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It’s Going to be a Happy Mother’s Day for Retailers

Smile mom, according to National Retail Federation, the average person buying for Mother’s Day is expected to spend $140.73 on gifts, up from $126.90 last year, with total spending expected to reach $16.3 billion. That’s a lot of flowers and cards.

BIGresearch conducted the NRF’s 2011 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey and they found that mom will be getting more electronics this year (13.3% up from 9%), including smartphones, cameras and tablets. (Lucky moms)

Look, a chart!

Mothers Day 2011 - Average Spending_small.

Google Offers Groupon Competition With Offers

Google is playing the classic “if you can’t buy’em, join’em” game with its new Offers service.

The service is being rolled out Portland, OR (no surprise there), Oakland / East Bay, San Francisco as well as offering NYC Uptown, Midtown and Downtown editions. It’s not a whole lot different than any other offer/coupon/deal site in that there will be daily e-mails with discounts for 24 hour periods etc, etc. You can subscribe here if you happen to be in one of those areas.

So we can keep things light let’s just watch Google’s video about the service (which is more advertising than information but who’s counting?).

Two Thirds of Deal Buyers Return For More

Nearly two-thirds (64.6 percent) of daily deal buyers returned later to patronize the businesses where they used a daily deal and 60 percent spent more than the deal value while they were there the first time.

How do you like them apples? We knew there had to be a reason deal sites kept popping up. They actually work! They actually bring in business. Who knew?

These new survey results come from Lightspeed and they were based on answers given by the 3,300 respondents who are members of Lightspeed Research’s U.S. online panel.

Take a look at this:

Those are some nice numbers there. And the fact that the users were on the fence tells me that they hadn’t used the service or bought the product before, so that 60% is likely all new customers.

The Real Cost of the Free Sample

The free sample is a staple of marketing. Just spend an hour walking through Costco or perusing a money-saving mommy blog. Look at the number of people who will give up a Facebook “like” in order to get one or how many friend’s email addresses they’ll pimp out in return.

The trouble is, free samples aren’t free for the business who provides them. They actually cost quite a bit of money, particularly if they have to be shipped to thousands of people. Consumers don’t get this. Especially if they’re asking a business to donate an item to a local charity. Consumers think, well, you’re making cookies anyway, so what’s the big deal about making two dozen more in support of the youth soccer team? After all, it’s good advertising for your company, right?

Where Do Consumers Go for Product Reviews? Not Social Media

Going online to research a product before you buy it is something nearly everyone does at least a few times a year. People look up everything online, especially high-tech items, clothing, cars, and even DVDs and CDs. And you can bet that what they read online is influencing which item they buy and who they buy it from.

But where do people look for information? Lightspeed Research has the answer.

As you can see, social networking lands at the bottom of the list, which doesn’t bode well for all those brand “likes” on Facebook.

Naor Chazan, Marketing Director, Americas at Lightspeed Research says,

“Despite their role in our digital lives, social networks don’t yet seem to be the place where Word of Mouth is delivering its full power.”

Email Subscribers ‘Can’t Wait’ to Open Deal Newsletters

I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters and there are several that I would greatly miss if I stopped receiving them. But I can’t think of one missive that I receive on a regular basis that I would say I “can’t wait” to open.

This is not the case with your average bargain shopper. According to a report compiled by eMarketer, more than half the people who subscribe to deal newsletters are excited to get them to the point where they “can’t wait” to see what’s inside.

I love shopping. I love deals, but really? Part of me wants to suggest that these people need a hobby, but the marketing part of me says, yippee! This is great news. And it gets better. Remember the concept of deal fatigue? Guess it’s not happening. . . yet.

Forrester Says Facebook and eCommerce Don’t Mix

Forrester Research just released a new report called “Will Facebook Ever Drive eCommerce?” and the folks at the Wall Street Journal have given us a sneak peek.

The report basically states that right now Facebook is not at all effective for driving eCommerce sales.

The study found that the average Facebook metrics are a 1% click-through rate and a 2% conversion rate. E-mail marketing, by comparison, has an 11% click-through rate and a 4% average conversion rate.

The reason for this is obvious. People don’t go to Facebook to shop. They primarily go to catch up with friends or play games. Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru acknowledges that people will go to a Facebook brand page and “like” it in order to get a coupon, but that’s a fleeting interest that may have no impact on future sales (except, I suppose the sale connected to the one-time coupon use.)