Last-minute shoppers can boost retail sales during the holidays

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Retailers can look to last-minute holiday shoppers to bring in the big bucks, according to new research by Acxiom, a global leader in marketing services and technology.

The study, "Generate More Jingle This Holiday Season," noted that 2-out-of-10 consumers don't start their holiday shopping until December, a sure-fire way for retailers to get that extra sales boost at the year-end.

Acxiom also found that:

  • Men account for nearly two-thirds of the power and panic-shopper dollars spent;
  • Age, gender and time left to shop may combine to affect where they choose to shop. For example, both men and women panic-shoppers under 35 years are more likely than their over-35 counterparts to shop department stores, while male panic shoppers under 35 years consider electronics stores to be a strong option; and
  • Ethnicity also may be a factor as nearly twice as many female as male panic-shoppers are of Hispanic descent, and more than twice as many female as male panic-shoppers are African-American.

The research also emphasized ways retailers can get in on the last-minute shopping game. By employing such innovations as direct-to-consumer texting and instant messaging, increase of media broadcast and reconfiguring in-store tactics, such as promotional displays and endcaps, can leverage the combination of shopper types as well as gender.

"Retailers are always looking to make the most of the holiday shopping season," said Jim Harold, VP of Acxiom's retail and consumer markets group. "By employing multidimensional insights to adjust media mix and spend, and personalizing the content and cadence of marketing messages, retailers can get greater share of the $23 billion spent by last-minute holiday shoppers.

"Understanding last-minute holiday shoppers and their spending habits will allow marketers to more effectively allocate marketing dollars across a broader spectrum of media options," Harold said.

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