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Retailers need to engage shoppers this holiday

September 2, 2011  By Amanda Ryder


Retailers need to engage shoppers this holiday

As holiday planning approaches, a new Motista
study suggests retailers should look beyond traditional sales-drivers
such as awareness, holiday emotion and themes and find better ways to
engage increasingly savvy consumers.

Sept. 2, 2011 – With holiday planning already underway, retailers are
looking for different ways to reach consumers and drive sales during the
2011 holiday season. Typically, retailers play to the traditional
themes of the season to engage with consumers. However, new data
released today by Motista
suggests that retailers should look beyond the traditional set of
holiday emotions such as family and giving to understand what’s really
motivating consumers to spend more. The data also reveals different ways
in which men and women interact and connect with retailers, which may
be useful as retailers plan their holiday marketing campaigns.


According to data collected by Motista as part of its
ongoing retail study, overall awareness and familiarity with 10 major
retail brands it tracks were high (90 and 71 per cent, respectively), but
only 18 per cent of consumers indicated an emotional connection to their
retailers. With only 24 per cent of consumers indicating they would make
their next relevant purchase with the retailers they frequent today,
retailers must establish and leverage emotional connection to retain
their customers and increase sales. Key findings in the survey
illustrate that building deeper connections with consumers can help
drive higher levels of purchase intent, response rates, online
engagement and advocacy. According to the study:

  • Connected consumers are better retail consumers:
    Consumers who feel emotional connections to their retailers are four
    times more likely to shop those retailers first when relevant needs
    arise, as compared to consumers who are simply familiar and satisfied
    with their retailers. Connected customers also respond to direct mail
    from their retailers twice as often as consumers who are familiar and
  • Connected consumers are more engaged through social and mobile channels:
    Consumers that feel a connection to their retailers are shopping their
    retailers’ websites via mobile devices ten times more often than
    consumers who are simply satisfied. And these connected consumers are
    following their retailers on social media networks like Facebook and
    Twitter, four times more often.
  • Retailers build connection by fitting into the real lives of consumers:
    While consumers want to be inspired, they’re also looking to retailers
    to help make their lives simpler. For example, top connections
    resonating with retail consumers include: the retailer simplifies my
    life; the retailer helps me live my life the way I want to live it; and
    by shopping at the retailer, I get a sense of accomplishment.
  • Connected consumers will recommend retailers to friends and family: When
    consumers feel a connection with their retail brand, they are 50
    per cent more likely to advocate for the brand and recommend the retailer
    to others.

For an info graphic of these findings, visit:

“The findings of our most recent study will help
retailers as they plan for the 2011 holiday season,” said Alan Zorfas,
co-founder and CMO of Motista. “But the long-term takeaway for retailers
is the importance of establishing more relevant connections with their
customers. What’s really motivating them beyond expected themes? We see
connection driving higher levels of purchasing and advocacy across a
multitude of industries, and the brands that act on this data are able
to execute successful marketing campaigns that motivate their target
audiences more effectively.”

Gender and Retail
Motista also
segmented the data to look more closely at how men and women interact
with retail brands, and the data reveals that genders connect and
experience retailers in different ways. Consider the following:

  • Men take retail more personally: Men are 50 per cent
    more likely to feel that their preferred retailer makes them a more
    valuable person. Appearing to seek to enhance their identities and sense
    of self through the retailers they choose, men are also 53 per cent more
    likely to feel that people will see them differently because they shop
    at a particular retailer and 30 per cent more likely to feel that their
    retailer personalizes its relationship with them.
  • Women seek fun and style: Women establish connections with retailers around the perception that the
    retailers are fun and stylish. Women are 18 per cent more likely to
    connect with retailers they consider to be fun, and 18 per cent more
    likely to connect with their retailer if they believe the retailer is
  • Men connect via emerging online touch points: While
    men and women both follow retail brands on social media networks at
    approximately the same rate, 10 per cent, men are more likely to engage
    with retailers through emerging online touch points. Men are twice as
    likely as women to engage in a live chat through a retailer’s website,
    and twice as likely as women to make purchase through mobile devices.

“Although everyone instinctively knows that men and
women engage with retailers differently, this data provides valuable
insight into some surprising differences in how men and women actually
connect with retailers,” said Zorfas. “Knowing what emotions drive
connection for both genders and what channels they prefer when shopping
can provide critical insights for campaign planning. As retailers are
gearing up for the 2011 holiday season, they should consider the
connections that motivate each gender to shop with them to help drive
their marketing efforts and end the year on a high note.”

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