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How Can You Motivate Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers to Buy?

December 12th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

The holiday retail season is heading into the home stretch, but there are still plenty of Americans who haven’t checked off every item on their gift lists yet. How can you attract them and what motivates them to buy? The PeriscopeIQ Second Annual Holiday Shopping Survey has some useful insights about what works and what doesn’t.

QR Codes: So far, QR codes on ads, point-of-sale
items and price tags haven’t lived up to their potential, reports the PeriscopeIQ study, because nearly
three-fifths (59 percent) of shoppers don’t know what the codes are or what they
do. Fewer than one in five (18 percent) have ever used a QR code in
a retail environment, even though 60 percent own smartphones with built-in
scanners or apps. “We believe QR codes will continue to evolve but the
actual 2D code will be transformed by a newer, more efficient technology in
the near future,” said Mohamed Latib, COO of

Working Shoppers:
 Up to 40 percent of survey respondents admit to shopping online at work during the
holidays and year-round, and more than a quarter of
those polled shop more than 15 minutes daily on the job.

Gassing Up: Some 40 percent say their willingness to drive long distances for a bargain will be impacted by gas prices. And for shoppers in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, gas availability itself may still be an issue. Consumers’ awareness of gas prices is good news for ecommerce sites that let them shop from home.

Free Shipping:
 If you do have an ecommerce site, know that 95 percent of respondents say free shipping is a major factor in whether they buy from a particular site or not.

Smartphones Mean Smarter Shoppers:
 Over two-fifths (41 percent) of customers say they are pre-shopping online before going into stores, up from 27 percent last year. A smaller number (33 percent) check prices at other stores or at websites while in-store, and about 36 percent take pictures of items with their phones in-store, whether to get feedback from friends or family, or to do comparison shopping.

Waiting on Mobile Wallets: While mobile wallet options such as Google Wallet or Passbook have captured headlines, these technologies are still in limited use. Fewer than 5 percent of respondents say they use mobile wallet technologies.

Black, White and Read All Over:
 When looking for product information, sales and other information about shopping, almost
three-fifths (58 percent) of consumers say they still rely primarily on print magazines and newspapers.
In comparison, only 24 percent said they look at online reviews of products for information before shopping.

“With more than half of our respondents equipped with smartphones, the
multi-channel world is a boon to holiday shoppers,” said Dr. Pawan Singh, CEO and Chief Scientist at PeriscopeIQ. “But it can also be an
advantage to retailers who address physical, mobile and online customer
experiences with equal diligence.”

Image by Flickr user RetailByRyan95 (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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