Top Story: Holiday spending projected to increase by 8%-11%
Holiday cheer is here for retailers to take advantage of expected rise in sales. Shop.org released its holiday shopping report this week:
Shop.org today released its 2014 online holiday sales forecast, expecting sales in November and December to grow between 8 – 11 percent over last holiday season to as much as $105 billion. Shop.org forecasts sales based on government data including, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. Holiday non-store sales in 2013 grew 8.6 percent.
eMarketer, another retail forecaster, expected holiday sales to be even higher, placing the spike at 16.6%.
It sounds as if very few will be skimping on their Secret Santa gifts this year. National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz stated this rise in demand is due in part to a stronger economy. “In the grand scheme of things, consumers are in a much better place than they were this time last year,” Kleinhenz stated. “The extra spending power could very well translate into solid holiday sales growth for retailers.”
During recent holidays, a significant portion of this spending has happened online: 2013’s Black Friday garnered 92 million credit card swipes. Of those, 47.1% did their shopping online, and 25 million chose to shop on a mobile device.
Whether online or in stores, it seems as if shoppers are ready for a cheery holiday season.
Tool of the Week: Sniply
Sniply, a new sharing tool, is fast becoming marketer’s new favorite social media tool.
If you’re wondering what Sniply is, the easiest way to describe it is a revised (and improved) version of bitly: It allows you to integrate messages with shared links.
Sniply allows individuals to attach a call-to-action to every link that is shared. Sharing content on social media is made easy by attaching a backlink to a message that is linked with a website. This simple yet effective tool allows individuals sharing content to directly drive audiences to a website from external links. The New York Times shares a comprehensive example of how the tool works.
Sniply isn’t only simple, it’s accessible. The company offers a free basic package that allows 100 conversions per month and one user per account. If you’re looking for more features and flair, upgrade to Sniply’s $19 per month PRO Plan, which gives brands the option to customize colors, buttons and banners. Furthermore, collaborative efforts are easily streamlined through the premium plan by allowing up to 5 individuals to collaborate on tagging links.
Lastly, tracking tools lets users access an analytics page that offers shortened link tracking, click-through rates, and average time of site visits.
Sniply has many other features that go beyond sharing external links. For additional ideas for how to use this tool to your advantage, here are some additional strategies:
- Share your blog posts by adding a message with Sniply to your latest topic, or suggest readers to explore other content such as case studies or guides.
- Use Sniply with other message scheduling tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite. By scheduling content, you can create relevant messages far in advance.
- Embed shortened links into newsletters, white papers or case studies that provide further information or context
Under The Radar: Snapchat Advertising Set to Launch Soon
Don’t be surprised if you receive a 10-second snap from your favorite company.
Snapchat recently announced that it plans to hop on the commercialization bandwagon by immersing ads to its Snapchat Stories feature. This will be the first direct source of revenue for the three-year-old company.
24-year-old Co-Founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel made a statement on the developing opportunity at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in San Fransisco, saying,
We’re cutting through a lot of the new technology stuff around ads to sort of the core of it, which I think has always been telling a story that leaves people with a new feeling. They’re not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don’t if you don’t.
The social media app says ads will not be targeted to individual users’ tastes, so be prepared to see a wide range of brands infiltrating your feed. Though it has been said that the company is in talks with magazines, television networks and other media sources, big-name brands such as Taco Bell and Grubhub might take advantage of this new advertising opportunity as well.
Spiegel says the Stories feature won’t just be used for companies to push content out to snapchatters; The platform hopes another focus of the layout will be to provide the opportunity for users to attend the same events or share their experiences.
In recent years, many social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram have welcomed advertisements as a way to reach consumers on engaged, interactive platforms. It seems that Snapchat, too, has realized how it can harness the power of its community.
Around the Hub: Time Capsule from 1901 To be Opened
On Thursday, October 9th, the Bostonian Society plans to remove the lions head statue atop the Old State House on Washington Street in Boston. This gleaming and ornate statue is rumored to be a time capsule dating back to 1901. The Bostonian Society got ear of the statues’ contents a few years ago from a woman whose great great grandfather worked on the renovations of the Old State House. The rumors were confirmed last month when the lion statue was removed from the top of the building for refurbishing.
A group that run the museum inside the Old State House believes that the lion statue contains a great deal of precious written material, including newspaper clippings, personal letters, and political journalism. The items recovered from the lions head will most likely not be released immediately for public viewing, as they must be carefully handled and preserved. The 113 year old documents are an incredible memento, and could provide the people with a rare insight into the minds of America’s past thinkers.
The Old State house was the site of the Boston Massacre in 1770, the initial reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the first location of the Massachusetts governement. Theorists, historians, and spectators eagerly await further information about the mysterious lions head time capsule contents.