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PriceGrabber: Consumer spending to hold steady in 2012

BY DSN STAFF

LOS ANGELES — More than 51% of consumers plan to spend the same amount of money in 2012 as in the previous year, according to a 2012 Shopping Outlook survey conducted by PriceGrabber.

While more than half of the survey respondents said they plan to spend the same amount of money as they did last year, 21% indicated they plan to spend more, and 28% plan to spend less.

When those who plan to spend more were asked to select all of the reasons why, 36% cited confidence in the economy, and another 36% said that they expect retailers to offer better discounts this year. Thirty percent indicated that they are earning more money in 2012; 6% said that they are tired of being frugal; 5% cited a credit limit increase; and another 5% have found employment in the past year.

When the respondents who plan to spend less this year were asked to select all of the reasons why, 40% cited increases in prices such as gas, food and necessities; 34% said lack of confidence in the economy. Twenty-nine percent indicated they were making less money this year, and 16% said they overspent during the 2011 holiday season.

"Our data shows that shoppers plan to remain optimistically cautious with their spending again this year and expect retailers to continue to offer deals and incentives on products," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "We expect retailers will continue to roll out a number of tactics, such as free shipping, larger discounts and online-only promotions to help win the consumer dollar this year, while implementing strategies that will span brick-and-mortar, online and mobile shopping platforms to entice consumers to shop."

Most consumers will combine online, brick-and-mortar and mobile shopping. When asked how they plan to shop in 2012, 45% said they will combine online, brick-and-mortar and mobile shopping. Forty-two percent said they will shop mostly online; 12% will shop mostly in brick-and-mortar stores; and 1% will shop primarily from a mobile device.

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Long lines prompt smartphone users to abandon in-store purchases, survey finds

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — A survey sponsored by in-store commerce provider AisleBuyer found that nearly 40% of smartphone-carrying shoppers have abandoned their in-store purchases because of long lines, while 21% will abandon their purchases if there are no registers open.

“Mobile Shopping Survey Series, Part 1: Mobile Self-Service” asked more than 1,000 U.S. in-store shoppers with smartphones to share details about their retail shopping experiences. The survey also found that many smartphone-carrying shoppers "hate waiting in line," including more than half at grocery stores (52%) and at mass merchants (51%). Meanwhile, drug stores, quick service restaurants and club stores were ranked at 29%, 27% and 26%, respectively.

Other key data points from the survey include:

  • 64% of those surveyed expressed interest in scanning products from a store’s aisle using their smartphone to get such additional information as pricing, product reviews, nutritional information, related products, etc.;

  • 36% already have scanned items for more information using their smartphone; and

  • 60% of smartphone-carrying shoppers said they would use their mobile phone to pay during an in-store shopping trip if it meant they didn’t have to wait in line.

"Having to waiting in line at a store has a significant effect on a retailer’s bottom line," AisleBuyer CEO Andrew Paradise said. "Nearly half of shoppers said if a line is too long they will either leave the store without purchasing anything or only buy the few items they came for, without shopping the rest of the store. Giving these shoppers another way to pay — without having to wait in line — will increase the likelihood that they will ultimately purchase something in the store, rather than abandon the purchase due to frustration. The survey results clearly show that shoppers are interested in this alternative checkout experience — something savvy retailers are investing in as we speak.”

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SC Johnson takes green steps with expanded Mini concentrated cleaners line

BY Allison Cerra

RACINE, Wis. — SC Johnson has expanded its Mini line of concentrated cleaners, which are designed to help consumers make a greener refilling choice.

The Mini line, which now includes Fantastik, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout and Windex, builds on the company’s concentrated refill pilot last July. The pilot included the launch of Windex Mini, which was "designed to create dialogue, engage consumers about the green choice concentrates can offer and kick-start a concentrate revolution," SC Johnson said, adding that concentrated refills have the potential to save millions of pounds of plastic from ending up in landfills nationwide. All of the items in the line already are produced with 50% post-consumer-recycled content, while the Scrubbing Bubbles trigger bottle is made with 30% post-consumer-recycled-content.

Along with the line of concentrates, SC Johnson launched its new Green Choices Marketplace, an online store that offers consumers the opportunity to purchase any of its concentrate brands.

“We’ve been working to crack the code on what would make concentrated refills a more popular choice,” SC Johnson chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson said. “Now we’re adding improvements that reflect the feedback we’ve heard from Windex Mini users and move us closer to an option that we hope will create greater demand for these products. The resource savings with refills are hard to deny, and that’s something we really want to communicate and encourage.”

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