Shopping on Black Friday made me feel old this year.
Not because we actually began shopping on Thursday. Not because I’ve been scouting out the doorbusters, deep discounts, and special sales for close to 20 years. But because the general make-up of the bargain hunting crowds really seemed to shift this year. After heading out at 8PM on Thanksgiving, it seemed like we were met by a sea of tweens and teens. Before I knew it, my friend and I were muttering phrases like “Where are your parents?” and “Don’t you have a curfew?”
The progressively earlier store openings for the “Black Friday” bonanza of shopping has apparently lent itself to a whole new group of shoppers. Instead of the traditional early birds setting their alarms clocks for 3AM Friday and trudging to the stores half asleep, younger night owls are increasingly appearing, hopped up on coffee and seemingly eager to do “something” after Thanksgiving dinner. While the Black Friday Weekend* insights released by the National Retail Federation (conducted by BIGinsight™) don’t include the tweenagers with which we shared the stores this year, it’s still interesting to take a look at some of shopper shifts among the 18+ age groups that we’re witnessing with the age-old Black Friday shopping tradition.
Younger Crowds Own the Thanksgiving Shopping Trend. Among Black Friday Weekend shoppers who checked out the deals on Thanksgiving Day (in-store or online), the percentage of 18-34 year olds increased a whopping 30% over a year ago. That compares to just an 8% rise among those 35 to 54 and 9% with the 55 and over crowd. So, while we know that shopping on Turkey Day is a rising trend, it’s clearly one driven by a younger demographic.
Merry Christmas to Me. Yes Virginia – this is the season of giving – but with doorbuster deals like $8 dollar coffee pots, who can resist the one-for-you, one-for-me mantra? Practical consumers are increasingly embracing the idea of “self-gifting” at the holidays, buying items for themselves at discounts typically not seen throughout the rest of the year. And these self-centric Santas were certainly out en masse last weekend: eight out of ten Black Friday Weekend shoppers reported that they had taken advantage of retailers’ online and in-store promotions to buy non-gift items. This figure rose to 86% among 18 to 34 year olds, while those 35 to 54 (81%) and 55+ (72%) showed more restraint [well, kind of].
18-34 Year Olds Found Deals via Friendlier Outlets. There’s something that screams “tradition” to a Black Friday bargain hunter when that 20 pound newspaper – chock full of those delicious retailer ads – lands on the front porch on Thanksgiving morning…am I right? Surprising as it may seem in the digital age, the majority of consumers (50%) looked to advertising circulars as their source for Black Friday Weekend sales, discounts, and promotions this year, followed by retailer emails (36%), online searches (30%), retailers’ websites (23%), and TV advertising (also 23%).
Talk to an 18 to 34 year old, though, and you’ll get a different picture. While these youngsters still gobbled up the deals via ad circulars (39%), they were nearly twice as likely to find a friendly discount via Facebook (31%) compared to the general Black Friday Weekend shopping population (16%). Additionally, 18 to 34 year olds were more likely to learn about promotions directly from family and friends (30%), eclipsing those who sought out TV advertising (26%).
* “Black Friday Weekend” is defined as Thursday (Thanksgiving), Friday (Black Friday), Saturday, and Sunday.
For more insights on the holiday season, visit the NRF’s Holiday Headquarters.
After record turnouts for Black Friday weekend, one might think that scoring holiday deals topped our “Hot or Not?” segment for November. However, it appears that the constant commercialism in our lives has yet to override a few of finer things we enjoy as Americans: Turkey Day and the right to vote. [Thanks for that lesson, Charlie Brown.]
Black Friday and its online equivalent, Cyber Monday, did squeak past some of the season’s “must-have” electronics: the Apple iPad Mini and Nintendo Wii U.
The gender split two of November’s biggest box office draws left the overall vote at a near tie: females were in full support of the final Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn, Part 2, while boys of all ages backed the newest James Bond feature, Skyfall.
And, despite landing on this holiday’s Top Ten Toy lists for both girls and boys, it appears that Adults 18+ aren’t all that excited about the revamped Furby. But that decision’s ultimately left up to Santa, right?
For more on what we found “Hot or Not?” for the month of November, plus other consumer highlights, check out this month’s video briefing:
© 2012, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.
While several major retailers, including Walmart, Kmart, and Toys R Us, have lowered or eliminated their layaway fees in efforts to spur holiday shopping, new insights from the BIGinsight™ November survey of more than 9,000 consumers reveal that this tactic doesn’t seem to be leading to a rise in this place-it-on-hold-and-pay-over-time purchase behavior. Just over one in ten holiday shoppers (12.3%) indicates they are using or planning to use layaway when shopping for gifts this season, relatively unchanged from one year ago (12.7%).
With a flatlining number of consumers boarding the layaway train for 2012, it appears that this Great Depression-era policy is more bygone gimmick rather than a modern day marvel. However, further analysis of layaway users uncovers a specific type of holiday shopper. So without further ado, let’s take a look at ten characteristics that help identify this special group of consumers.
Ten Characteristics of Layaway Shoppers
1. Layaway shoppers wouldn’t place in a Santa look-a-like contest. Nearly 75% more likely to have children in the household compared to average holiday shoppers, while layaway users might be more prone to play Santa this year for the kiddos, they just won’t look like the jolly old guy. Six years younger on average than typical holiday shoppers, layaway-ers are also far less likely to refer to themselves as “retired.”
2. Despite tighter budgets, layaway-ers intend to spend more this holiday season. As might be expected, those utilizing the budget-friendly aspects of layaway tend to earn less (about $49,000 per year) than holiday shoppers in general ($56,000/year). Despite this, though, two out of five (41.6%) layaway shoppers intend to spend “more” on the holiday season this year than they did back in 2011. Just 21.0% of shoppers in general are working within expanded holiday budgets this year.*
3. Layaway shoppers have a holly jolly outlook for the economy… Consumers reported that they were feeling better about the economy in November, but the sentiment among layaway users is downright giddy: 54.7% say they are very confident/confident in chances for a strong economy, much higher than typical holiday shoppers (40.4%). The issue of employment, though, is another story. About a third (32.7%) of layaway shoppers fears an increasing in the number of layoffs over the next six months, higher than holiday shoppers in general (22.0%). Layaway-ers are also slightly more concerned about becoming laid off themselves.
4. …Yet remain conservative with their everyday finances. Lower average incomes and greater concerns for layoffs are likely playing into layaway shoppers’ penchant for scrimping and saving in their everyday lives. Compared to holiday shoppers in general, more layaway-ers are making plans to pay down debt (38.6%), decrease overall spending (35.4%), and increase their savings (32.5%) over the next three months. Additionally, a higher proportion (28.6%) is attempting to pay with cash more often, which brings us to point #5…
5. Cold hard cash is key with layaway shoppers. For holiday purchases specifically, while debit cards are the preferred method of payment among layaway shoppers (49.9% plan to use them most often), more than a third of (35.5%) still plans to utilize cash most often, 40% higher than holiday shoppers in general (25.2%). Layaway shoppers are 60% less likely to use credit cards most often for holiday purchases than typical holiday shoppers.*
6. These early birds are getting the worms… Arguably one of the brightest benefits of using layaways services is the ability to place a hold on hot holiday merchandise before it flies off the shelves. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that – as of early November – seven out of 10 layaway users (69.1%) had begun their holiday shopping as opposed to just 52.8% of holiday shoppers in general.*
7. …But still plan to bargain-hunt with the best of ‘em on Black Friday. And speaking of early bird tendencies, layaway shoppers are quite the night owls too: the majority (56.3%) is planning to shop Black Friday weekend, making them 75% more likely to brave the crowds than typical holiday shoppers (31.5%).*
8. Layaway shoppers use their connections to find best deals. While traditional advertising circulars are their top source for keeping track of holiday sales and promotions, layaway shoppers are more likely to connect on Facebook or Twitter, use retailer apps, and refer to coupon websites (i.e. RetailMeNot.com, FatWallet.com) compared to holiday shoppers in general.*
9. While they embrace their inner fashionistas, it’s electronics and toys that are bound for the layaway bins. While layaway shoppers are more likely to lean to familiar fashion labels and the newest trends/styles versus holiday shoppers in general, apparel is less likely to be put on hold compared to electronics and toys.
10. Discounters are most likely to get those layaway dollars. When it comes to the retailers shoppers are utilizing for layaway services, discounters score a definitive win here. Nearly two-thirds (65.5%) of holiday shoppers planning to use layaway this season will head to Walmart, while 42.2% say they will sign up with Kmart. Fewer will make use of the programs at Toys R Us (21.2%), Sears (15.2%), Burlington Coat Factory (12.4%), Marshall’s (12.1%), or TJ Maxx (9.9%).
* Source: National Retail Federation/BIGinsight™. For more insights on the holiday season, visit the NRF’s Holiday Headquarters.
This month’s Consumer Snapshot is ready! The video below is a concise look at a few trending topics for the month of November, designed to give you a BIG picture view of current consumers.
Here’s a brief overview of what we’re seeing from consumers in November 2012:
- Confidence reaches a five year high
- With the holiday season on the horizon, it appears that consumers are in a gifting mood
- With the majority planning to begin holiday purchasing before December, the tightwad tendencies we’ve seen over the past few months have begun to relax
- Payless advances to the co-leader position in Shoes
- Walmart trumps Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s in Organics
- 90 Day Outlook: Mixed from October, UP from Nov-11, Nov-10
- I hope Santa blings me something sparkly
- What’s Hot…Giving thanks for Black Friday?
Be sure to check out the NEW Consumer Snapshot InsightCenter™. When you register for complimentary access to this InsightCenter™, you’ll have the ability to segment an advance preview of our all-star insights on consumer confidence, employment, shopping strategies, and future purchase plans by several key demographic groups. You can also download this month’s text summary (which includes additional insights) as well as the PowerPoint analysis through this InsightCenter™.
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© 2012, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.
With the “fiscal cliff” looming and potential tax increases on the horizon, it’s interesting to see where Americans of all ages agree (and where they don’t) when it comes to their hard-earned dough being divvied up by the government.
No big surprise, most Americans (71.2%) would rather shrink the size of government than raise taxes. Members of the Boomer Generation (75.9%), Silent Generation (75.2%), Gen X (70.5%) and Gen Y (61.9%) agree. But where should the government cut back?
Members of Generation Y appear most likely among the age groups to opt for a tax increase instead of cutting public services (police, education) or social programs (welfare, Medicare). The Silent Generation seems to agree, while the middle generations are mixed:
Although all generations appear willing to support education and safety, the majority of Gen X and the Boomers would prefer the budget for social programs like welfare get a trim before their paychecks.
Perhaps Gen Y is more likely to support higher taxes because most prefer to be unemployed! Over half (55.2%) say they would rather be unemployed and happy than be employed and miserable. While happiness is great, older generations are more likely to cope with misery if it means food on the table and shelter for their family:
It seems the Boomer Generation is the most likely to opt for employment even if it means unhappiness—perhaps they are housing some unemployed and happy members of the youngest generation!
Source: American Pulse™ Survey, October 2012 #1, N = 3529
© 2012, Prosper®
With its cryptic “the playground is open” tagline, the recently planned [and cancelled, #thankyouSandy] Google Android event had many pundits speculating on what would be introduced. So, we thought we’d once again ask the real experts – consumers – for their take on the Android platform versus the Apple iOS. After all, the nearly 9,000 consumers BIGinsight talks to each month correctly gauged the room temperature reception of September’s iPhone 5 announcement from Apple.
As it turns out, a look at the latest results from our “Hot or Not” feature reveals that the Google Android OS may be becoming quite the pressure cooker for Apple’s iOS. While the majority of adults deemed both the Google Android platform and Apple iOS as pretty popular in October, Android maintained a slight lead on the pairing with 53.0% voting it “hot” to Apple’s 51.4%.
These insights become really interesting, though, when divvied up by generation. While more than three out of five of the must-have Millennial demographic concurred that both platforms were “hot,” it was Android again (with 64.0%) that held the edge over Apple (61.9%). The operating system disparity was greatest among Gen X-ers, who were 10% more likely to side with Android (58.6%) versus Apple (53.4%). Boomers were on the fence for this debate, while Apple finally found some support among the Silent generation. Nearly half (46.8%) of those born before 1946 judged Apple to be “hot,” four points higher than those who felt the same way about Android (41.4%).
Bottom Line: While both platforms are undoubtedly popular, it seems that the children of our future – Millennials and Gen X-ers – are positioning Google Android as the mobile future, at least for the time being. As I recall, playground popularity contests could be pretty competitive.
Tomorrow is the big day. The presidential election of 2012 has come in like a lion with vicious attacks from both camps. If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of the negative campaign ads, the constant phone calls and the rhetoric. But tomorrow night it will all be over. Hopefully. I’m crossing my fingers this one doesn’t end up at the Supreme Court, but this is going to be a close one folks.
The latest American Pulse™ report is tracking Romney (46.1%) and Obama (45.9%) to be running neck and neck among likely voters. (Although if you are into old wives tales, the Washington Redskins loss this past weekend pretty much seals the deal for Romney.) However, the findings from the report could provide some foreshadowing into who will be sworn in come January.
According to the report, it’s all about the economy. Sure people are worried about Iran, Afghanistan, and other issues abroad. But at the end of the day it comes down to what’s going on at home—and who’s best equipped to get the economy headed in the right direction. Here’s a few things we found to be particularly interesting.
- 71.4% rate the economy as poor/terrible; 52% say it’s heading in the wrong direction.
- 76.2% say economy will have the most impact on their vote; 37.2% say President Obama’s performance regarding the economy has been “terrible.”
- 53.9% know someone receiving unemployment benefits; 55.1% know someone receiving food stamps.
Additionally 4 in 5 Americans believe their vote matters. Three-fourths say nothing will stop them from voting this year and roughly 70% say they are excited to vote.
Should make for an exciting day.
Check out the report:
For further insight, take a listen as our Consumer Insights Director, Pam Goodfellow, discusses the analysis on one of our favorite local morning radio programs: http://ow.ly/f2rkX
With the calendar flipping over to November and the holiday season right around the corner, let’s put official closure on October with a look at our “Hot or Not?” segment from our latest monthly survey.
While the holiday itself was a bit of a bust (#thanksSandy), the record number of consumers planning to celebrate this year BOOsted Halloween to the top of our list for October. The new Kindle Fire HD tablet followed closely behind [note: the Apple iPad Mini is currently up at bat in our November survey]. And while both operating systems scored well with consumers, Google’s Android platform eked out a victory over Apple iOS:
Now trending on Forbes.com: The Aging Of Apple? Google Android Voted Coolest Kid On The Playground
Consumers also still seem pretty Taken with Liam Neeson, and The New Normal is looking pretty cool compared to hot competitor Modern Family. Ankle boots and skinny jeans look like they’ll make a trendy transition from fall to winter this year, particularly among women 18-34.
Finally, in what may have renewed my hope in the morality of U.S. consumers: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was voted little Miss “Not” Hot for October.
For more on what we found “Hot or Not?” for the month of October, plus other consumer highlights, check out this month’s video briefing:
© 2012, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.