Traditional Methods Still Reign for Gift Shopping Research

December 8, 2011

harris-use-of-information-sources-for-holiday-shopping-dec11.gifConsumers continue to rely on traditional sources of information such as store flyers, recommendations from friends and family, and magazines or newspaper ads for their holiday gift shopping preparations, although internet resources are also relatively highly utilized for some product categories, according to a Harris Interactive survey released in December 2011. Data from the poll indicates that twice as many consumers say they are extremely or somewhat likely to consult store flyers than a search engine for their clothing shopping preparations (46% vs. 23%). They are also 70% more likely to consult store flyers than a search engine for toys information (51% vs. 30%), and will turn to the information source more than any other for home decor and jewelry research. However, when shopping for personal electronics, consumers are more likely to visit a company’s website for ideas (50%) or go to a search engine (49%) than look at store flyers (45%) or ask for recommendations from friends and family (32%). They are also most likely to do their home electronics/entertainment research via a search engine (50%), slightly ahead of store flyers (44%).

In-Store Promos Best While Shopping

In-store promotions appear to be the key resource that most consumers indicate they are extremely or somewhat likely to use when in the store shopping, with the highest rates seen for the clothing (60%) and home electronics/entertainment (59%) categories. In-store product displays are the most popular resources while shopping in-store for home decor (54%) and jewelry (51%), while in-store flyers are the top resource for the toys category (53%).

Technology continues to grow as a shopping resource, with consumers using their mobile phones to look at price comparison sites, check pricing at other stores, and search for online coupons (ranging from a low of 6% to a high of 20%, depending upon product category).

Clothing, Toys, Tech High on Wish Lists

3 in 5 consumers say they will be shopping for clothing this holiday season, with African American shoppers (72%), females (66%), and households with children (73%) most likely to include this category on their shopping list. 46% of shoppers will be looking for toys, with 69% of these shoppers coming from households with children. Technology is high on many shoppers’ lists again this year, with more than one-third of those shopping for gifts saying they will be shopping for either personal electronics (38%) or home electronics/entertainment (36%). Consumers least likely to be shopping for these products are Matures (those ages 66+) and those in households without children.

Dads, Multicultural Parents Rule Electronics Shopping

Meanwhile, according to a survey released in December 2011 by Ipsos OTX MediaCT, fathers with children aged 6-14 are significantly more likely than mothers with children of the same age to plan on purchasing a host of consumer electronics. For example, the survey found that fathers were almost 24% more likely than mothers to report planning a smartphone purchase (42% vs. 34%), and 44% more likely to plan a new TV purchase (36% vs. 25%).

The electronics market also was found to break up along ethnic divides: African American and Hispanic parents of children aged 6-14 were more likely to buy smartphones and TVs than their Caucasian counterparts (47% and 48% respectively vs. 33%), while Asian/Pacific Islander parents were significantly more likely than the overall population of parents to buy a tablet (41% vs. 23%).

About the Data: The Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 7 and 10, 2011 among 2,499 adults (aged 18 and over). The Ipsos poll was conducted online between 31 January and 13 February, 2011 among 1958 parents.

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