82 Percent of Americans Are Changing Their Shopping Behavior This Holiday Season, According to New Survey from SteelHouse

Social Media Plays Bigger Role as Sluggish Economy Forces Families, Women and High-Income Earners to Make the Most Changes to Their Shopping Behavior

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 21, 2011) – People are changing their shopping behavior and will spend less overall this holiday season, according to a new survey released today from SteelHouse (www.SteelHouse.com), an expert in Behavioral Commerce and Real Time Marketing.

More than four out of five (82 percent) survey respondents said their shopping behavior will change this holiday season. Half said they’ll comparison shop more, nearly one-third said they’ll no longer buy without a discount or free shipping, and nearly 30 percent said they’ll browse more online than in the malls to find the deals. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (62 percent) said they’ll spend less overall – making it more imperative than ever that retailers capture sales as quickly as possible.

This holiday season social media will play a role, with women twice as likely as men to use social media to find deals and share them with friends (16 percent versus 8 percent). Those in the highest income group ($75k+) will make fewer changes in the amount they’ll spend, but will make changes to find deals – seeking discounts, free shipping and coupons more than those earning less.

Those are some of the highlights of a new nationwide survey conducted August 22-24 by SteelHouse. In conjunction with Chicago market researcher Synovate eNation, SteelHouse asked 1,000 Americans: “Given the current state of the economy, how will your shopping and buying behaviors change this holiday season?” They were asked to select all that apply.

Here are the overall results:

  • 62% I will spend less money overall.
  • 50% I will comparison shop much more than I used to, to find the best prices.
  • 31% I will no longer buy anything without a discount or free shipping.
  • 28% I will spend more time browsing products online than going to the mall.
  • 22% I will redeem my loyalty points to buy gifts instead of using cash or credit.
  • 12% I will use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to alert my friends to deals I find or use social media to find deals for myself.
  • 11% I used to buy name brand/high-end items, but will not do so this year.
  • 11% I will use coupons for the first time.
  • 9% I will consider buying used or refurbished items for the first time.
  • 18% My shopping behaviors will not change.

“It’s clear that shoppers this holiday season aren’t going to buy unless presented with a compelling offer,” said Mark Douglas, SteelHouse CEO. “The challenge for retailers is figuring out the right deal for every shopper since the same offer isn’t going to work for everyone. The winners this holiday season will be those retailers who tailor their offers to shoppers while they’re still shopping, before they move on and see a competitor offer.”

Additional Findings:

Those in the highest income category ($75k+) are less likely than the others to cut their overall spending (54 percent said they’ll spend less, versus 66 percent and 67 percent of the lower income categories). But they’re the most likely to:

  • Use coupons for the first time (13 percent, versus 8 percent of those in the lowest income bracket).
  • No longer buy anything without a discount or free shipping (36 percent, compared with 27 percent of those in the lowest income bracket).
  • Spend more time browsing products online rather than going to the mall (32 percent, compared with 24 percent of those in the lowest income bracket).

Families will be looking for deals. In every category, respondents with children in the house are making more changes to shopping behavior than those without.

  • More than half (56 percent) will comparison shop more than they used to.
  • More than a third (34 percent) will no longer buy without a discount or free shipping.
  • More than a third (36 percent) will spend more time browsing products online than in a mall.
  • Nearly a third (31 percent) will redeem loyalty points to buy gifts instead of using cash or credit.
  • One in five will use social media to find or share deals.

Overall, women will make more changes than men – though both groups are looking for deals:

  • Women are more likely to increase comparison shopping (54 percent versus 45 percent, respectively).
  • Women are more likely to demand a discount or free shipping (36 percent versus 26 percent).
  • Women are more likely to spend more time browsing online instead of the mall (31 percent versus 25 percent).
  • The exception is coupons: men are more likely than women to say they’ll use coupons for the first time (12 percent, versus 9 percent of women).

The SteelHouse/Synovate survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. For a full copy of the survey results and a graphic presentation of top-line data, email info@edgecommunicationsinc.com or visit www.steelhouse.com/research.


About SteelHouse

SteelHouse™ (www.SteelHouse.com), a data-driven marketing technology company, brings innovative advertising solutions to brands, agencies, and eCommerce marketers. The SteelHouse team is comprised of veteran direct marketers and engineers from eHarmony, E*TRADE, Oracle and the Rubicon Project. Together, they’ve built the easiest Cloud-based Marketing Platform – SteelHouse CANVAS – one platform for acquisition and retention, which consistently keeps the same message in front of an audience through display, onsite, and social. SteelHouse reaches more than 170 million consumers a month, across hundreds of the world’s largest brands with its award-winning creative and retargeting technologies. SteelHouse is based in Culver City, California.

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Media Contact:
Lauren DeSalvo
PR Manager
pr@steelhouse.com
310-895-2110