On Your Mark. Get Set. Shop!

It seems like everyone, almost everywhere kicked this holiday season into high gear over the weekend. My social news feed was splattered with trees, lights, decorations and even a few pictures of kids with that ole jolly fellow.

Meanwhile, my inbox has been filled with messages alerting me to all the best deals taking place from now through Black Friday and into Cyber Monday.

Last year, we saw a slight increase by 2.3% when combining Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales at brick-and-mortar stores for a total of $12.3 billion. However, Cyber Monday sales increased by 18% from 2012 to 2013, making it the biggest online spending day in history with total sales reaching $1.735 billion.

Since we carved out our little corner of the internet many years ago, and because we work with many retailers and CPG companies, this definitely got our attention. Every year, more and more people are shopping online. This year, we’ve already seen an increase in the amount of retailers extending the discounts beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Deals are now being offered early and often. With this in mind, we decided to take a look at what consumers were planning and plotting this time around for the biggest shopping event of the year. Our most recent study explores where, what, when and how much they’ll spend. Check out our latest infographic below.

2014.11 BuzzBack Infographic_Holiday Shopping

Interested in more information? Just email us.

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Millennials + Sustainability

These days, it seems like everyone’s jumped onto the ‘going green’ bandwagon. Fast fashion retailer H&M is offering its customers a coupon for 15% off their next purchase every time they bring in a bag of used clothing to any store. In Sweden, McDonald’s launched a campaign in which you receive a free burger or cheeseburger for every 10 empty beer cans you bring in; 40 cans gets you a Big Mac. In further promotion of the campaign, McDonald’s has even installed billboards that double as trash bags for those walking by to easily pull off and fill with all their cans. What do these campaigns and earth-friendly initiatives have in common? They’re all aimed at Millennials.

Having recently become the largest generation group in the country, Millennials are the ones shopping at fast fashion stores and they used to be McDonald’s key customer base, until recently. This month, McDonald’s reported their biggest decline since 2003 and also found that diners between the ages of 19 to 21 have gone down by 12.9% since the start of 2011. The fast food chain has admitted that its latest campaign was an attempt to reach out to the Millennial generation, specifically the young music festival attendees in Sweden.

But, the question remains: are these efforts to appeal to the Millennial generation through green initiatives working? Millennials may say that they place a high value on issues such as social responsibility and sustainability, but are they actually following through on that? Or maybe it’s the campaigns that need to change – are companies able to effectively communicate their green initiatives to their Millennial consumers? When it comes to these topics, what are their perceptions? When it comes down to making a purchase, do they really care about companies being committed to sustainability?

We will be exploring several of these questions in our upcoming webinar in which we do a deep dive comparing Millennial, Boomer and Gen X perceptions on the word Sustainability. If your brand is tackling the challenge of increasing the connection consumers have with sustainability, check out our latest webinar.

Millennials + Sustainability

Sneak Peek: What’s in Your Backpack for Back-to-School?

Back-to-school sales are everywhere and it’s got me reminiscing for the days when I was a student. Back in 1994, I was just starting to maneuver my way through high school as a Freshman. Now, 20 years later I have a daughter who’s starting Pre-K at a new elementary school. In just 3 weeks time! We haven’t received any supplies checklists as of yet, but I know I should pick a few things up. But, what to get? After performing a quick search for ‘back-to-school’, I came across an appropriate article that highlights the differences in prices from 20 years ago to today. Backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks. Some of the price differences are staggering. So far I’ve only purchased a lunch box and it cost $32, which is a few price points above the average listed in the article. Here’s a few highlights:

With all the back-to-school hoopla happening all over the country, we decided to take a look at how consumers were spending during retail’s second largest spending event of the year. We found that consumers on average will spend $336.17 and that consumers in the Northeast and Southern parts of the U.S. spend more than their counterparts in the West and Midwest. Stay tuned for our full infographic in which we’ll look at where consumers shop, what brands they look for and how they prefer to hear about Back-to-School promotions. For more information on our Back-to-School study and infographic, email us.

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