Kelly Scott Madison

Holiday Crunch Time



The holidays always bring about a mix of emotions for consumers.

The holidays always bring about a mix of emotions for consumers. Some of joy, others of total panic as they vie for big savings on the perfect gifts. This leaves marketers with the increasingly challenging task of understanding what drives those individuals to purchase, and how to reach them through the season’s cluttered advertising noise. They’re often left stuck trying to answer the same questions: What trends are currently dominating the industry, and how do consumers really feel about the holiday season as awhole?

KSM and Persuadable Research Corporation recently set out to answer these questions and moreby conducting the 2014 Holiday Shopping Study (HSS), which surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults about their planned shopping habits for the upcoming season, and how they compare to 2013. The results provide a mix of surprising and predictable takeaways for marketers now moving into the holiday rush, but before we dive into a forecast for this holiday season, an analysis of the last year is necessary. 

Trends Over the Last Year

For quite some time, digital marketing and more specificallymobile commerce, has been pushing for an ever-larger hold onthe retail space. This fact was noted widely among trend watchers in the 2013 season. Leading up to the holidays, many claimed that due to the smartphone’s 60 percent majority share of U.S. cell-phone subscribers, mobile commerce would have a noticeably increased presence in holiday shopping. Estimates varied, but almost all sources claimed that more than half (68 percent according to Deloitte’s 2013 Annual Holiday Survey) of smartphone owners would...

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