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Holiday Shopping Season Begins In September At Walmart


Shoppers looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping can go to Walmart in mid-September.

Walmart will offer its holiday layaway 30 days earlier this year and extend the program to more product categories, the company announced Monday. This year’s start date is a month earlier than last year when Walmart first restored the program after a several year hiatus. The program starts two days earlier for online shoppers who like their local store on Facebook. That’s one incentive that ties social media in with everyday transactions with Walmart. With nearly 76,000 likes in just a few days, it is safe to say the Facebook tie in is working.

Layaway programs came back at a number of retailers last year. With many consumers concerned about unemployment or underemployment, gas prices remaining high – the holiday mood for 2012 remains guarded at best.

There’s little doubt that Holiday 2012 will be a cat fight among retailers and eCommerce brands. This will certainly be the holiday season where “Innovate or Perish” will be the mantra.

At Thought-Tech we’re all over mobile commerce. It’s interesting to note how consumer behavior is changing when shopping with a mobile device. It’s common for consumers to use their devices for guidance in making purchasing decisions. Consider this:

  • Forty-three percent of shoppers use a mobile app to find items in store aisles
  • Nearly 11 percent of consumers use smartphones in store for making purchase decisions

And if you’re looking to penetrate the “noise” of marketing – use text. Text messages are read over 96 percent of the time and get eight times the results of email. That’s some serious ROI!

What’s mobile got to do with holiday layaway? Everything and nothing.

For nearly all retailers the holiday season is the period that tips their balance sheets into the profitable zone. Retailers who want to remain on the scene in 2013 will need to utilize every possible tool to reach consumers.

From our perspective connecting with consumers via mobile is essential. Here’s why, on average, Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on mobile devices. Mobile search has had 30x growth in the last 3 years. And perhaps most surprising, twenty-nine percent of mobile users would scan a mobile tag to get coupons for instant store use.

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