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Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Shopping’

Marketers Positioned to Unwrap Higher Sales this Holiday Season

Friday, October 17th, 2014

With the 2014 holiday season drawing near, marketers should have a lot to feel good about, according to IRI’s Q3 2014 MarketPulse™ survey. Consumer confidence is on an upward trajectory, and shoppers say they’re planning to spend a bit more during this holiday season. The National Retail Federation predicts retail sales will be up by 4.1 percent this November and December, with overall 2014 holiday sales projected at $616.9 billion—an increase of more than 3.1 percent over 2013.

For consumers rolling into the holiday season on a high note, spending plans may include a more extravagant holiday meal. Five percent of consumers plan to spend more on holiday celebration related food and beverages this year, compared with 4 percent loosening the purse strings in 2013 and 3 percent in 2012. Additionally, fewer shoppers are focused on cutting back. Approximately one-quarter of consumers (28 percent) intend to spend less this year than last year, as compared to 33 percent in 2013 and 36 percent in 2012.

Regarding the holiday meal, MarketPulse also revealed the following attitudes:

  • 62 percent will prepare the best meal possible but will work to keep cost down
  • 18 percent view holidays as a time to splurge and will put on the best meal possible
  • 65 percent will buy as many or more gourmet/premium products this year versus last year

These insights certainly indicate many opportunities for marketers to boost sales and enjoy a nice piece of the holiday spending pie. To reap the greatest benefits, marketers will need to communicate value throughout the shopper journey. One essential tactic this year will be getting onto consumers’ shopping lists. List making is key for holiday shopping, and 33 percent of shoppers say they will cut back on unplanned purchases this year.

That said, there is still an opportunity to attract impulse buyers. For example, one-third of consumers say they will leveraging in-store promotions, meaning compelling in-store promotions will be an absolute must for CPG marketers.

For further MarketPulse insights, please visit: http://www.iriworldwide.com/Insights/Publications/MarketPulseSurvey.aspx.

Concern Over Government Dysfunction to Dampen Holiday Spending

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

With only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas— six fewer than last year— the retail industry is already up in arms about turning a sufficient profit. But the shortened holiday shopping period isn’t the only factor manufacturers and retailers need to worry about. According to a special IRI survey, 43 percent of consumers plan to rein in their 2013 holiday spending, not because of lack of time, but because of concerns about the debt ceiling crisis and another possible government shutdown. Those who plan to cut back include 53 percent of lower-income households, 52 percent of Hispanics and 47 percent of all households.

Conducted between October 31 and November 5, 2013, IRI’s survey provided follow-up information as a supplement to the Q3 MarketPulse study, which was conducted in the days leading up to the 2013 government shutdown. The government may be back in working order,
but consumer confidence has not bounced back so quickly. In fact, many consumers are tightening their wallets this holiday season in order to build a safety net in case of another shutdown.

Along with a lack on confidence in their personal finances, consumers now display an overall lack of confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to pass a 2014 budget that will avoid the debt ceiling crisis. Only 15 percent of consumers are confident that the government will reach an agreement, while the majority (53 percent) is skeptical as to whether the government can avert another shutdown. Thirty-two percent remain uncertain. If the country does hit the new debt ceiling, and the government is forced to shut down in early 2014:

  • 57 percent of consumers expect their financial strain to increase, versus 46 percent who anticipated increased strain before the October 2013 shutdown
  • 45 percent of consumers say they will have less money to spend on groceries, versus 35 percent before the October 2013 shutdown
  • 44 percent of all consumers say they will have to reduce/eliminate trips to some of their favorite stores, compared to only 31 percent before the October 2013 shutdown

Consumers are prepared to strap down their wallets at any sign of trouble, and the impending debt ceiling crisis and plausible government shutdown is no exception. CPG retailers and manufacturers must keep a close eye on the situation and be prepared to react rapidly to whatever happens next. As challenging as this time is, it is also a critical opportunity to protect and grow loyalty by ensuring that key consumers know that their preferred CPG companies have their backs and are making efforts to support them by providing strong value every day, particularly in the event of another yet another financial obstacle .

Consumers Still Feel Wary of Economic Future Heading Into the Holidays

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

We’ve had a busy week here at SymphonyIRI with the release of our Holiday Shopping 2011 survey results and Point of View, “Gray Skies: Consumers with negative views of government’s handling of the economy have hunkered down and reined in spending—for the long haul.” Both uncovered similar trends and while it is no surprise consumers are still feeling wary about the economic future, attitude toward spending is directly reflected upon their shopping behavior.

The Holiday Shopping 2011 survey that looked at shopping attitudes of 2,000 consumers (a nationally representative sample) found that this holiday season 81 percent will be turning to the Internet for the best deals and shopping online this year.  While consumers expressed a desire to have a holiday season consistent with those experienced prior to the economic downturn, they are being extra conscious about exactly how and what they are spending their money on this year.  A few examples of money saving strategies during the holiday season include:

  • 79 percent of consumers will be making their grocery purchase decisions before entering the store
  • 26 percent plan to spend less on holiday gifts with most budgets (74 percent) topping out at $800 for gifts
  • 48 percent of consumers will take advantage more often of promotions learned online versus 50 percent, who will leverage online promotions with the same frequency as last year

While the holiday survey took a thorough look at holiday spending trends, many similarities with regard to shopper outlook was uncovered in the ”Gray Skies” Point of View  that indicated 82 percent of shopper behavior is being impacted by negative feelings towards government spending, resulting in uncertainty that will undoubtedly impact holiday budgets.

This tightening of the belts has caused consumers to continue being creative with their saving and spending habits. And, thanks to the Internet and new technology, efforts to save money often are quick and easy, even literally at consumers’ fingertips on smartphones and other devices.

Between the Holiday Shopping 2011 research and the “Gray Skies” Point of View, it’s clear that the common and familiar theme among consumers of being conscious of personal finances, planning for the future and getting creative with savings and purchase decisions is here to stay. As the uncertainty of the economic future remains, it’s clear that the mindful spending habits of consumers will also continue creating an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to capitalize on money saving promotions, strategies and programs.

Holiday Shopping Trends…The Race is on!

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

SymphonyIRI recently revealed consumer holiday shopping trends with the release of new research, “SymphonyIRI Group Special Report: Holiday Shopping 2010.” The report summarizes survey findings from 1,000 consumers to reflect a cross-section of American shopper’s holiday spending plans for 2010. The primary takeaway is simple: while consumers are being conservative, there is plenty of opportunity to be had for retailers. Consumers do recognize the holidays as a special time. Almost half of consumers are looking to maintain family traditions and feel compelled to meet seasonal expectations. In short, consumers are looking to provide indulgence on a budget.

The survey reflects a trend that SymphonyIRI has been seeing from consumers throughout 2010 in which households of all income levels are still spending, but they’re being more resourceful and strategic with their budgets. A few examples include making lists, purchasing store brands, giving practical gifts, shopping across channels, looking for bargains and utilizing coupons.

In case you missed the recent webinar, below is a brief slideshow to give you a taste of what we have in store during the next few months as the holiday season takes flight.

If you’re not following SymphonyIRI on Twitter yet, start following us @SymphIRI. Below is a brief recap of our live Tweets from the webinar.

  • This year, be out early & often, reach into consumers’ homes during planning, connect w/ shoppers through both old and new media
  • About one-third of households earning $55K and more are comparing products on the Internet more frequently this year before making holiday celebration-related food and beverage purchases
  • Holiday cut backs: 40% of consumers will actively work to reduce debt & 25% of shoppers R looking 2 increase savings
  • 49% of consumers stated that would like to RECEIVE gift cards as a gift this holiday season
  • 24% of consumers indicate that they will purchase more functional gifts this year than they did last year
  • This year, 30% of shoppers plan to purchase holiday gifts in the dollar channel.
  • 54% of consumers plan 2 shop online for holiday gifts. Internet usage this holiday season will skew toward wealthier households.
  • Even among the country’s wealthiest households, one-quarter of consumers are shrinking their holiday gift purchasing budget.
  • Holiday Spending Webinar – 59% will spend less than $500 on holiday gifts this year!
  • Holiday 2010 budget influencers: Finances are tighter versus last year / concerned about immediate financial future and economy
  • Develop marketing messages that will “wow” shoppers w/delectable feasts & generous gifts an affordable reality.
  • 25% of beer, wine, spirits shoppers, though, plan to trim back expenditures this year
  • Those planning beer, wine & spirits purchases this holiday season: nearly 66% are budgeting in line with budgets from last year

Watch the archived webinar @ Holiday Shopping 2010