Pitney Bowes Survey: 84 Percent of Consumers Plan to Spend Same or Less than 2011 Holiday Season

  Pitney Bowes Survey: 84 Percent of Consumers Plan to Spend Same or Less than
  2011 Holiday Season

   Despite challenging season, small businesses can attract customers with
              variety of inexpensive, efficient marketing tools

Business Wire

STAMFORD, Conn. -- November 12, 2012

The majority of U.S. consumers, 84 percent, will spend the same or less this
holiday season than they did last year, with the top influencer on making any
purchase being cost (30 percent), according to a new survey released today by
Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI). The survey is consistent with the findings of
the most recent NFIB Small Business Optimism Index which reported low
expectations by small businesses for the third consecutive month.

However, despite challenging times for both the consumer and the small
business owner, opportunities exist for businesses to attract those available
holiday dollars that are both inexpensive and efficient.

“When money is tight and there’s an absence of optimism, the most important
thing a small or medium-sized business can do is connect with the right
customers,” said Jeff Crouse, vice president and general manager, small and
medium businesses, Pitney Bowes. “There is a lot a business can do now to
capture those available dollars that costs very little, including creating
mobile web pages, reaching out through social media and extending appealing
offers in places that reach their customer most effectively.”

Crouse will join a panel of other small business experts and owners in a live
discussion Tuesday, November 13, from 12-1pm EDT on how to attract customers
when they are ready to buy. Timed to assist business owners to make the most
of the upcoming fourth quarter, the first free live streamed webcast is part
of the new Customer Magnet Series, presented by Pitney Bowes and Google.
(Twitter: #SMBmagnet)

Customer Magnet Series moderator Gene Marks, owner of The Marks Group and a
frequent commentator on small business issues, says small business owners are
capable of capturing new customers but have to think creatively. “Of course
these are challenging times. But the smart business people I know are using
inexpensive and powerful cloud, mobile and social tools to generate more
demand and grow their companies. I’m looking forward to discussing some of
these new ideas with the panel.”

Of the consumers surveyed, 52 percent say they’ll spend the same while 32
percent will spend less this holiday season. While small businesses can find
it difficult to compete with larger peers on cost alone, the second-most
influential factor in consumers’ purchasing decision are deals, including
coupons and online special offers (16 percent each), which many small
businesses can take advantage of to attract customers.

In the current cluttered environment, knowing how and to whom to market is
more important than ever. The survey found respondents consider big box
retailers, such as Costco and Home Depot, the best at promoting the products
they sell (52 percent), followed by major retailers such as Macy’s and Gap (35
percent), with small businesses and local shops trailing at only 8 percent.

The survey, conducted in October 2012 by ORC International, reached more than
1,000 U.S. consumers nationwide over the age of 18.

About Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes provides technology solutions for small, mid-size and large firms
that help them connect with customers to build loyalty and grow revenue. The
company’s solutions for financial services, healthcare, legal, nonprofit,
public sector and retail organizations are delivered on open platforms to best
organize, analyze and apply both public and proprietary data to two-way
customer communications. Pitney Bowes is the only firm that includes direct
mail, transactional mail, call centers and in-store technologies in its
solution mix along with digital channels such as the Web, email, live chat and
mobile applications. Pitney Bowes is a $5.3 billion company with 29,000
employees worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™.


Pitney Bowes Inc.
Barbara Hannan, 203-828-7656
Manager, External Communications
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