Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
11/10/2010
12:48 PM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Survey Says! SMB Retailers Expect Respectable Holiday Sales

I was on the phone the other day, on hold and deep in "MuzakLand," when a holiday song came on. That same night, I ran to the store for a few items and was surprised to see cardboard snowflakes and Santas festooned from the ceilings. Is it my imagination, or is the holiday season starting earlier every year?

I was on the phone the other day, on hold and deep in "MuzakLand," when a holiday song came on. That same night, I ran to the store for a few items and was surprised to see cardboard snowflakes and Santas festooned from the ceilings. Is it my imagination, or is the holiday season starting earlier every year?Personally, I don't really mind, because I'm a fan of the winter holidays, but I can definitely see how this trend would be disconcerting to those who scorn the commercialization of Christmas (and Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, etc., for that matter). Especially now, with the employment rate as high as it is and people's purse strings drawn as tightly as they are.

But maybe we're not as bad off as I thought we were. A survey by Zoomerang [PDF] released earlier this week paints a rosier picture than I imagined. According to the data, consumers will be spending just as much as, if not more than, they did at this time last year. The catch: They'll be spending their money on different kinds of things. That is, wish lists will consist of fewer "luxury" items and more "essentials."

There's a contradiction at the core of this study: Of the 340 SMB retailers surveyed, 157 (46%) are not feeling confident about the economy. Yet they expect a decent turnout for the holidays. Among respondents, 43% expect to do about the same amount of business as they did in 2009; 33% expect to do better. And more than 25% plan to ramp up for the shopping season by increasing inventory, hours, customer service, marketing, and/or social media budgets.

As for consumers, more than half of the 2,000-plus surveyed said they'll maintain (52%) or increase (10%) spending this year as compared to 2009. That, despite the fact only 9% are feeling confident about the economy, while 47% are not.

Three-quarters of consumer respondents said they're going to be spending most of their hard-earned cash on "essentials," vs. "luxury" items, but I find it interesting (and a testament to how spoiled we are) that two of the categories under the "essentials" column are books/music/DVDs/games and electronics/appliances. Items found at the bottom of our wish lists this year include pet products, toys, and children's specialty.

Looks as if Fido might have to go without his gem-studded collar this winter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.