New data released by Motista suggests that retailers should look beyond the traditional set of holiday emotions and themes of the season, such as family and giving, to understand what’s really motivating consumers to spend more. The study also reveals different ways in which consumers interact and connect with retailers… useful, says the report, as retailers plan their holiday marketing campaigns.

According to the report, overall awareness and familiarity with 10 major retail brands tracked were high, but only 18% of consumers indicated an emotional connection to their retailer and only 24% of consumers indicating they would make their next relevant purchase with the retailers they frequent today.

Key findings in the survey illustrate that building deeper connections with consumers can help drive higher levels of purchase intent, response rates, online engagement and advocacy. According to the study:

  • Consumers who feel emotional connections to their retailers are four times more likely to shop those retailers first when relevant needs arise, as compared to consumers who are simply familiar and satisfied with their retailers. Connected customers also respond to direct mail from their retailers twice as often as consumers who are familiar and satisfied
  • Consumers that feel a connection to their retailers are shopping their retailers’ websites via mobile devices ten times more often than consumers who are simply satisfied. And these connected consumers are following their retailers on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, four times more often
  • While consumers want to be inspired, they’re also looking to retailers to help make their lives simpler. Top connections resonating with retail consumers include: the retailer simplifies my life; the retailer helps me live my life the way I want to live it; and by shopping at the retailer, I get a sense of accomplishment
  • When consumers feel a connection with their retail brand, they are 50% more likely to advocate for the brand and recommend the retailer to others.
Customer Performance (Approx % of Category)

Customer Type

Shopping Activity Connected Customers Satisfied Customers
Always shop retailer first



Respond to direct mail from retailer



Shop retailer via mobile device



Follow retailer on social network



Recommend retailer to friend, family, etc



Source: Motista, August 2011

Alan Zorfas, co-founder and CMO of Motista says that “… the long-term takeaway for retailers is the importance of establishing more relevant connections with their customers… what’s really motivating them beyond expected themes… ”

The report segmented the data to look more closely at how men and women interact with retail brands, and the data reveals that genders connect and experience retailers in different ways. Consider the following, says the report:

  • Men are 50% more likely to feel that their preferred retailer makes them a more valuable person. Men are also 53% more likely to feel that people will see them differently because they shop at a particular retailer, and 30% more likely to feel that their retailer personalizes its relationship with them.
  • Women establish connections with retailers around the perception that the retailers are fun and stylish. Women are 18% more likely to connect with retailers they consider to be fun, and 18% more likely to connect with their retailer if they believe the retailer is stylish
  • While men and women both follow retail brands on social media networks at approximately the same rate, 10%, men are more likely to engage with retailers through online touch points. Men are twice as likely as women to engage in a live chat through a retailer’s website, and twice as likely as women to make purchase through mobile devices

Zorfas concludes that “… the data provides valuable insight into… differences in how men and women actually connect with retailers… knowing what emotions drive connection for both genders… provide(s) critical insights for campaign planning… ”

Data for this analysis was fielded during the second quarter of 2011 with a sample size of 4,200 (margin of error +/- 2% at a 95% confidence level). Included are consumers of retail brands, including Aeropostale, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Gap, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn and Walmart.

SOURCE MediaPost

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