Memorial Day Weekend: Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Shoppers

Memorial Day is devoted to the men and women who died serving our nation. It also represents the beginning of the summer travel season, and this year, 34.8 million people plan to travel 50 miles or more away from their home over the long weekend. Also during this time, shoppers start to change their focus toward family trips, social outdoor activities, and purchasing summer essentials.

Memorial Day weekend is a social time, and marketers should take note, because it affects shopper behavior. According to The Checkout’s 2011 summer survey, 82% of shoppers indicated that their main source for gathering summer activity information is from friends and family. Therefore, this is the time to start marketing campaigns that generate buzz and create shopper engagement. To do so, marketers may consider using digital and social marketing to create shopper connections. Part 3 of the study, Untangling the Social Web, by The Integer Group and The North American CCRRC, reports that shoppers are using the social web to not only engage with brands and retailers but also learn about and discover new products, services, and experiences.

Though travel and socializing are a focus for shoppers during Memorial Day weekend, price is still an important consideration. In fact, it’s the most important consideration for shoppers when they plan summer activities (The Checkout’s 2011 summer survey). Keep your eyes peeled this weekend for interesting retail and brand executions that engage shoppers in conversation, ignite the summer spirit, and provide cost-effective solutions.

Contributed by Kim Chatman, Marketing Research Analyst, Integer Denver