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Posted by Ashley Autry on Nov 15, 2018 8:00:00 AM

The 2018 holiday season is officially here, and you can bet your bottom dollar that consumers everywhere are preparing for it.

The question is: are you?

Whether you're in the business of customer loyalty, employee engagement, or member retention, the holidays represent a major opportunity to strengthen the relationships you value most.

Here at Access, we want to help you get ready. After all, 91% of consumers say they plan to "celebrate the season" this year, giving you a chance to fill a stocking with goodwill. Read on to learn more about how (and why) a little extra care and consideration can go a long way during the holidays.

Holiday Spending: Bigger Than Ever

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, people are feeling pressure to stay on top of their holiday shopping. 18% of U.S. consumers started their yuletide spending as early as September, with another 21% beginning before November and 60% before Thanksgiving.

There's no intention of slowing down the festive spending this year as retail holiday sales in the U.S. are predicted to grow between 4.3% and 4.8% over 2017, with Americans projected to spend up to $720.89 billion this year. Last year, 58 of the 60 shopping days in November and December resulted in over $1 billion sales ALONE.

It's no secret people are spending larger-than-usual sums of money to get ready for the holidays. So what exactly are they spending their hard earned dollars on this time of year?

Consumers plan to spend a total of $1,007 on average for items like decorations, candy and gifts. When buying gifts for others, the most popular purchases are gift cards/certificates (54%), clothing (53%), toys/games (46%), books (43%) and food/liquor (39%). And many consumers, 78% to be exact, are looking simply to shop for themselves. When they do treat themselves, 42% say they'll choose food/liquor, 40% clothing, 26% shoes, 22% books and 21% cosmetics/fragrances/health & beauty.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Dec 27, 2016 9:34:00 AM

It's hard to believe that another year is already at an end, but the cold weather and snow outside our office are constant reminders that 2017 is just around the corner.

Looking back, 2016 was probably our best year ever. We know, it seems like we say that every year!

But it's true - Access Development experienced more growth and success than ever before. 2016 was just the latest in a steady upward trend for several years in a row now.

So what happened this year that's been so great? Here are just a few highlights from Access' 2016:

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 20, 2016 10:30:00 AM

In the last 15 minutes, I’m willing to bet you popped open your smartphone. Twice, maybe three times, even.

You might be texting, but you might have checked Facebook or Twitter, or added an item to your to-do list. If you’re like me, you may just pop the thing open every once in a while out of habit, like constantly opening the fridge in hopes of finding some sort of inspiration not there the last time you looked.

It’s okay to admit it. We’re all at various stages of smartphoneaholism.

The typical user checks their device 150 times a day - that’s once every seven minutes or so, assuming six hours of sleep. We keep it within arm’s reach at all times, and 10% even somehow manage to text during sex.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Dec 22, 2015 8:30:00 AM

As 2015 draws to a close, those of us at Access Development wanted to take a moment to say thank you to every one of our clients, partners, and contacts who helped make this year the best one yet. Along with our best wishes to each of you, here’s a brief recap of why 2015 has been so special - and why we think 2016 will be even better.

It was an unprecedented year in our product development, as we introduced five key solutions intended to address specific needs:

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jul 22, 2015 5:30:00 AM

It’s safe to say that mobile banking has reached critical mass. The use of mobile banking apps is increasing at a steady clip month to month, and some projections show up to a billion mobile banking app users within two years.

The growth has been so strong, severalmajorfinancialinstitutions are shutting down branches. As of last summer, the industry had shuttered 18% of its physical locations.

It makes sense. Why drive to a bank to deposit grandma’s birthday check when you can just snap a quick photo of it with your phone?

It’s a win-win for everyone. Customers get the convenience and speed of mobile. The financial institutions save a ton on the various expenses that come with operating a brick and mortar location.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jun 30, 2015 8:38:00 AM

Have you ever experienced dread while redeeming a coupon?

You know the moment. You hand your coupon over to the server or cashier, and their eyebrows furrow in a moment of apprehension as they stare at the coupon.

“Please don’t call over a manager please don’t call over a manager,” you silently plead.

Then the cashier confidently types in a code, and the coupon is mercifully applied without friction.

But when the cashier is confused? That’s the worst.

You can just feel the eyes of the others in line behind you burning into the back of your head while the cashier waits for the manager to come over (a process that always feels like hours).