Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

Online shopping=Grandma’s catalog shopping on steroids December 23, 2011

“So far this holiday season, shoppers have spent $32 billion online, 15 percent more than last year,” stated a blog on the New York Times.  I think there are several classifications for the holiday online shopper.

1. The person that buys everything online. From my experience, I notice the men in my life utilizing this option than the women.
2. The person that buys a few things online, but the rest in a physical store. I fall into this category. I bought two gifts online, but do a lot of pre-shopping online before I hit the store. I need to know how it looks in real life. Is it soft? Scratchy?
3. The person that hits the mall for all gifts. This person also is the praying man; praying he will find a parking spot and praying he’ll have the patience to wait in long lines.

This blog and infographic shows you know how closely your holiday shopping habits fit with the norm.

It’s incredible how online shopping has taken on such a prominence in our culture over the years. Remember catalogs? My grandma still uses them, but she also doesn’t have a computer. I can’t imagine what Christmas would be like if she had access to online shopping!

The most interesting thing about online shopping is the creepy all-knowing SEM advertisements that pop up every time I log on these days. For example, I was doing a little shopping for myself and was looking at shoes, dresses and jewelry. What do I see every time I log onto the Internet? Shoes, dresses and jewelry.

More specifically, Mod Cloth is stalking me. I hate to give them more reason to taunt me with their cute dresses and shoes by listing them in my blog, but man, they sure know how to get a girl to notice them!

I’m simultaneously amazed and weirded out by all that search can do for marketers. It’s amazing how your every move is tracked and targeted online. From a business standpoint, it’s awesome. From a consumer standpoint, it’s creepy.

For some people, online shopping is not a trend to follow but instead, DIY gifts. Pinterest is an online sharing community where users can pin blogs, recipes or photos they think are cool. Other people can follow those boards and uncover endless fun things. This is an  unofficial statistic, but I would guess that a billion people are giving someone a homemade gift this year because of something they found on Pinterest.

OK, a billion is extreme, but some of my friends and family will be receiving homemade gifts and snacks from me and, according to my friends’ statuses on Facebook, so will their families.

Whether you are buying online, shopping online or making your own gifts inspired by something you saw online, holiday gift giving has come a long way from my grandma’s catalogs.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!


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