5 Key Insights from the 2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Report

With Halloween not even in many people’s sightline, it probably seems a little early to be talking about the winter holidays. But, as a lot of us know (especially those in the consumer packaged goods and retail industries) planning for this all-to...

With Halloween not even in many people’s sightline, it probably seems a little early to be talking about the winter holidays. But, as a lot of us know (especially those in the consumer packaged goods and retail industries) planning for this all-too important shopping season is already starting, or started, for some.

Therefore, Invoke has released its Invoke Live!2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Report. Wayne Goodreau, Director/Senior Researcher, talked with 110 holiday shoppers about the upcoming season to understand how Americans celebrate their holidays, how the economy and personal financial situations affect their holiday plans, how they approach holiday shopping and what their outlook is going forward regarding the holidays.

From this research, came ten insights to help companies plan for this season and better understand their shoppers. In this blog post, we present to you five of these insights. Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog post, which will present the other five. In no particular order, here are five of the top ten insights from Invoke’s 2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Report:

1. Family is an important part of the holidays for shoppers. In fact, even though the economy does have some effect on plans, shoppers remain largely optimistic about the holiday season this year often because of an increase in family members included in celebrations.

• This optimism may not totally synch up with holiday spending, with a good number of shoppers spending either the same or less this year than they did last year.

• However, although only mentioned by a handful of shoppers, there exists the ability to put a positive spin on financial hardships by seeing them as an opportunity to eschew the commercial aspects of the holidays and focus on what is important – spending time with family and making the most of what you have.

2. Several shoppers do look forward to holiday shopping, but it is often not because of the physical act itself. Rather, holiday shopping promises for many the ability to bring joy to others and the anticipation of this joy often drives enjoyment of the experience.

3. Finding a great deal is a positive emotional experience for many. Shoppers are continuing to pay close attention to sales and deals both online and through traditional methods such as newspapers, direct mail and physical store visits.

4. Black Friday/Doorbuster-type sales are part of some shopping strategies. These sales are often remembered for deals on big-ticket items, but some like shopping them because they are seen as a fun, shared experience with family members.

5. Many work from a predetermined budget when shopping for holiday gifts, Interestingly, rather than work from a top-down approach starting at a total number and then dividing it amongst recipients, several start by creating their list of recipients and then assigning an amount or gift to create their budget.

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