~ And we’re sharing the new feature Instagram just came out with below! ~
You keep posting on your Instagram, in hopes of gaining more followers.
It’s not working.
You continue to update your stories, change your aesthetic, and you are not getting the engagement you were in hopes of.
That is where Instagram’s algorithm comes in. There are many rumors about Instagram’s methods for determining what posts are shown at the top of the feed, but check the facts below for actionable tips to finally gain the followers you’ve been looking for.
#1 What You See, Is Based On You
Ever wonder why all of the Instagram posts in your feed seem kind of similar? Or why you tend to only see posts from the same small percentage of accounts you follow? This is because Instagram uses AI driven data to feed you what they think you want to see. The images and videos you see on your Instagram feed are based on similar posts that you have previously liked, engaged with, or have searched hashtags for. Instagram is providing each user with a personalized experience based upon these behaviors. This makes it all the more important to post consistent, high quality content your audience actually wants to see.
#2 Engagement On Your Posts Matters
The amount of likes, comments, shares and views your posts are getting will impact your feed’s ranking, and a post ‘reshare’ can be considered as the gold star of all engagement metrics. A post reshare is when another user shares your post on their feed or Instagram story. This will not only increase your post’s overall views, but will also increase your post rankings, and continue to prioritize your posts more often on users’ feeds.
However, while engagement is essential, don’t get caught with Instagram bots, or fake interactions. Instagram’s data can pick up on accounts that do not show transparency, or buy fake followers – affecting your ranking accordingly.
Tip: Don’t forget to check your insights. Find out times when your audience is on Instagram to know when to post to get the most reach. This will put your content at the top of their screen.
#3 What Gets More Reach – Images or Videos?
Remember the times when Instagram posts were purely images? This was back before Instagram added video posts in the year 2013. Now as content creators, how do you decide if you should stick to images, or start getting more creative and post videos as well? While Instagram has commented that photos and videos are treated equally, the Instagram Explore page says differently. Videos get way more attraction on everyone’s Explore page. Part of this is just human nature; video is inherently more eye-catching than picture-based posts. This is incredibly important if you are looking to gain more followers. Since videos have more viewing time too, mix up your content with video-based posts and allow the Instagram AI formula to work its magic to start posting more of your content to other people’s Explore pages.
The Newest Instagram Feature
This is probably what you wanted to read about all along: the new feature that Instagram just came out with: Instagram Messenger Rooms are here! You can now video chat with up to 50 people through the Instagram Direct page in the app.
With every like, comment, and interaction you have over Instagram, you are part of the population that determines how Instagram sets up its algorithm. This is to create the best personalized experience for each user.
With this in mind, now is the time for you to start creating the best personalized experience for your followers. Still feeling overwhelmed? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s time to put your Image at the top of the feed.
So we all have heard the term – Gal Pal – but did you know there’s now a full-fledged holiday in honor of our besties? It might have started as TV fodder when Leslie Knopes of Parks and Rec proclaimed that the best day of the year was February 13th, but now, Galentine’s Day is a national movement, full of brunch and bubbly in honor of our girlfriends.
History of the “Holiday”
- Galentine’s Day actually came to be from a 2010 episode of fan-favorite Parks and Rec. It was meant as a spoof but still lives on 10 years later. To quote the great Leslie Knope on the TV show “Parks and Recreation” from which the day gets its origins, “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year…Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus Frittatas”.
Why do we celebrate Galentine’s?
- It’s just a great way to celebrate the ladies in your life – whether it’s your BFF, a co-worker, a teacher, or a childhood friend. Many people also consider it the “anti-Valentine’s Day” Day.
So what are some great ways to celebrate?
- A night in with your best gal pals – with wine and cheese of course. Put together an awesome tray featuring cottage cheese dips from Cortney’s Dips and Sauces – all craft made in New Britain. https://cortneysdipsandsauces.com/. Pair it with some chocolate dipped strawberries and you’ll be ready to entertain in no time!
- Or how about for your bi-coastal babe? Send an eco-friendly, update to the traditional flower bouquet from Lucky You Flowers. For only $29.99, they ship anywhere in the country and you can personalize your message in a custom fortune cookie. www.luckyyouflowers.com
- Spa Day with your whole Girl Gang – check out our favorite spa Viso Bello with two locations – one in Middlebury and one in Guilford. They can accommodate up to 10 guests at a time! www.visobello.com
- Or brunch at home with some adorable party favors and paper goods from Target and Hallmark!
Whatever your Galenetine’s celebration will entail, make it fun and fabulous, just like your gals.
2020 Already? It feels like we were just trying to figure out what to call 2010. With the start of a new decade comes an extra emphasis on resolution-ing… right? We all start off the same, January 1, in the gym ready to lose 60lbs, pulling a muscle trying that pretzel-pose you saw that Instagram yogi doing, or learning Mandarin in an attempt to make yourself a little more *worldly*; but the motivation quickly fades and by week five the sight of your sneakers makes you sort of nauseous, your yoga mat is collecting dust behind your couch, and your hopes of conversing in a new language have dwindled to simply being happy with a hello and goodbye.
So what can you do to combat what feels like the inevitable drop off? We’re giving you some tips and tricks to stick with it (whatever it may be) all year long.
Goals and Resolutions: What the heck is the Difference?
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Goals involve intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking REALISTIC action giving them more structure and a better chance at success. Simply put, ditch the word resolution and let’s talk goal setting.
So what can you do to beat the February funk and stick to your goal? For Starters, break it down into smaller mini-goals. For example, let’s say one of your ‘resolutions’ was to get more organized. You buy a fancy new planner that rivals the width of a Harry Potter book, and commit to writing in it every day — but less than a month in it’s collecting dust under the passenger seat of your car. Instead, try committing to a full 10 days, then 20, then a month. Before you know it you’re 3 months in and don’t have to think twice about writing in next Wednesday’s lunchtime meeting.
Another way to ensure you stick with it is to be specific, like really really specific. When it comes to setting resolutions, it’s easy to set bad goals that could lead to poor follow-through. Fortunately, SMART goal setting framework can help you craft better goals.
SMART goals are:
Specific – Articulate the resolution as clearly as possible. For example, quitting smoking is better than being healthy. While “being healthy” is great, the wording can be interpreted in many ways.
Measurable – Quantify your resolution if possible, I will lose 10lbs by March 15.
Attainable – Choose a goal within the realm of possibility, but yet challenging. No electronics before bed this year would be amazing, but probably pretty hard to do. On the other hand, no phones in bed might be more realistic.
Relevant – Keep it relevant to your priorities and goals. See the motivation section above!
Time-sensitive – Give yourself a time-frame in which to achieve a goal. A deadline will instill some urgency and provide a time when you can celebrate your success.
Finally, Rome wasn’t built in a day, if you fall off track, just get back on! Building new habits take time and a lot of effort at first. If you hit a snag, do not beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself why. If your mission is to go to the gym after work, and instead you sit down to play video games and never get back up, maybe you need to go right to the gym from the office. Recognizing what obstacles are standing in your way is key to setting yourself up for long term success. Now that you’re equipped to succeed in your 2020 goal-reaching spend some time reflecting and addressing what you really want to accomplish this year!
2020 Marketing Resolutions
With such a short December, the mad dash to Christmas 2019 feels like more of a sprint than ever. But how are you supposed to find the perfect gift for all of the different people in your life? We’ve compiled a no-fail gift guide for every recipient– So close your laptop, grab a shopping buddy, and spend a day amongst the nostalgic hustle and bustle of the mall at Christmas time.
If you’re not up to date on “what’s new” in the tech world, it can be really hard to shop for a techy. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which drone is the best on the market. Try one of our picks…
- Blue Light Glasses protect the eyes from the harmful blue light that’s emitted from screens. Whether your recipient works at a computer all day, or they just like to watch TV in bed, these are a must-have for everyone.
- Self Warming Mug a go-to for your coffee addict. These mugs charge the same way your phone does, so you never have to hear them complain about a lukewarm cup of joe ever again.
- iPhone Flash Drive this iPhone to PC flash drive instantly transfers storage between devices and is compact enough to throw right in your pocket.
- Tile uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone to ‘ping’ when you’ve lost something. This of it as ‘find my iPhone’ for your keys, wallet, etc.
- Charging Phone Case these hold up to three full phone charges so you’re never without power on the go.
- Nest Wifi Router is the perfect solution if you have a ‘dead spot’ in your home. These cover up to 2200 square feet with fast, reliable wifi, and can be combined to cast a ‘net’ across larger spaces.
Don’t give your homebody another nameless bottle of wine, get them something they’ll really use and LOVE.
- Nespresso the gift that needs no introduction. If you’re looking to splurge this is a no brainer.
- Decorative Candle is sure to wow. With so many options for scent and hardware combinations, these can be personal and beautiful all in one.
- Electric Tea Kettle perfect for your college student, or tea lover. This heats water up in just 90 seconds and is silent.
- Fluffy Slipper are memory foam, and oh so cozy! They come in so many different colors for the perfect stocking stuffer or grab bag gift!
- Spotify Subscription gives the gift of music by treating someone to a year’s worth of Spotify commercial-free music.
- Sherpa Set is the hottest gift of the season! People cannot get enough of this fluffy fabric, and this look is best-served head to toe.
You know you’re bound to attend at least one dreaded grab bag/ Yankee swap/ white elephant. Nobody wants to be that person to show up to with a last-resort gift card and a stinky candle. Try one of these under $25 grab bag gifts that truly need no explanation.
- Mini Waffle Maker
- Beard Grooming Kit
- Multi-Device Charging Station
- Ice Cube Spheres and Mini Whiskey
- Hot Sauce Selection
- Light up Vanity Mirror
If you’re still stumped after all of these there’s always those go-to last-minute gifts that are always sure to spark joy…
- Yeti is the Rolls Royce of insulated travel mugs. Need I say more?
- Experience is always a good idea. Whether it be tickets to a game or concert, the memories you can make are the gift that keeps on giving.
- Diffusers and essential oils are such a good gift especially during the winter months when the heat really dries you out. This one even has a changing light feature for ultimate relaxation.
- Sherpa is so nice we included it twice!
- Uggs are the perfect addition to any New Englander’s winter wardrobe. Ultra-soft and snuggly and they come in so many cool and different colors now!
- Men’s Ugg Moccasins– see above!
- Sunglasses whether you splurge on Ray-Bans or get a couple of less expensive pairs, they are the perfect stocking stuffer.
- Silk Pillowcases are so good for hair and skin, every hairdresser recommends you ditch the cotton and switch over to these!
- Luggage is a longlasting and thoughtful gift for any frequent traveler. Plus everyone needs one even when they think they don’t.
- Tiles – another repeat because we think it’s just that good!
- Filtering Water Bottle what’s people’s biggest opposition to going plastic-free? The lack of filtered water available. This is the perfect solution and oh so eco-friendly.
We all know e-commerce is taking over brick-and-mortar shops so it’s no surprise that more than half of shoppers do their shopping online. Many retail outlets have even closed up and are left vacant now because of store closures, even those big money builder businesses like Macy’s can’t keep up with the online world!
In the past two years about 10,000 stores have closed leading an estimation of 20 to 25 percent of malls to close within the next five years. Retail outlets have needed to step up their game to get consumers back in their stores. But how exactly are they doing this? And is this possible as more and more consumers are getting sucked into the online markets?
The main way to bring traffic back into stores is to make it an experience. The upcoming generations (Millennials and Gen Z) aren’t going into retail shops because they have something in mind that they NEED to buy. They know better and are fluent in making quick online purchases. These newcomers want an experience, something to share with friends IRL (in real life) as well as on social media. Brick-and-mortar retail industries need to incorporate interactive experiences to drag consumers back into them, and to hopefully make a purchase.
How to Make it An Experience
Create In-Store Events
In-store sales can be boosted by promoting in-store events. Retail stores should be creative with this and even create an event that may not even be interrelated with what they sell, but just drives traffic into their stores. Shopping malls and outlets have started to hold events with bands playing on certain days of the week, or yoga sessions as entertainment. This gets traffic to the whole outlet instead of specific stores, leading consumers to end up wandering around to shop the various stores that they do have.
Here’s some events we were able to promote our clients retail shopping outlets here at Image Marketing Consultants:
- Our “Vino and Vinyasa” event at Plaza at Harmon Meadows. Those who purchased tickets were able to participate in a yoga event sponsored on the green lawn and enjoy a free glass of wine afterwards. People who signed up were able to come and relax and unwind before taking a peek around the retail stores they offer.
Picking the right public relations agency in Connecticut can improve your website rankings just as much as using SEO. Public Relations is a powerful resource that more marketers and top companies are starting to take advantage of. They aim to inform the public about your business by providing free media coverage instead of paid ads and build consumers trust within your company. This brings more consumers to your website while building your brand image.
What a CT Public Relations Specialists can do for you:
Create a positive brand image
Agencies in Connecticut that specialize in public relations will help your business keep a clean status. If something were to go wrong, a public relations agency can help rebuild your company’s trust. In example, a company may experience negative online reviews. This degrades your company and will have customers rethinking if they actually want to go to you for your services, or your competitors. Public relations specialists will rebuild your company in various ways with media coverage for you to rebuild trust in customers.
You’ve probably seen many marketing campaigns from huge corporations, like Nike, fail miserably with the negative message consumers can take from it. This is where public relations comes in, to create a strategic plan to fix this blunder.
Image Marketing Consultants, located in Plantsville, CT, is able to get various clients on news channel segments. This way, we highlight the strengths of our clients and get consumers talking about them in a positive light.
Assist in Event Promotion
Is your company planning an event, or store opening that needs to get the public’s attention? Public relations agencies will come up with various ways to promote this event whether it is through social media, press releases, news segments and more.
Image Marketing Consultants has planned multiple events for companies in Connecticut to gain a wide range of attention and assist in the detailed plannings. Image has helped openings for companies like Vesta and Planet Fitness. Image Marketing incorporates unique details like food trucks and giveaways that are attractive for consumers to show up and support recognition for a new store opening.
Craft press releases
Press releases can be distributed through various websites and social media pages. This gains exposure to your company and more consumers will click on the link for this page, leading them to your main site. Press releases give you free media coverage for a big store event about to take place, or any changes happening within your company, and pitch a news story that will be widely distributed. These can be used on top of Facebook ads or any other social media advertisements to gain a wider range of publicity.
Blogs are an added bonus to your website to significantly improve your website rankings. Public relations specialists can write and create blogs for your site through internal or external sites. While this seems like it wouldn’t have a direct impact to promote your company, the keywords used in the blog can can have a direct link to your rankings, which is similar to the use of SEO.
How you can use PR in CT to achieve your goals:
Search for a public relations or marketing agency in Connecticut that can help achieve the goals you have in mind. There are many small agencies around. It is beneficial to find one that can specialize in your niche. Image Marketing Consultants can cater towards multiple types of companies, but specializes in large and small retail outlets.
You know what your business does, but ask yourself these questions to find the perfect agency for you:
- Can the agency cater towards my company’s needs?
- Do they specialize in my company’s market?
- If so, can they understand and grasp my company’s tone to build a CT public relations strategy specialized to my brand?
Stick to more than one strategy to build brand awareness and attract more consumers to your website. If you’re looking for a public relations agency in Connecticut, contact us today to see our approach to build brand awareness for your company with our unique and creative services.
Connecticut Entrepreneur Helps Los Angeles Homeless Have Access to Clean Clothes
Robert Landino helps launch a new service called The Laundry Truck LA
North Haven, CT – Homeless people across the Los Angeles region can finally have access to clean clothing. The Laundry Truck LA, a free mobile laundry service for homeless individuals, was co-created in 2017 by Connecticut businessman Robert Landino, along with Dolan Clothing founder Jodie Dolan, and it is now helping out people in need on the streets of Los Angeles.
Mr. Landino is the CEO of Center Earth and former CEO of Centerplan, two real estate acquisition, construction and investment firms in Connecticut that have been instrumental in successful urban renewal projects in the state. He is a former member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and was honored by the New Haven Chamber of Commerce in 2014 as its business person of the year. He has been working with Ms. Dolan on this notable humanitarian effort for the last two years by providing mentorship and funding.
“We are thrilled to see The Laundry Truck helping so many people in Los Angeles,” Mr Landino said. “Access to clean clothing is a fundamental component of living a healthy life. It is also a key factor in self-esteem, mental health, and social acceptance. It is our goal to help disadvantaged men, women and children in the nation’s second largest city gain access to clean clothing. It’s something many of us take for granted–and something many others lack.”
The Laundry Truck, equipped with several washers and dryers, launched its Saturday Wash Day services last month, and that will soon expand to three to five days per week at various locations around the city.
In addition to mentorship and funding from Mr. Landino, The Laundry Truck LA , which is a nonprofit organization, also recently received a $30,000 grant from Clorox, along with cleaning products.
About the Laundry Truck LA:
The Laundry Truck LA is a free mobile laundry service that provides many families, men, women, and children experiencing homeless in the downtown and greater LA area with clean clothes. For more information, please visit https://www.thelaundrytruckla.com/
By Faryn Malley
With summer quickly approaching, you’ll want to be up-to-speed on the season’s newest fashion trends. Everyone wants to dress the best, and what better way to feel great about your outfit than incorporating the summer’s biggest trends into your look? Some of the top summer trends we’ll see in 2019 are neon fabrics, animal (and floral) print, fringe (bring on 60’s-chic!), and biker shorts. This summer’s trends are even being combined; think neon biker shorts, floral with fringe, and neon animal print.
The hottest fashion trends are commonly promoted by social media influencers that people admire and look up to for style advice. Why? They’re relatable people who come off as polished with their lives in order. They might even remind us of ourselves a little!
So many people desperately want to dress like celebrities but also fit in with the realness of social media influencers. Trends tend to follow the “trickle-down movement”, meaning that the new styles presented by high fashion brands trickle down to influencers and celebrities to promote before everyday shoppers see them and consider buying into them.
Here are some common summer trends for 2019!
Bright tones of pink, green, orange, yellow, and blue have been seen on the runway recently and are predicted to hit the market this summer. Designer brands such as Gucci, Versace, Moschino, and Armani presented many bright outfits during Fashion Week. This trend is already being advertised in common stores like Express, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and more. Neon has gone in and out of style for numerous decades but is growing more popular this year. How to wear it: Stand out with an all-neon-pink outfit to a concert, or try something more toned down like a simple pair of bright green earrings to spice up your look.
Yes, you read that right! Cheetah, snakeskin, zebra. All of your favorite animal prints are back for summer 2019. This time it’s more than just a zebra striped pillow for the couch. Be on the lookout for cheetah print maxi skirts, snakeskin pants, animal print scrunchies (and even jumpsuits). It’s time for statement pieces and chic style. How to wear it: Pair a denim jacket with a leopard print maxi to play off a cool shopping look, or wrap your ponytail with a cheetah print scrunchie. Meow!
This trend will always remain a classic and most likely never go out of style. You can’t go wrong with a flowy floral dress on a warm summer day. This elegant trend has reached women’s (and even men’s) fashion lines. Guys don’t need to wear plain colored suits anymore; throw on a floral printed shirt or tie under your suit this summer. Women can purchase floral blouses, jumpsuits, handbags, and even jewelry. How to wear it: Wear a floor-length floral dress to your next summer wedding and tone it down by pairing it with a chunky statement necklace and solid-color sandals.
This summer trend was worn by many attendees of Coachella ‘19, the kick-off to summer event of the year. Instagram was flooded with outfit posts from the trendy weekend showing the crazy outfits people flaunted. Fringe was already a big hit for spring 2019 and will definitely continue into the summer, seen on bags, skirts, and tops. How to wear it: Look for short sleeved tops with dainty fringe at the sleeves, or rock a suede mini skirt with fringed hems at an outdoor summer festival paired with a plain tee tucked in.
These shorts aren’t just for cyclists anymore; now they’re a fashion statement that can be worn as a sporty or even fancy look. Kylie Jenner, a well-known celebrity and influencer, has posted her outfits featuring neon biker shorts, creating a rise in the popularity of this summer’s trend. What used to be just worn for athletic comfort has transformed onto the runway and into popular malls and online stores. How to wear it: Pair biker shorts with a tee shirt for a walk on the trail or add a blazer, necklace and sandals for a dressed up lunch on the town.
Shopping Ethically and Locally-Sourced
All of these trends can be found in thrift stores and on sustainable clothing websites. Shopping at thrift stores will not only save you money but it helps to save the environment by reusing textiles. By recycling fashion, you’re helping to decrease textile production and waste: the second largest polluter after oil. Purchasing sustainable clothing may be a bit pricier, but your clothes will last longer and have a positive impact on our environment.
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone this summer! Whether you sport your first neon outfit or repurpose thrift shop items into a new, classy style, we encourage you to get creative and step out of the box this year. Buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing on Instagram; they most likely fit into one of these popular 2019 summer trends! Look to influencers for fashion advice, but stay true to you and make that outfit your own. Be confident in the style you choose to wear this summer. That’s how you’ll stand out!
Using celebrities to promote products is no new concept. The rise of Instagram has taken this a step up with the new trend of “influencers“. Influencers on Instagram have tons of followers and promote brands and products for a price to gain more exposure to your company. Social media influencer marketing is on the rise and is changing how we approach marketing. These don’t have to be celebrities; they can be any Instagram user with a good social media standing and a high following. Consumers are starting to trust these brand figures to help determine their purchases. As Forbes puts it, “They [consumers] are no longer convinced by what a brand says about its products; instead, they form their own opinions through information they get from different online and offline platforms.” They can portray your company in a positive light to attract more consumers towards your company.
Importance of Social Media Influencers
Influencers are the new wave of marketing. Your business should always be on top of the latest marketing trends, which are always quickly evolving. Since there are so many companies and start-up businesses out there, it can be harder to reach consumers that are interested in your products and services. Social media influencers give additional exposure to your company towards your target market. Your company can benefit from them highlighting your brand to make it shine in growth.
Who to Choose to Promote Your Brand
There are different levels of social media influencers to determine the best fit for what your company may need for promotion. While celebrities can be used, micro-influencers are more beneficial for smaller businesses. They have a small follower ratio (10,000 – 200,000) and can be created for the type of niche your business fits into. If your company sells apparel, you should be finding fashion blogger influencers with similar style. They will already have an established loyal follower base that trust their opinions on fashion products.
It is important that the influencers do not have any negative feed. This can end up becoming harmful for your company if you choose to contact an influencer that can have a negative reflection on your company.
Be on the lookout for fake followers. Instagrammers can purchase fake followers to boost their following ratio and make it seem like they are more popular than they actually are. Go through their list of followers to know that the influencer has real people.
Sealing the Deal with Influencers
How do you get the influencer to actually promote your products? Make sure your Instagram is in good standing by not having a bad feed (because bad publicity goes both ways). You should set up a loyal connection between your brand and the influencer. Start by following them and engaging with their posts. After building a relationship, send the influencer a direct message expressing your interest in their posts and appreciation for their opinions via social media.
Different Ways They Can Promote
You are not limited to influencers only posting an image selected off of your own Instagram feed. Think outside of the box to gain the most exposure for your company. Send them a package with a free product of yours and ask them to post a picture of what you sent with a positive review. Having the influencer take a video for their story is a great tool to use. Consumers are curious and like to see the behind the scenes of people they hold in high standings.
Stay on top of the trends this year and find social media influencers to positively influence your brand. Connect with Image Marketing Consultants if you are looking for social media marketing that have effective results. Image is everything and we can help your brand shine.
Isn’t it fascinating to watch our shopping habits change year after year? It’s easier than ever to get what you want, fast. Buying gifts in-store is pretty different than it was ten years ago. You can research stores with the best deal on a pricey item you’re looking to buy your dad. Use your go-to coupon app to see which discount you can apply to it. Purchase it online and pick it up on your way home from work—all in the same day (if not hour)!
The International Council of Shopping Centers (known as ICSC) has collected data from the busy Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period in 2018 to record new trends and growing statistics, categorized widely by age. We’re here to break down the numbers for you.
We’re Shopping Differently:
It’s obvious that nearly everyone that shopped for holiday gifts made a purchase in a physical store this year (87% to be exact). More than half of all shoppers purchased online for some of their gifts. And they love being able to “buy online and pick up in-store” later that day—something that 37% of all shoppers took advantage of. You avoid the cost of shipping and get your goods the same day (and there’s no worrying if it will get lost in the delivery process).
We Still Love Shopping In-Store:
The #1 reason: we can see the item in-person. Why else? We get the item immediately; can use exclusive in-store discounts; we avoid shipping costs; and we can cross a few gifts off our list all in one stop.
We Increased Our Budgets:
Consumers reported that they spent more on holiday gifts this year than last year. Why? Number one, they’re increasing the number of people they’re shopping for. No longer single like you were last year? That means you’re buying presents for your significant other, and maybe their family, too. Number two, the items are just more expensive, especially if you’re upping your gift-giving game and spoiling your family with the newest tech or pricey designer clothes. And number three, when we see an item on sale, naturally we have to get one for ourselves too, right?
How Much We Spent:
The research team at ICSC looked at this in terms of how much Millennials (currently aged 23-38), Gen Xers (aged 39-53), and Baby Boomers (aged 54-74) spent, on average. Gen Xers spent the most out of the three groups, with an average spend of $1,119 to get their holiday shopping done. Next were Millennials (whose bills averaged $1,053), followed by Boomers (with an average of $1,038).
Where We Shopped:
Discount stores like Walmart and Target take the cake, as 71% of all shoppers made a purchase at this type of store. It’s easy to see why: these retailers tend to sell everything under the sun, for a good price. And as we learned earlier, when you have a longer list of people to buy for, you’ll naturally be on the hunt for bargains. Secondly, we like to shop at department stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s, where we can get an Instant Pot for our mother-in-law and Nikes for our brother, all in one stop. Runner-ups included dollar stores (where 24% of people shopped), electronic stores, off-price retailers like TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, and sporting goods stores. Once in these stores, 73% of shoppers used a mobile device as a resource to compare prices, look for coupons, and check inventory, compared to the 66% of people who used one in 2017.
What We’re Gifting:
ICSC reported that 68% of all shoppers purchased a gift card over the holidays, making it the most popular gift category in 2018. Baby boomers purchased the most expensive gift cards, averaging out to $123 per gift card. Next up: apparel and shoes (which half of all shoppers bought), then toys and games at 46%. Finally, about a third of all shoppers purchased accessories and cosmetics, and foodie gifts like chocolates or pre-packaged food baskets. Do these items add up to what was on your shopping list?
The retail world is a busy, profitable, and ever-changing industry, especially from Thanksgiving to Christmas. When do you plan to wrap up your list this year? 47% of people started shopping before Thanksgiving in 2018. So if your “nice” list is growing this year, it might be wise to start buying now; Black Friday will be here before we know it.