Archive for December 2009

Consumers say they don’t want gift cards…

In a recent article by MediaPost, consumers have reported that they would prefer not to receive gift cards this holiday season on the whole. What I mean is that gift card popularity is on the downward swing. Consumers would simply prefer to receive other types of gifts in lieu of gift cards; only 15% of consumers have reported that they would prefer to receive gift cards as a gift. The study focuses on the decline of store gift cards but does say that general purpose gift cards for gas, grocery or VISA etc. Either way, the gift card business is a big one to the tune of almost $90 billion dollars in cards sold a year. This year, analysts expect gift card sales to drop from about $93 billion to $87 billion. We’ll have to see if the trend continues. The quote of the week from this article is that Gift cards are still better to get than to receive. This is probably due to the hidden fees, the unused card value, and the loss/forgetful factor.

Mobile marketing rising but still small

In a recent study by BIGresearch, mobile marketing is expected to exceed $2 billion in 2010. The issues remaining around Mobile is simply that it doesn’t have a critical mass of users/consumers yet, although the growth in mobile users, especially smart phones, is growing at double digit rates. The demographics are also in question, since a majority of consumers being targeted with mobile marketing are male. Marketers risk turning of mobile consumers if they market the wrong product / message to the wrong demographic. Check out the full article and press release here.

Big surprise – Coupon usage up big in 2009

Google recently released a study showing that online search queries for coupons is up 30% over last year. That may not come as a surprise; however, that increase is over and above a record number in the history of online coupons. 2008 was supposedly the biggest year ever for online coupons, so the significant increase this year over that number further illustrates the U.S. Consumer’s need/desire to find bargains and the overwhelming popularity of the web as the means to research and find those bargains. Check out a more detailed article on the state of the 2009 holiday shopping season and how this holiday is being affected perhaps more acutely by the recession than last year. Very interesting read…