As the holiday shopping season begins, an executive with DMI in Indianapolis says technology will continue to fuel shoppers’ buying choices. President of Digital Transformation Solutions Gregg Gallant says that goes beyond online offers. "You go to your favorite stores and download their apps," Gallant tells Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, "they’re immediately going to know your preferences for what you buy in that store and will give you promotional codes and promotional discounts for those items that you traditionally buy."
The National Retail Federation estimates 164 million people will go shopping from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. The organization expects Black Friday to be the busiest of those days, with 116 million people shopping, followed by 75 million on Cyber Monday and 67 million on Small Business Saturday.
Gallant says the use of social media for product placement and promotion is "on a rocket ship type of pace." He says, in addition to companies using their own channels to promote their products, they often partner with social media "stars" with thousands of followers to get their offerings in front of a larger audience.
"That’s changing the preferences of shoppers," says Gallant. After watching a video review of a product, for example, "oddly enough, they suddenly get an online ad for that same type of product in their Instagram feed, click on it and make the purchase. What they don’t recognize is that was all scripted, that was scripted by the marketers, those are paid product placements, product advertisements, all to get you to buy that type of product."