According to a new survey from American Express, 30% of U.S. consumers plan to adjust this year's travel plans for Thanksgiving — historically one of the busiest travel days of the year — but only 21% expect those expenses to decrease compared to last year. Respondents whose plans are changing said they'll rely more on automobile travel, stay for a shorter time and cash-in rewards to help pay for holiday trips. The most significant changes are from the young professionals — 37% said they've adjusted their plans versus the affluent and general population (both 30%).
Category: Purchase Intent
With an understanding that many of today's shoppers use Facebook and Twitter regularly, and because these tools are more cost-effective than traditional advertising, 47.1% of retailers surveyed will be increasing their use of social media this holiday season, according to a recent Shop.org study. In addition, to provide consumers with an extra incentive to start shopping, one-third of retailers (34.3%) say they will offer holiday deals earlier this year. Online retailer are also compensating for the economy by offering incentives such as free shipping. Four out of five online retailers (79.4%) will offer free shipping with conditions (such as minimum purchase) at some point during the holiday season, while more than half (57.4%) also plan to offer free shipping without conditions.
The outlook for seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter of 2009 is projected to be similar to 2008, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Eighteen percent of hiring managers plan to hire seasonal workers to meet business needs associated with the holidays and end-of-the-year wrap-ups, on par with 17% in 2008. Seasonal positions may prove to be the break job seekers are looking for as three-in-ten (31%) hiring managers indicate they are likely to hire a seasonal worker for a full time position. The most popular positions identified for seasonal recruitment include customer service, retail sales, administrative/clerical, hospitality, shipping/delivery, inventory, technology and accounting/finance.
Evidence that consumers are spending more time in the kitchen is as close as a peek at the sales figures scored by packaged deli meats. The total dollar sales of these products grew 6% in the last year to $5.3 billion at the retail level. Phil Lempert, writing for Facts, Figures & The Future, reminds readers that packaged cold cuts offers consumers three key advantages: convenience, savings and variety.
Screen size and a better picture are the two most important things for prospective TV buyers, according to the new study, "2009 TV Inventory Study," conducted by The NPD Group. One-in-four consumers say they'll most likely be making a new TV purchase in the next six months. Screen size continues to be a strong driver for consumers, which is good news in this price- conscious environment. With average prices falling dramatically over the past year, consumers can now get more for even less without having to sacrifice the features they want.
The Second Annual Benchmark Survey on Consumer Coupon Behavior, conducted by HarrisInteractive for RetailMeNot, found that consumers are increasingly defining their spending habits by whether or not retailers offer coupons. According to the new survey, 30% of online adults will not make a purchase at an online store if they can't find a coupon for that store, up from 27% in 2008. The survey also revealed that coupon use in the current economic environment is on the rise across nearly all demographics, but is highest among the employed and educated (college graduated).
According to a recent study by Communispace, the recession has added considerable stress to this already overburdened population known as "the sandwich generation," baby boomers who support kids, parents, relatives and themselves at the same time. Over 20 million Americans belong to this unique consumer segment. Feeling stretched, overwhelmed, and under-supported this segment of consumers has particular needs and hopes that marketers must understand. For example, 77% would adapt the things they'd purchase to accommodate parents; for example, when buying a new car they'd consider buying one with a larger trunk (to hold a parent's wheel chair or walker), rather than one that is comfortable or gets good gas mileage. A "considerable number" of people are looking for more culturally and linguistically appropriate services for their elderly parents (many of whom don't speak English).
As the U.S. economy suffered in 2008, the environment provided an opportunity for some online retailers to focus on gaining market share while other retailers struggled. For many, that concentration proved successful: according to a recent survey from Shop.org, one-third of online retailers (33%) said they increased market share during the downturn. As the economy begins to stabilize and consumer confidence grows, online retailers are hopeful for the future with guarded optimism. Four out of five online retailers (60%) believe the U.S economy will improve within the next year, and half (50%) think their web business will actually fare better than expected in the next 12 months.
During the recent recession, if consumers went out to eat at all they often traded down to quick service establishments. This change in behavior benefited operators like McDonald’s which last week reported a revenue increase of 3.8% at restaurants open for over a year. But as the news of economic improvement continues, some industry watchers believe the family dining segment is a strong competitor.
Parents' primary motivation in purchasing organic products is health related. Some 55% of parents who buy organic do so because they believe them to be "healthier for me and for my children," according to the Organic Trade Association. New parents, in particular, are increasingly finding that their newborn serves as the impetus to go organic. They begin to serve it as the child's first meal and gradually increase their commitment as the child grows.
The Internet has clearly become a go-to holiday shopping resource. Despite the fact that 63% of consumers express concern over credit card security when making an online purchase, seven out of ten (69.3%) still plan to make an online holiday purchase, according to a recent study conducted by Burst Media. Consumers will also use the Internet to "window shop". The most popular online window-shopping activities are comparing different retailers to find the best price (56.8%), and comparing the features of different brands (55.3%).
The NPD Group, Inc. company recently released the results of its annual survey of consumers' holiday spending intentions. Thirty percent of consumers surveyed told NPD they ‘plan to spend less' this holiday, which is a four point increase over last year's results. What will motivate consumers to purchase this holiday? The survey results point to ‘value' as a primary motivator this year. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents stated value plays a big role in determining what and where they buy. The survey results show some upward movement in consumer purchasing intentions for accessories, music, and fragrances. Electronics and apparel are another bright spot.