Take the ICFE's Interactive
and Over-spender's Quizzes
Advisory: Six retailer trends changing the way consumers spend in
"Are you a good spender? Or perhaps you may think
you might be an over-spender. Spending is one key to a successful
savings strategy and a sound financial future. Why? Because everyday
spending decisions, especially credit based ones, will do far more
harm to your financial future than any investment decision you are
likely to ever make," says ICFE president, Paul S. Richard.
To find out your spending
acumen, visit the ICFE's web site and take the two
retailer trends changing the way consumers spend in 2011.
1. Daily Deals
With the explosion of limited-time daily deals via group-buying
(more than 23 million in the last year) and flash-sale sites like
Gilt Group & Jetsetter.com,
it's no surprise other retailers have adopted this successful sales
strategy. In fact, online retailers like Target & Overstock now
offer Deal-of-the-Day sales that bode well for sales. Even Facebook
and Amazon have added daily deal services.
2. Name Your Own Price
Gap has recently taken the daily deal concept a step further with
the launch of its new
Gap My Price
program, which allows customers to bid for clothing and accessories.
The process is the same as with Priceline, which targets cost-conscious
travelers: You extend a sales offer for a particular item; Gap then
makes a final offer you can either accept or reject.
3. Free Shipping
Australia, retailers are talking about charging shoppers for
use of their changing rooms. The move is designed to prevent consumers
from trying items in-store, then buying them online at a discount
price. Fortunately, retailers have shifted marketing efforts to
target online shoppers by creating a more accessible e-shopping
experience and offering free shipping both ways as well as site
to store free shipping. Online stores like Zappos & Piperlime now
offer free shipping both ways and merchants like Walmart and REI
offer site to store free shipping. Discover more merchants that
offer free shipping both ways from this article on
4. Body Scanners In Malls
We're not talking about security scanners here, but rather a system
that helps you deal with manufacturer's increasingly different sizing
addresses this problem with mall kiosks offering free 20-second,
Here's how it works: You step fully dressed into a 380-degree booth
and a wand rotates around you, emitting low-power radio waves that
record roughly 200,000 body measurements to assess areas like bicep
circumference. The system then matches these measurements to sizes
in its database for roughly 50 stores, including Talbots, Old Navy
and Eddie Bauer. It sure beats trying on five different sizes of
jeans and (shudder) bathing suits.
5. Mobile Sales, Coupons and Instant Deals
The busier we become, the more we rely on our smartphones to shop,
compare prices and look for deals while on-the-go. Retailers have
cottoned onto this need as a new opportunity for capturing and engaging
customers. For example, the
iPhone app allows shoppers to research
mobile coupons for specific items, then use those same coupons
Foursquare has become increasingly popular as a way for retailers
and restaurants to provide special offers when you "check in." For
example, Ann Taylor in NYC may provide a 15-percent off deal on
full-priced merchandise for a shopper who has used Foursquare to
Amazon's iPhone App allows you to scan a bar code or take a
photo of a product seen while window shopping and, at the your later
convenience, purchase that item with just one click.
6. Social Media Sales
As Gen Xers move into their peak spending years and become entranced
by social-media shopping, more retailers are jumping on the bandwagon
to engage their customers via Twitter and Facebook. In fact, the
Facebook store, referred to as "F-Commerce," is an increasingly
popular outlet for retailers to target such social-media shoppers.
Also known as social shopping, the process allows consumers and
retailers to aggregate and share information in real time about
special offers, products, prices and purchases. The big advantage
to consumers is they needn't leave a social-media site to shop and
can immediately share their purchase with friends and other fans.
This helps reduce the solitary feeling of online shopping. Via social
media, merchants also provide information about special offers and,
increasingly, coupon codes and downloadable coupons.
Are you a good spender or perhaps you may
think you might be an over-spender. To find out which visit the
ICFE's web site and take the two
spending quizzes. For more information on personal finance classes
in your local area or to contact an ICFE Money Instruction Book
Certified Instructor visit
ICFE.info and click
on Directories to find one nearby.