By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
Well this week officially puts us into the Summer of 2009. I'm feeling a bit melancholy today since we will be attending the high school graduation ceremony tonight of my youngest daughter. She recently walked in the door after finishing up the physics regents exam this morning and shouted "no more high school!"
So I can't believe where the time has gone. I know every parent says that, but it's so true. More recently, where did this Spring go? After what always feels like a long winter, especially in Western New York, spring just flew by. It seems like just yesterday it was Easter and the kids were getting ready for their spring recess.
Many families go on a vacation during Spring break, however we didn't this year because our daughter was on the varsity softball team and they had their own road trip which was mandatory if you were on the team. So then it took us right into softball season, which we've been watching our daughters plays since they were in the rookie league back when I coarsened my husband into being a coach. He ended up coaching for ten years and loving every minute of it. Of course except when one of the parents would get too involved, which there always were a few of those kind.
Were going to really miss the games, the kids and many of the parents.. The end of the school year is busy enough, but when you add in the fact that it's their senior year, there are so many more events. Next is the graduation party that we're preparing for which is this Friday and the entire weekend is filled with parties from other grads in her class. So besides graduations, Spring also consisted of Mother's Day, Father's Day and don't forget those weddings.
Now being in marketing and having worked with Kodak for some many years, we always built seasonal promotions around the Dads, Grads and Wedding theme, even though I've never personally liked lumping them all together.
comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, yesterday released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer online activity which I found some interesting stats. During May online visitation at gift-related sites increased tremendously as Mother’s Day and the other seasonal events prompted many to search for gifts online. Coupon sites also witnessed strong growth as bargain-hunting remained a top priority for many Americans. So I'm going to assume a vast majority of this online activity was from women.
“Mother’s Day, along with high school and university graduations and the beginning of wedding season, make May a traditionally strong time of year for flowers, gifts and greetings sites,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “Coinciding with gains to these sites in May we also saw a sharp increase in the number of visitors to online coupon sites this year. As rising summer gas prices put the squeeze on Americans’ overall purchasing power, online coupon sites have become an attractive resource for reducing retail costs during this gift-giving season.”
Besides the flower sites being highly visited, I was surprised, based on the fact that the economy is still in a recession, to learn that the Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories category experienced double-digit growth. Nearly 18 million visitors during the month visited sites in this category with Swarovski Crystal leading and Kay Jewelers following.
That's the opposite of what the rest of the report shared which is that millions of Americans turned to online coupon sites in May for better deals on their retail purchases. The Coupon category posted a particularly strong month, up 19% to 34.7 million visitors to lead as the top-gaining category in May. Coupons.com captured the #1 position with more than 15 million visitors, a gain of 85% from the previous month. I was one of those consumers that visited the site and downloaded some coupons for my grocery shopping trips.
And speaking of Kodak, photo sites witnessed strong growth in May as consumers posted, viewed and ordered photos from and for gifts of these seasonal events. I finally got all my photos downloaded out of my camera, onto my computer, cropped and edited and then uploaded to my Kodak Gallery account so I could share them with friends and family. Here's one on my daughter with her friend Libbie dressed in yellow for Senior Day. I'll be taking more photos tonight and all weekend.
More than 90 million Americans, slightly less than half of the total U.S. online population, visited a photo site in May. Facebook.com photos led the category with 34.6 million visitors, followed by Photobucket.com with 28.1 million visitors and Flickr.com with 24.4 million visitors. (which by the way "Summer" photo I used at the top of this post came from Photobucket).
So congrats to my daughter on her graduation and here's to the next chapter in your life. For now let the more laid-back summer season begin. I certainly don't want to wish it away, but I expect that with two teenage daughters at home that we'll all be welcoming September when they both go off to college! Oh yea BTW, get ready next for those back-to-school ads and promotions which should probably be starting up right after the 4th of July!