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.