TrendSource Shopper Insights Study Suggests Consumers Spent More Than Anticipated On Gifts During Holiday Season

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TrendSource, a market research and strategic consulting firm specializing in consumer insights, conducted a two-part study to identify consumer buying trends for the 2013 Holiday Season, revealing significant insights for retailers.

Mobile Price Checking While In-Store

As these results show, mobile lifestyles are clearly on the rise and dominating the marketplace. Organizations (in all industries) need to have a strategy for how to serve consumers in a mobilized world.

Pre-Holiday Study

With the best of intentions, holiday shoppers enter each new holiday season with a plan in mind about how much they plan to spend on gifts, what they plan to purchase, and their top destinations.

To help retailers navigate the complexities of the holiday shopping experience and keep pace with today’s multi-device, omni-channel consumer, TrendSource Trusted Insight conducted the first part of what has now become an annual two-part research study during the holiday season. The pre-holiday study was conducted in October/November 2013. Find the pre-holiday study results and related infographic here.

Post-Holiday Study

The second part of the study, conducted in January 2014, involved analysis of consumer buying intentions leading up to the holidays and compared these results to actual reported shopping outcomes during the holidays. A secondary analysis also utilized year-over-year comparisons to the 2012 holiday shopping season.

The post-holiday study revealed that while consumers attempted to engage in more frugal spending habits, a large majority were not successful; 42% of respondents cited going over budget, compared to the 17% who actually intended to spend more than their 2012 budget. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, whether because of mindful planning or the deals and discounts that were available to them during the 2013 holiday season, consumers with household incomes under $25,000 were more successful staying under budget.

The two-part study also revealed that:

  • While in-store shopping continued to dominate the method of purchase, the rise of mobile was significant. Only 4% of consumers used mobile for their holiday shopping purchases in 2012, but results revealed 10% of consumers used mobile in 2013.
  • That’s not all consumers were using mobile for, though. Showrooming has become increasingly challenging for retailers, making the importance of creating an engaging customer experience differentiated from the online buying experience crucial. The frequency of checking for better prices while in-store during the 2013 holiday season increased significantly over 2012. Consumers continue to be savvy about their purchases and conscious of where they might find better deals.
  • And as with the 2012 results, consumers did not follow 2013 holiday gift shopping intentions either. In 2013, significant differences between intentions and outcomes are seen in Electronics, Toys, Books and Video Games/Consoles. Consumers instead opted for different categories of purchases like gift cards, kitchen appliances, home décor items, jewelry and food.

"As these results show, mobile lifestyles are clearly on the rise and dominating the marketplace. Organizations (in all industries) need to have a strategy for how to serve consumers in a mobilized world," says Jana De Anda, VP of Business Development for TrendSource, Inc.

Retailers will continue to face challenges in 2014, but the value of consumer insights like those summarized in this study can help target marketing efforts and manage merchandising and display strategies in an informed manner.

Download the Full 2013 Post-Holiday Consumer Insights Study

About This Study

TrendSource Trusted Insight conducted pre-holiday research by surveying North American Field Agents in the MSI network between October 22nd and November 10th, 2013. The results of the pre-holiday study represent 3,706 online respondents. The same survey methodology was used in post-holiday research between January 3rd and 12th, 2014. The results of the post-holiday study represent 2,948 online respondents. All respondents opted in to respond voluntarily.

About TrendSource

TrendSource has the unique distinction as a market research organization with ISO 9001:2013 certification. TrendSource is a market research and strategic consulting firm specializing in customer experience management, consumer insights measurement and compliance solutions. Together, we will create clarity in the world of business through Trusted Insight that delivers measurable ROI. With over twenty years of experience, TrendSource’s customized solutions deliver highly efficient Customer Experience Programs that quantify service gaps, provide prescriptive/corrective solutions, identify trends, and provide actionable solutions through enhanced reporting and analysis.

For more information about TrendSource and/or this study, email trustedinsight (at) trendsource (dot) com.

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Heather Parker
TrendSource, Inc.
+1 (619) 718-7467 Ext: 237
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since: 04/2009
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