Women Prove Frugal Holiday Shoppers

January 12, 2012

npd-group-frugal-shopping-for-holiday-2011-jan12.gif70% of women say they tried to only buy sale items this past holiday shopping season, compared to 57% of men, according to a study released in January 2012 by the NPD Group. Women were also 21% more likely than men to buy more thrifty gifts (51% vs. 42%), 18% more likely to cut back on the amount spent for each gift (65% vs. 55%), and 15% more likely to cut back on the number of people they bought gifts for (62% vs. 54%). 57% of women also shopped in less expensive stores for their holiday shopping, compared to half of men, while an even greater proportion (70%) bought more practical gifts, relatively matched by their male counterparts (65%).

However, women also showed a greater propensity to reward themselves for their frugality: 50% said they bought something for themselves during the course of the holiday season, compared to 40% of men.

Sales Play Big Role

Data from the NPD Group’s study indicates that close to 40% of men and women felt that sales were much or a little better than the previous year, while slightly more than one-third said that sales were about the same. Approximately 1 in 10 felt that sales were much better in 2010 than 2011.

Mobiles Used Most For Research

The most common reason cited by men and women for using their mobile phones during the holiday season was to research a product, cited by 12% and 13%, respectively. Using a map or GPS to locate a retailer followed, cited by 10% of men and women. Using their cell phone or smartphone to contact a retailer or manufacturer was more popular among women than men (8% vs. 6%), although men appeared more likely to read product reviews while shopping in a store (7% vs. 5%).

Meanwhile, men were as likely to make a purchase using their device as to visit a social network site to discuss a product or service (both at 4%), while women were more likely to do the former (5% vs. 3%).

Apparel Most Received Gift

The item most often received as a gift this past holiday season was an apparel item, at 49% of respondents. The second-most often received item was a gift card, cited by 42% of women and 34% of men. Gift-givers may have slightly missed the mark: according to a November 2011 survey from the NRF, most shoppers (57.7%) said they wanted to receive a gift card during the holiday season, ahead of clothing or clothing accessories (50%), consumer electronics or computer-related accessories (35.4%), and jewelry (22.8%).

About the Data: The NPD Group’s post-holiday of consumers’ holiday buying behavior was fielded to a statistically representative sample of 2500 U.S. Adults, 18+ through NPD’s consumer panel. The study was fielded from December 27, 2011 to January 5, 2012.

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