Despite the economy and post-election resettling, shoppers plan to maintain holiday meal spending, with nearly 80 percent saying they will spend as much or more during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season than they did last year, according to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based technology company, Inmar.
Maintaining the holiday family experience is critical to shoppers, but Inmar’s findings reveal that shoppers have to be increasingly thoughtful to make their money go farther. Almost 70 percent plan their shopping up to a month before Thanksgiving, and multi-channel shoppers plan even further in advance. Mobile-powered shoppers are two-thirds less likely to be last minute buyers, as they lead by wide margins in the use of both traditional and digital coupons, and overall engagement in their holiday meal activities.
“Shoppers are realistic. They may have bigger expenses, may have less income, but they want the holiday season to be special,” said John Ross, president, Inmar Analytics. “Increasingly they are turning to technology like their mobile phone to help them keep the season bright.”
Men catching up to women in holiday meal planning, coupon usage
Both men and women indicate they share in the responsibility for holiday meal planning – with 59 percent of women and 44 percent of men saying they are the primary decision maker. While women are slightly more inclined to plan in advance and use coupons in their holiday shopping purchases, men and women are using digital and traditional coupons at similar ratios.
Mobile shoppers win title for “most engaged” shoppers
Seventy-two percent of mobile-powered shoppers say they intend to use both digital and traditional coupons for their holiday meal shopping. Smartphone shoppers are four times more likely to look for digital coupons as well as paper this holiday and are three times more likely to spend more as traditional media shoppers.
According to Ross, “Shoppers are quickly learning how to use their mobile phones to pick smarter products, or find extra savings."
Ross added that digital coupons are not necessarily replacing their print counterparts, but consumers are instead using them in tandem. “The tough economy plus the desire to maintain the holiday experience means shoppers are using every possible tool to make the holiday meal memorable,” he said.
Black Friday opportunity for grocery
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become both media and shopper events – yet this trend has not necessarily extended to the grocery industry in meaningful ways. Sixty-one percent of shoppers said they would be interested if grocery stores offered Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals; 93 percent of mobile shoppers agreed, indicating that retailers may have an opportunity to motivate mobile shoppers in innovative ways.
Inmar’s online study surveyed 500 shoppers who intend to use coupons and mobile devices for their holiday meal shopping.