Archive

Posts Tagged ‘biginsight’

Who wants an iPhone 5?

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

On the eve of what *may* finally be Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement, we thought we’d check in with our consumers to see how they are handling their possible-new-smartphone-related anxiety.

In our August survey of more than 9,000 consumers, we put the iPhone 5 rumors to the test in our monthly “Hot or Not?” feature. As it turns out, more deemed it “not” (66.1%) than “hot” (33.9%) – placing Apple’s would-be new offering at the low end of our heat spectrum this month, just ahead of current tabloid target Kristen Stewart. [cue Debbie Downer]

Hot or Not? Apple iPhone 5 RumorsRecall the iPhone 5 rumblings a year ago? Consumers were much more likely to hotly anticipate the Apple’s latest iPhone iteration back in August 2011, with the majority (50.7%) feeling the heat – from 2011 to 2012, that’s a 33% drop in hotness! With the iPhone 4S not quite living up to our update expectations last year, it appears that consumers are bracing themselves for a less-than-astounding announcement on September 12. #poorSiri

But don’t cry for Apple…it looks like the iPhone 5 [or whatever is soon announced] will have many a shopper clamoring for the new device – particularly among the younger set. Nearly three out of five 18-24 year olds (56.0%) are declaring the 2012 rumors to be “hot,” while those 25-34 index above average as well (45.7%). Expectedly, the temperature on the iPhone 5 buzz gets increasingly chillier as age rises:

Hot or Not? Apple iPhone 5 Rumors (by Age)

With my contract expiring at the end of the year, here’s hoping that Apple’s developed something of grand proportions. You know, it’d be great if Siri could take on my vacuuming. #iwantanappforthat

This post is also trending over on the Prosper Now blog on Forbes.com.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey, AUG-11, AUG-12

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Advertisements

Does Exercise Incite Positive Thoughts about the Economy?

The positive effects that regular exercise can have on our health and stress levels are well-documented; I personally enjoy the solitary time on my elliptical each morning reading Twilight The Changing American Consumer on my Kindle. But can breaking a sweat help boost economic confidence?

According to our August Consumer survey, 35.2% of those who regularly hit the gym [or pound the pavement?] are “confident” or “very confident” in chances for a strong economy, indexing slightly above the overall average (34.0%). Among those who prefer a more sedentary lifestyle, confidence was subpar (33.3%).

Exercisers are also prone to more positive thinking regarding the employment outlook. Nearly one in five (19.5%) is calling for “fewer” layoffs over the next six months, higher than the overall average (16.9%) as well as their couch potato counterparts (15.4%). Exercisers aren’t as likely to be sweating increasing layoffs, either; about one in four (26.7%) is expecting “more” layoffs, indexing below adults in general (27.6%) as well as non-exercisers (28.1%).

But while exercisers are making more positive predictions for the economy, they are adopting more realistic, financially conservative lifestyles. This month, half (50.7%) of those who work out regularly say they have become more practical in their purchasing, 28% higher than those preferring less active lifestyles (39.4%). Focus on necessities, sticking to budgets, and spending more time with the family are priorities to a higher proportion of those tending toward toning compared to those who, well, are not.

Exercisers are also making sure that their finances are in shape as well; nearly two in five (38.8%) maintains plans to decrease overall spending in the next three months, much higher than those leaning toward lounging (28.4%). We see nearly the same disparities when comparing plans to pay down debt and increase savings:

Also noteworthy: interest in exercising began accelerating when the economy hit the skids. In August 2007, fewer than one in three (30.5%) reported that they were working out regularly, while the economy prospered with a 43.9% confidence rate. Fast forward to 2012, and more are exercising (36.5%) while confidence has dropped to 34.0%:

Is the economic downturn/exercise upturn a just coincidence? Have we been turning to exercise to help alleviate some of the macro-environmental stress brought about by the Great Recession?

Or given the information deluge we’ve experienced via the online, mobile, and social media, have we just become more aware of the benefits of building up a sweat? More motivated?

Or with the growing number of baby boomers entering retirement, is a larger proportion of the population trying to stave off aging?

Or in this economy, is going for a run simply cheaper than dinner-and-a-movie?

Maybe we’ve just become tired of asking, “Do I look fat in this?”

Check out our other blogs on the topic of health and exercise:

One in Four McDonald’s Customers Unhappy with Their Health

Two-Thirds of Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Shoppers Express Health Happiness

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – AUG-12 (N = 9426, 8/1 – 8/7/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

Latest Consumer Insights: August 2012

Early each month, we release our Executive Briefing – complimentary topline insights from our latest Monthly Consumer Survey of more than 8,000 consumers.

And, we’ve just released our latest edition for August. Here’s what you may have missed:

– Economic sentiment climbs for a second consecutive month. This month’s reading was up a point from July and increased 65% from Aug-11…WHAT?! Recall that the debt ceiling crisis reached a fever pitch this time a year ago; as a result, confidence in the economy plummeted to its lowest point in more than two years. While this month’s reading is a step in the right direction, it remains well below pre-recession Aug-07.

– With the official U.S. unemployment rate failing to improve for yet another month, July’s relatively bullish outlook for hiring fades in August. Trepidation about personally becoming laid off continues to be evident this month.

– The slight boost in confidence this month has the opposite effect on practical purchasing tendencies. Will this trend continue? Don’t bet on it…as we approach the autumn months, shoppers may begin to pull back as they start bracing themselves for holiday spending.

– With national average gas prices creeping back up into the upper $3/gal range over the past month, you can expect smart shopping strategies to continue among the nearly three-quarters who say they’ve been impacted by the pain at the pump. Drivers are anticipating an average pump price of $3.76/gal by August 30, $0.30 higher than their forecast for the close of July ($3.46/gal).

– Are shoppers turning to EDLP when it comes to buying clothing? This month, 16.0% indicated that “sales aren’t important to me” when purchasing apparel, increasing from Aug-11 and Aug-10. However with the vast majority either “usually” or “only” buying clothing on sale, retailers ought to be prepared for bargain-hunting Back-to-School shoppers this month.

– Foot Locker gets its kicks again in Shoes this month, with the specialty store once again bumping JC Penney out of the Top 5 for this category.

– When it comes to the reasons why shoppers choose a particular store most often for Groceries, it’s the usual suspects: price, location, selection, and quality. But divide the rationale by the type of store shopped, and you’ll see additional interesting reasons to shop…

– Is this Back-to-Shopping season? With school nearly in session, popular categories like Children’s Clothing, Shoes, Health & Beauty Aids, and Electronics are looking UPward over the next 90 days, according to the BIGinsight™ Diffusion Index.

– While Michael Phelps is certainly golden in the pool, he’s a bit like a fish out of water compared to back-to-school shopping…plus: sales tax holidays, Ryan Lochte, and colored denim

To sign up to receive the monthly BIGinsight™ Executive Briefing, please click here.

And, to view the latest BIG Executive Briefing in its entirely: August 2012.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – AUG-12 (N = 9426, 8/1 – 8/7/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

The New Normal, According to Consumers

(This post originally appeared on Forbes.com as a contribution to the Prosper Now blog.)

As Consumer Insights Director, I have been working with the vast amount of insights we gather for an entire decade. And, it’s been interesting to see how consumers have evolved over this time span: from their embrace of online shopping (seen in full effect for Back-to-School this year) to the “spend now, worry later” mantra voiced by many before the burst of the housing bubble burst and subsequent meltdown on Wall Street. Even post-recession, consumers are adapting to the times, couponing at every corner, working within budgets, fattening up their piggy banks, and becoming attached at the hip to their favorite social media sites. And who really thought that – even as little as just a few years ago – that the term “mobile exclusivity” would enter our vocabulary?

Most certainly, a lot has changed in ten years.

While the advent of m-commerce might be a close second, I would argue that the clear turning post for consumer behavior during the last decade came with the “Great Recession.” Shoppers went from “spend now, worry later” to an “abort spending, worry, worry, worry” mindset. Holiday 2008 was an absolute disaster for most retailers, and, to this day, they are still trying to coax shoppers back in their stores. According to some of our latest insights, consumer confidence continues to trend below an ideal range, employment – or rather, unemployment – remains a chief concern, while decreasing overall spending is a financial priority to an increasing number of consumers.

Think about that last statement for a bit. The lagging consumer confidence, weak outlook for employment, and spending cutbacks we’re seeing currently applied to the 2009 consumer…and the 2010 consumer…even those in 2011. This persistent drought of positive economic news over the past several years has changed consumers’ approach to spending. Are frugal consumers the “new normal”?

If the economy continues at this lackluster pace, you betcha.

This month, we asked 8,500 U.S. consumers if they thought the economy would ever rebound to what it was before the economic crisis, and the results were fairly well divided: just over a third were hopeful for a rebound, while nearly as many either aren’t on the rebound bandwagon or are simply unsure.

Why is it important to get shoppers’ perspective on the matter? Doubt in the economy brews uncertainty and hesitation toward consumer spending. With two-thirds of Americans feeling pessimistic or indecisive about an economic rebound, we’re likely to continue to see heavy coupon usage, a strong focus on budgets, further attempts at debt reduction, targeted spending, price comparisons – smart shopping strategies executed by well-informed consumers (who have been made all the more knowledgeable by the recent rise of mobile devices).

Translation: if consumers are going to spend their hard earned money, they are going to make every dollar count.

It’s also important to note that with the economy flatlining over the past four years, optimism for a rebound has been waning among consumers. Back in July 2009, more than two in five were confident that the economy would bounce back to its pre-recession glory; the current figure represents a 20%+ drop from this point in time. On the upside, though, with the debt ceiling crisis looming back in July 2011, consumers harbored their worst feelings toward a rebound, so at least we’ve made some improvement versus a year ago:

So what’s a retailer to do? It’s all about the CONSUMER. Knowing who your shoppers are, what they are planning or willing to buy, and adjusting your merchandising mix, marketing strategy, and inventory levels accordingly will likely help you weather this economic maelstrom. And you might find that you have to chart a new course to ensure your long-term sustainability.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

Pain at the Pump: Gas Price Impact Update

After learning about how gas price expectations impact behavior, what changes consumers are making as a result, and who they believe is in control, I thought we could take it back to basics this month and dig into where the impact stands today. We know that confidence is up slightly this month but not looking stellar compared to previous years, and the economy continues to play a big role in back-to-school spending plans.  Are pump prices still a pain or are they becoming a slightly more manageable ache? We turn to the Consumer Vital Signs InsightCenter™ to get our answer.

For the third consecutive month, the average gas price* in the U.S. has declined, dropping from $4/gallon in April to $3.42 in July. After hearing about $5/gallon forecasts, $3.42 doesn’t seem so bad. Following suit, the percentage of consumers being impacted by gas prices has declined from 76.3% in April to 71.5% in July, nearly 15 points lower than the 86.0% of Adults 18+ who were being impacted in June of ’08 when the price per gallon was $4.03.

*The average gas price is for the first week of each month to correspond with when the survey is being conducted.

This still means, though, that the majority of consumers are being impacted by fluctuating gas prices and changing their spending habits as a result. After paying $3.25/gallon last week and feeling like I was getting a deal, I quickly came to realize that notion was absurd; $3.25 per gallon is still a lot of money when you remember a day when prices were less than $1/gallon. It seems the majority tends to agree.

While driving less often continues to be the most popular (and logical) habit to conserve fuel, this is down from last year (45.8% in Jul-11 to 41.0% in Jul-12). Reducing dining out, decreasing vacation, spending less on clothing, delaying major purchases, and spending less on groceries are also all down from last year among Adults 18+. Carpooling, however, has seen a very small increase from 7.6% in Jul-11 to 8.3% in Jul-12.

So, is consumers’ pain at the pump excruciating or just a slight annoyance? With the large majority of consumers still being impacted by fluctuating gas prices, it does still seem to cause them a bit of pain. However, Anxiety at the Pump may be a more appropriate name for this ongoing blog. After feeling the pinch of $4/gallon in the midst of the Great Recession, there is always the fear that those prices will become part of the New Normal in the uncertain world we now live in. We may never go back to the days of not being conscious of how much gas we’re using.

To keep updated on fluctuating gas prices and other ways consumers are being impacted, register for the Consumer Vital Signs InsightCenter.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – JUL-12 (N = 8509, 7/2 – 7/9/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Top Ten Back-to-School Trends + Audio Analysis

July 30, 2012 1 comment

As you are probabaly now quite well aware, BIGinsight has been a proud partner in the collection of the National Retail Federations’s Back-to-School insights for 10 seasons.

And, I recently had the opportunity – nay, privilege – of co-presenting on their annual Back-to-School Media Briefing with NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay. While Matt reviewed the top ten Back-to-School trends (BTW how cool is the infographic below?), I spoke for about ten minutes on the overall state of consumers and how this may be influencing the Back-to-School season. Be sure to click on the link below to listen – you’ll hear a lot of great insights and explanations beyond what has already been released.

Hear NRF CEO and BIGinsight discuss top BTS trends

NRF Back to School Shopping Trends - Infographic

Back-to-School Overview + New Consumer Trends for July

July 26, 2012 1 comment

Our very special guest contributor this month on the BIG Call was Ellen Davis, Senior Vice President at the National Retail Federation and Executive Director for the NRF Foundation.

July is an exciting month for the NRF and BIGinsight, as this is the time of year we collect and release a fresh batch of insights on the Back-to-School shopping season. 2012 marks the tenth season of our partnership on Back-to-School insights – a milestone!

In her portion of the Call, Ellen delivered an interesting view of what we can expect from Back-to-School shoppers this year and what this means to retailers. Specifically, she addressed:

– The Economy: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going
– Back to School, Back to College 2012
– Economy Remains Top of Mind
– What’s Different This Year
– Retailers’ Recipe for Success
– Holiday Implications

And to kick off the Call, I gave a snapshot of consumers overall, including economic sentiment, employment outlook, practical purchasing, our 90 Day Outlook as well as a special preview of Holiday 2012 spending plans.

To listen to the recorded webinar, click here.

For the full, complimentary July 2012 BIG Call slide deck, please click here.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – JUL-12 (N = 8509, 7/2 – 7/9/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

%d bloggers like this: