Women buy everything. They are the ultimate predictors of commercial success for most brands. The recent SheSpeaks/LippeTaylor Holiday Shopping Index offers us some insights into consumers’ confidence levels and holiday shopping plans.
Among the 3000 American women surveyed the economic outlook is mixed. Forty percent feel confident or somewhat confident in their families’ financial situation and forty-three percent don’t, up nineteen points from last year. This reflects the haves versus the have-nots we are hearing about daily.
Ninety one percent of those responding will spend the same or less than last year. About half (48%) will spend less on holiday gifts while another forty-three percent will spend the same as last year. So its no surprise that retail is running below forecast regardless of a shorter holiday season.
Most consumers will shop both online and offline. Six out of ten will use a shopping app. The most popular apps will be those offering coupons, retail store apps and comparative shopping tools. Finding value, getting the most for the money and racking up loyalty points or scoring deals is clearly on women’s minds. Facebook, Amazon Wish Lists and Pinterest will be useful shopping resources. One in five shoppers will seek out flash sale sites.
Women are generally concerned about the quality of gifts received. Tchotchkes and knick-knacks are the absolute worst. Extended family members generally give the worst gifts, which explains why 25% of those surveyed admit to re-gifting.
If you are shopping for women clothing, personal technology, beauty products and gift cards are at the top of their wish lists. Though making the right brand, size or quality decision can be tricky. If in doubt, give a gift card because nothing says, “I love you” better than cash or cash equivalents.
While not surprising, these results suggest that the economy is still much shakier than we’ve been thinking. The impetus for brands and marketers is to focus on customer experience to establish value and incent sales