Reports: Price Will Be King During Holidays

Shoppers and retailers will be putting the emphasis on affordability this season, according to two recent surveys from The NPD Group and BDO Seidman LLP.

In its eight-annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending habits, NPD found that value would be the primary influence on shoppers this season. Sixty-two percent said that “overall value for the price” was their biggest reason to shop, and 61 percent of respondents said that a special sale price would give them a reason to buy.

Many consumers also will be more cautious in their purchasing decisions. For instance, 45 percent of participants said they would comparison shop this year — a five-year high, said NPD chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen. “The study’s results show consumers will be doing their homework a bit more carefully this year,” Cohen said in a statement.

And retailers plan to respond to shoppers’ needs, according to BDO Seidman, which surveyed chief marketing officers at leading U.S. retailers. The majority of participants (69 percent) said they plan to boost promotions and discounts during the holidays.

To get the word out, 55 percent of CMOs will focus heavily of e-mail promotions. The remaining will focus on free shipping (16 percent), search engine optimization (15 percent), social networking (10 percent) and online-only product (4 percent).

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