2012 Holiday Shopping Forecast Includes People Threatening To Set Their Hair on Fire

2012 Holiday Shopping Forecast Includes People Threatening To Set Their Hair on Fire

Our curiosity got the best of us so we commissioned a survey to find out how consumers’ shopping behaviors post-election might impact holiday sales this year.

It’s been one week since President Barack Obama was re-elected to office, and we’re just 11 days away from the biggest shopping day of the year. So what are people really feeling when it comes to holiday shopping this year?

Hard numbers and statistics are definitely the goal of these things, but let’s be honest, they can be a bit dry.

That’s why our survey author extraordinaire, Kristin, always throws in a few fill-in-your-own-answer questions to give people a chance to really express how they feel.

Yay for free speech!

Surveys reveal important behavioral trends, for sure, but they also provide pretty amazing comic relief if you take the time to really dig through the individual open-ended responses.

From people saying that the only way an online ad could get their attention is if it offered to “legally ship wine to Massachusetts” to another revealing that they typically shop for “pet products and human food” around the holidays, we learned a lot about the shoppers’ interesting behaviors that drive some people to buy.

Without further ado, we present to you the results of the 2012 post-election holiday shopping survey.

Consumers’ feelings post-election

With President Obama re-elected President, 58% of those surveyed said they now feel more confident about the economy in 2013, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into them spending more money for the holidays as 53% indicated they’d spend the same amount as they did last year. 44% of consumers indicated their feelings about the economy wouldn’t change their shopping behaviors.

Shopping behaviors when it comes to bricks versus clicks

Nearly half of our respondents said they’ll split their shopping time and dollars equally between in-store and online. This is a big opportunity for online retailers, with more and more shoppers planning to purchase online this season. We’re seeing our own clients really focus on adding benefits for shopping online and reinforcing their messaging this season.

“This holiday season we’re really focused on optimizing our website,” said Austin Caldwell, interactive media director at Heels.com. “And to make sure we maximize our conversion, as soon as shoppers arrive at our site they get two great offers – Free 2nd Day Shipping and Returns, and a percentage off their total purchase. These offers reinforce what our shoppers will be seeing in our online ads and on Facebook this holiday season.”

If you’re not yet offering gift cards at your store, you might consider doing so after learning that 73% of consumers plan to spend money on gift cards this season with the majority of those people planning to spend $51 to $250 on gift cards.

Check out the 2012 Holiday Shopping Forecast infographic for more specifics about what to expect this holiday season, including stats on mobile and tablet shopping predictions.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday behaviors

Although considered the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t ubiquitously considered the best days to shop. One respondent replied that they would “rather set their hair on fire than shop on Black Friday.”

That person, lucky for retailers, was in the minority, with a large percentage (70%) of shoppers planning to shop for great prices on electronics on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Consumers’ interaction with special offers in email blasts

It’s no big surprise that 78% of people said they receive discounts in emails from their favorite stores or brands, and because 74% of those people said they use those coupons when they shop, it’s no wonder our inboxes explode during the holidays.

Here’s a quick rundown on the people who were polled

The respondents were a randomly selected group that happened to split almost exactly 50/50 male and female, with a fairly equal distribution of ages 18 to 65 years old, with the largest representation coming from people aged 30 to 49.

51% of the people surveyed make between $40,000 and $99,000 annually, and 34% make less than $40,000 a year, with the rest falling in the $100,000+ category.

Again, for more specific information and statistics gleaned from last week’s post-election survey, check out our infographic.

Survey commissioned by SteelHouse and conducted by Instant.ly. For a complete copy of the results, please contact us here.

by Aubrey Beck, Content