How to make the Consumers “Nice” List—2013 Multicultural Holiday Shopping Trends

Oct 28, 13 How to make the Consumers “Nice” List—2013 Multicultural Holiday Shopping Trends

Companies have made and locked down their 2013 holiday campaigns, but they should check them twice in order to make this 25-day-long holiday shopping season a profitable one.

The National Retail Federation projected this year’s holiday sales to reach $602.1 billion (a 3.9% increase from 2012). Despite the traditional holiday season lasting seven days shorter than last year, a number of stores have worked to extend it by beginning promotions the day after Halloween. Brands must keep in mind consumer shopping trends affecting purchases this year.


Hanukkah begins early this year, coinciding with Thanksgiving. Therefore, some holiday gifts will be purchased in advance of the holiday. Black Friday falls on the second of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah.

Online and Mobile Purchases

The convenience and growing simplicity of online shopping make it a continually surging trend. Cyber Monday purchases last year were almost double that of 2011. Savvy Americans benefit from using online shopping for early deals, and free shipping is essential for online purchases. According to, 39% of companies plan to offer free shipping. This year, online retail should exceed $50 billion, of which $8 billion will be from mobile devices.

Multicultural consumers overindex on making purchases through their mobile phones: 60% of Hispanics mostly access the internet by mobile phone compared to 43% of African Americans and 27% of whites. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, mobile online sales are up 35% from 2012. Hispanics spent $5.15 billion online mobile shopping the last holiday season.

Social Media Influence

Social Media acts as a key component to holiday brand strategy. Brand presence and awareness through social media sites are high despite low purchases resulting from advertisements placed on social media. The tech savvy Hispanic consumer demographic also overindexes on social media usage, with 80% of Hispanics using social media vs. 70% of the general population.

Special Deals

Since the economic recession, consumers have placed an importance on specials. Continuing this trend, Marketers are promoting specials early this year. As early as September, companies have been advertising products while promoting layaway programs. Additionally, Direct Mail coupons and e-coupons continue to run in full force. Although print coupons are used more than e-coupons, e-coupons are gaining popularity.

In-Store Experience

“Big Ticket” purchases often happen in stores. Hispanics are especially observant of “Big Ticket” appliance and furniture sales with in-store promotions warranting more success than online purchases for these items. Although Hispanics are typically price-driven consumers, their spending on convenience exceeds their desire to save during the holiday shopping season. Additionally, about 70% of Hispanic males like when stores have activities they can watch or participate in, compared to 36% of the general population of males.

“During the season of giving, marketers must not only make the multicultural shopper’s radar, but also their ‘nice list,’” said George L. San Jose, president and Chief Creative Officer at The San Jose Group. “If not, they’ll find their stockings a little emptier this season.”

Cover Photo Source: Canadapanda /

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