Always-on consumers, showrooming and economy among key 2013 retail trends

Marketers face a number of challenges in 2013 as consumer spending fluctuates with continued economic uncertainty. Experian Marketing Services will release the latest consumer retails trends, benchmarks and recommendations for marketers in its upcoming 2013 Digital Marketer Report. The report provides marketers with actionable insights to address the changing consumer landscape, and help better unite brands and customers through intelligent and meaningful interactions.

Consumers today are multidevice and cross-channel shoppers, forcing digital marketers to adapt and evolve their message to reach consumers across channels and all along the winding path to purchase. The 2013 Digital Marketer Report reveals unique data and insights about the cross-channel consumer. Experian Marketing Services research found that 74 percent of marketers surveyed have either coordinated, or are in the process of coordinating, customer interactions among both online and offline channels.

“The way consumers gain information from brands — the means by which they get it, even the ways in which they process it — is constantly evolving given the complexity of our cross-channel world and evolving consumer behavior driven by economic variables.” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services. “With the recent retail numbers coming out of January, retailers can anticipate consumer hesitation, making it imperative that marketers create integrated customer experiences and maximize digital marketing opportunities and return on investment.”


  • Brick-and-mortar stores face a choice in price matching to online retail. We’re already seeing this with retailers, such as Best Buy, rolling out policies to price match online.
  • Comparison shopping continues to be strong as shopping sites are the third largest driver of traffic to other retail sites.
  • In Q4 2012, shopping sites accounted for 19 percent of referral traffic on average to the top 500 retail sites.

Economic uncertainty will continue

  • Experian Marketing Services’ Consumer Expectation Index (CEI) showed a decline in consumer confidence going into the end of 2012, fueled by the fiscal cliff, payroll tax concerns and rising gas prices.
  • In good and bad times, however, online retailers can benefit as consumers search for better deals and consumer awareness continues to improve with more retail information readily available.
  • Online traffic to top 500 retail sites increased 13 percent year-over-year in January 2013.

Consumers are “always on”

  • Consumers are hyperconnected and move seamlessly across devices/channels. With the always-on consumer, cross-channel marketing is no longer a trend but a marketing necessity.
  • Fifty-nine percent of adults say they email from at least two different devices during a seven-day period. Nearly one-third of adults under age 35 email from three or more devices each week.
  • According to a recent Experian Marketing Services survey, 36 percent of U.S. organizations interact with customers and prospects across five or more channels. Among young adults ages 18 to 34, mobile phones now tie with televisions when it comes to reach.

Maturing mobile market

  • The maturing mobile age represents huge opportunities for marketers.
  • Forty-eight percent of adults ages 18 to 24 say that a conversation via text message is just as meaningful as a telephone call. A similar share of adults ages 25 to 34 feel the same way.
  • During a typical month, smartphone owners ages 18 to 24 send 2,022 mobile text messages and receive another 1,831, for a combined total of 3,853 texts sent and received. With every age bracket moving up, the number of mobile texts drops by roughly 40 percent.
  • In a given month, 8 percent of all smartphone owners report having shopped from their phones, whereas nearly 40 percent of tablet owners say they shopped from their tablets.


  • It is important for marketers to remember that at the receiving end of all digital marketing channels is a customer with very specific preferences.
  • Demographic data alone is not enough for marketers to rely on to truly understand customers, as two divergent demographic groups make up the majority of consumers today:
    • Millennials represent upwards of 80 million consumers, and 52 percent of Millennials rank far above or above average when it comes to being early adopters of technology.
    • Baby boomers are nearly 80 million strong and account for more than 75 percent of America’s net worth.
  • Personalized promotional mailings have 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates than nonpersonalized mailings.

Make sure to read about these and more of the latest consumer trends in our 2013 Digital Marketer Report.

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