Norm Johnston, Global Digital Leader Mindshare Worldwide, an expert in marketing both in the United States and the UK, believes that this trend will also have an impact on business marketing strategies. He said: “Perhaps unsurprisingly the love affair with new devices such as tablets and smartphones has led to a boost for the content industry – Comscore has seen a 25% increase in sales of digital content and subscriptions this year, the highest growing category.
“I expect Christmas Day will be one of the busiest days for downloading digital content. Many people now give vouchers as last minute presents because Apps and digital content are instant – there is no supply chain, which suits today’s consumer who doesn’t want to wait for anything – making it the perfect last minute gift.”
Research released this month by SDL (LSE: SDL) revealed that consumers plan to spend the majority of their Christmas shopping budget online this December with internet shopping far ahead of in-store and over half of spend going online. Nearly ten per cent of online shopping will take place on a smartphone, tablet or iPad, with 25-34 year olds most likely to buy Christmas gifts through a mobile device or tablet.
The story is the same across northern Europe, where spending on gifts is increasing, where 70 per cent of German consumers, for instance, are planning to buy Christmas gifts online, according to recent Ernst and Young research.
Christof Baron, Regional Leader & CEO Mindshare Germany, believes that this trend is set to continue, providing cost-effective and valuable opportunities for companies targeting European consumers.
Baron said: “German consumers are willing to spend significantly more money at online retailers for Christmas gifts this year than last year because it’s more convenient, less stressful and the range is better.
“Prices are lower as well and with smaller overheads, companies can be smarter about their marketing spend and still increase their profits despite these challenging economic times.”
The situation is the same in Asia, where online sales dominate but there is more caution with the economy remaining fragile.
Gowthaman Ragothaman, CEO, South and Southeast Asia, believes this has had an impact on marketing in the region. He said: “This Christmas is a season of cautious optimism for marketers. Last year companies were full of confidence but now they are more pragmatic and conscious of the bottom line.
“The rising convergence of technology will ensure that digital gifts are increasingly popular. There will be a growth in demand for iTunes gift cards and Amazon gift coupons and the younger generation is likely to send each other such gifts more than ever before.”
The increase of digital is not the end of the high street, though, with Norm Johnston offering words of reassurance for bricks and clicks retailers.
He added: “I would advise companies not to panic. Christmas is not a virtual holiday and the increase of digital consumption is merely a change in how consumers are finding, buying and having their gifts delivered. This means that an increasing focus on the consumer journey – from initial awareness, through to research and the decision to purchase – is required. Companies have to pay more attention to more different channels and in particular the role digital plays, but they should see it as an opportunity rather than a setback.”
Notes to the Editor:
Mindshare is a global media agency network with billings in excess of US$29.2 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 113 offices in 82 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP, the world’s leading communications services group.
GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare. Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-
Visit Mindshare online at www.mindshareworld.com
For further information contact:
David Alexander, Calacus PR: david.alexander@
Laura Church, Calacus PR: laura.church@
Nathalie Agnew, Calacus PR: nathalie.agnew@