Times are tough for everyone, but especially hard on families. The American ideal of holiday gatherings around the family hearth are going up in smoke for many. These economic realities will force retailers to be more thoughtful and creative during this holiday season.
There should be no argument that families are changing their spending habits and adjusting their goals.
Elizabeth Harris, a consultant with Rivet has presented some statistics on how the recession has changed the spending habits of the typical family. She also has provided a list of seven items to explore when planning a support product or service for struggling families. We thank James Bickers and the Retail Customer Experience for bringing this information to our attention:
“People are really questioning the essentials of the American dream,” she said. “We’re seeing a loss of confidence.”
The Rivet study concluded that 73 percent of women feel that the recession has fundamentally changed the way they think about money. And Harris concludes that this change will likely continue once the good times return. For retailers and entrepreneurs, it is critical to get women to feel good about their spending, since 80 percent of family purchasing decisions are made by women.
Women are getting creative with the way that they spend the family budget. They take a critical look at items that are above and beyond the essentials, like health care, food and shelter. That means more swapping items with friends, buying in bulk, and putting off the purchase of non-essentials longer than before. Travel is reduced or cut all together, they eat out less and buy fewer prepared/convenience foods.
“When the economy is bad, women don’t stop shopping,” Harris said. “They shop differently.”
While making a presentation to a national retail group, Harris provided a wonderfully practical list of seven things retailers should do when planning a new campaign for families and particularly women.
As a new Facebook developer and online retailer, we are very excited about her list. We feel that AlbinoPhant, the Online White Elephant Party solves some of these family issues for the holidays:
1. Help her have fun with her family and mind her budget.
2. Provide a product or service that allows her to do more with less.
3. Take advantage of rituals that the family has to forego?
4. Reduce her risks in the purchase decision?
5. Change your competitive framework to this new landscape.
6. Help her see your product or service as a “need” rather than a “want”.
7. Merchandise around a solution to her problems. (Hasbro’s “Family Game Night” initiative is a good example of this.)
We are in midst of challenging times. Women are pressured to protect the family nest, and still pull the economic “rabbit out of the hat”. The retailers and service providers that creatively assist families to keep the magic alive will be rewarded this holiday season.
Thanks to LoveBscott.com for the image
The AlbinoPhant Creators
Your Party 2.0 Specialists