is well-positioned to deliver fashion retailers' custom style content.3

Haute fashion houses engage iPad users with behind-the-scenes access and exclusive content.3

Merging the handheld catalog viewing experience and online capabilities, the tablet format creates an ideal situation for aesthetic inspiration and immediate purchase facility.3


2012 22squared

Mobile App

Old Navy:

Stepped up its holiday mobile effort with the debut of Snap Appy, an app that amps in-store interactiveness.3

Customers snap a pic of the retailer's logo (wherever they find it: in-store, on a bag, on TV or online) to get a seasonal surprise like a discount (to use instantly or save for later), a game or fashion tips. They can also scan instore merchandise to get more details about the items.3

Snap Appy's augmented reality function lets shoppers upload a personal photo and overlay images of the retailer's popular styles.3


Tying an app to the in-store experience is a smart way to bridge the two platforms, but consumers aren't going to engage just for the sake of firing up their smartphones they want to be promised a genuinely rewarding payoff like valuable discounts, fun entertainment or inspiring style advice.3

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A digital kiosk allows RFID-tagged products to be recognized by the screen for the purpose of providing an interactive, deeply informative customer experience.

When a shoe is placed on the table, customers can learn about style, fit, product attributes and access customer reviews/ratings via social media platforms.

This will bring new consumer shopping habits directly to retail environments.

Digital Shoe Kiosk6

Macys , Adidas, and DC shoes are currently using similar systems.

2012 22squared

Augmented-reality tool takes the shopping experience from the store to a customers home Using a mobile device to take pictures of item tags in store, the customer can then try on and purchase items in their home by using a Kinect Cam to bring together the items onto their body.

Incorporates mobile interactivity through the use of NFC and Microsoft tags, social sharing and expert recommendations based on historical purchases.


Virtual Dressing Room6

Banana Republic and Nordstrom are interested in the technology.

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Mirror that allows customers to check out and purchase items straight from the dressing room, share their selections via social networks as well as providing suggestions on other items they might like based on their original choices.

This gives the retailer the opportunity to provide a higher level of customer service, and gives the customer new ways to shop.

Interactive Mirror6

Infiniti currently uses the technology in select dealerships.

2012 22squared

Trends in Consumer Spending

2012 22squared

In January 2012, IconoCommunities participants were asked to choose one o

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