The retailer has also bowed celebrity gift shops for the holiday that spotlight exclusive items from Macy’s designers, such as Martha Stewart, as well as international gift shops with merchandise from the Rwanda Path to Peace and Heart of Haiti programs. Proceeds from gifts such as hand-woven Rwandan baskets and artisan home décor from Haiti go towards feeding, clothing and educating the families of these impoverished nations.
Macy’s charitable gift initiatives reflect the growing trend toward cause-related marketing, as shoppers increasingly want their purchases to reflect more than their own consumption.
According to the just-released 2010 Holiday Trend Tracker report from Cone, the cause-marketing firm, nearly 89 percent of consumers want companies to support causes this holiday season. In addition, 49 percent of Americans surveyed say they have already purchased or plan to purchase a holiday gift that supports a cause this year.
The New Deal
Merchants are also tapping technology to drive traffic, Noblin said. “The movement online and to mobile is strong as evidenced by things like Facebook Places.”
Retailers such as , American Eagle, the Gap and Macy’s have signed on for the new Facebook Deals, which brings shoppers special offers when they check into Facebook Places on their smart phones.
With its test of Facebook Places during November, Macy’s, with over 600,000 Facebook fans, hopes to attract a new “tech-crazed” shopper that is tethered to their mobile device and is “very engaged in anything Facebook,” Reardon said.
Sears and Kmart are among the retailers launching eGifting on Facebook, which allows users to purchase and send between $5 and $25 in eGift gift cards to a friend’s Facebook account or e-mail address. These are great for last-minute gifts as they are posted immediately.
J.C. Penney'scustomized Facebook pageis integrated into the retailer's main Web site. The company also features gift ideas with its weekly obsession item and a way to purchase gifts for children and senior citizens in need through its Salvation Army "Angel Giving Tree."Other features will roll out over the holidays, including a Facebook gfiting app that allows customers to share stories and get shopping advice.
Just as Facebook is changing the way retailers market, mobile is “revolutionizing” the way people shop, said Mike Boylston, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for J.C. Penney.
To that end, the retailer is launchingm.jcp.com this holiday, a mobile commerce site that features the chain’s entire product assortment so that users can make purchases on its main Web site directly from their smartphone.