NPD Releases Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends Report For The Week Ending December 5, 2011

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Shows A Significant Online Share Increase

Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

This overall dip in brick & mortar shopping conversion is the expected during this time period,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc., “What is interesting is how the online business has become a bigger part of holiday shopp

The NPD Group Inc.’s Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends* report takes a look at shopping activity for the two week time period that straddled the Thanksgiving holiday time period. The report shows an increase in total buying visits (brick & mortar and online) and an increase in the online share of buying visits, however there was an overall decrease in brick & mortar shopping conversion.

During the week ending December 5, 2011 total buying visits (brick & mortar and online) were up 5.6 percent from the previous week, and for the week prior total buying visits had increased 3.8 percent. These are the only two consecutive weekly increases reported since tracking began in August. These increases can be attributed to the activity spurred by Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

See Chart: Percent Change all Buying Visits (Brick&Mortar + Online)

While there had been an increase in shopping activity overall, there was a decline in brick & mortar shopping conversion rates. For the week ending December 5, 2011 brick & mortar shopping conversion dropped to 66.9 percent, down from the previous week’s conversion rate of 67.9 percent.

See Chart: Brick & Mortar Shopping Conversion Rate
Weeks Ending Nov. 14 – Dec. 5, 2011

A look at the individual brick & mortar retail channels shows that there were some that posted increases in conversion. The specialty footwear store channel had one of the highest increases in their brick & mortar shopping conversion (+44 percent). Department stores and toy stores were the next highest both were up 13 percent.

“This overall dip in brick & mortar shopping conversion is the expected during this time period,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc., “What is interesting is how the online business has become a bigger part of holiday shopping all season long.”

Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends* report shows that much of the increase in shopping activity appears to have happened through the online channel. Overall, online share of buying visits jumped to 17.3 percent, up from 13.9 percent the previous week. Here again the largest increase since tracking began.

See Chart: Online Share of Buying Visits
Weeks Ending Nov. 14 – Dec. 5, 2011

“Going forward we will be able to see which retailers will have the edge, which merchandise is getting the consumer to purchase,” said Cohen, “And as we get deeper into this post-Thanksgiving time period with this report we will be able to see which retailers have the right balance of new products at the right prices. Ultimately, they are the ones that will prosper through the rest of the season. And how well they do can be the difference between ‘make-or-break’ for the year.”

*The Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends is special report from The NPD Group, Inc.’s Shopping Activity Service. The Shopper Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report will follow the weekly holiday shopping trends over the course of the 2011 holiday retail season and will be released weekly. Shopping Activity Services is a study fielded to 4,750 U.S. consumers daily. It captures brick and mortar shopping behavior and online purchase behavior in categories from Apparel to Entertainment to Groceries to Video Games. In response to demand for more granular data this report has been enhanced as of November 7, 2011 data has been restated to reflect that enhancement. The result is a shift in the actual values however the directionality of the results remains in-tact.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at twitter.com/marshalcohen and twitter.com/npdfashion. Become a fan of Marshal Cohen at http://www.facebook.com/npdmarshalcohen and watch more on NPD’s YouTube channel.

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Beth Boyle
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