AUSTIN, Texas -- RetailMeNot.com (www.retailmenot.com), the largest site in the U.S. for online coupons, in anticipation of Black Friday today released its inaugural holiday edition of the company's Shoppers Trend Report (STR), which identifies retail purchase patterns and consumer trends leading up to the holiday shopping season.
The report provides an overview of consumer trend data derived by activity on RetailMeNot.com and its affiliated sites. Additionally, the STR includes a survey conducted by Ipsos on consumer sentiments concerning the holiday shopping season. Findings of the STR include:
COUPON ACTIVITY: Online coupon usage was up 23% sequentially on RetailMeNot.com in the months leading up to the holiday shopping season.
MERCHANT SALES: Merchant sales driven by coupon usage on RetailMeNot.com were up by 82% year over year in the three months prior to the November launch of the 2011 holiday shopping season.
CONSUMER SPENDING: The survey portion of the STR conducted by Ipsos on behalf of RetailMeNot.com found that:
More than half of consumers surveyed (51%) said that they intended to spend about the same this holiday season as they did last year; with only 11% saying they intended to spend more.
Adults ages 35 and older are more likely than younger adults to be trimming their holiday budgets this shopping season (41% vs. 30%).
Parents are more likely to be spending more on holiday shopping this year than are adults without a child under 18 (15% vs. 10%).
"With the significant uptick in merchants sales driven by RetailMeNot.com, it is clear that consumers are stretching their dollar by utilizing coupons and promotional codes to get more for their money while shopping online this holiday season," said Josh Harding, director of business intelligence for WhaleShark Media, Inc., the operator of RetailMeNot.com. "In an environment where the economy continues to create uncertainty, both merchants and consumers are looking for coupon promotions, like free shipping, to drive demand and increase the value of each purchase.”
The STR also revealed other significant information leading into the holiday shopping season:
PREFERRED PROMOTIONAL OFFERS
Last month (October 2011), searches by consumers on RetailMeNot.com for “free shipping” offers were up by 29% from the same month last year (October 2010).
According to the Ipsos survey, when it comes to preferences toward promotional offers, free shipping ranks first (26%), followed closely by a certain percentage off (23%), buy-one-get-one free offers (20%) and a certain dollar amount off (18%).
Few consumers say that they are most inclined to purchase an item if the promotional offer is a loyalty program points benefit (2%), while 11% select none of these offers.
Free shipping tends to be more enticing to women than to men (31% vs. 21%).
College graduates (31%) and parents (30%) are more likely than others to say that a certain percentage off makes them most inclined to make a purchase.
WHAT’S ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST?
In 2010, 50% of merchants with the most consumer interest on RetailMeNot.com during the holiday shopping season were in the apparel category.
According to the Ipsos survey, in 2011 this trend may hold steady with clothing and accessories being the most likely items to be on one’s gift list (54%).
Other popular items include books, movies and music (44%); consumer electronics such as TVs, e-readers and video games (37%); toys (34%); and bath and beauty products/treatments (26%).
Fewer express interest in buying home goods such as furniture or appliances (18%), travel (7%), or luxury items such as a car or jewelry (3%) as gifts this year.
Women are more likely than men to have clothing and accessories (61% vs.
47%); books, movies and music (49% vs. 39%); toys (41% vs. 26%); and bath and beauty items (35% vs. 16%) on their holiday shopping lists while men are more likely to buy consumer electronics (45% vs. 30%).
Adults under 55 are also more likely than older adults to be interested in buying consumer electronics this holiday season (42% vs. 29%).
TO SHOP AT WORK OR NOT?
According to the Ipsos survey, nearly half of working adults (46%) plan to spend time shopping for the holidays online during work hours this holiday season, including 11% who expect to spend five hours or more doing so.
Among those who are employed, younger adults (under 35) are more likely to holiday shop during work hours than are older adults (55% vs. 40%).
WHAT STATE COUPONS THE MOST?
As a percentage of its state’s overall unique Internet users, New York State (#1), Massachusetts (#2) and Virginia (#3) respectively were the top users of online coupons in the United States, according to data from RetailMeNot.com. Arkansas (#48), Mississippi (#49) and Wyoming (#50) were the least active users of online coupons. (NOTE: See the Appendix table below to see where the 50 states rank).
Data on merchant sales, coupon usage and other trend activity was pulled from consumer activity on RetailMeNot.com and its affiliated sites, which experience more than 300 million site visits annually. Millions of consumers use the sites’ more than half million available online coupons, promotional codes, printable offers and deals for discounts and other offers at more than 130,000 merchants. The STR measures the results of millions of clicks and site visits on RetailMeNot.com and its affiliated sites to determine consumer trends in retail, geographic, behaviors and overall merchants sale and consumer couponing activity.
The Ipsos Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted November 7-8, 2011. For the survey, a national sample of 1,007 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,007 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.
They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1,140.8 million ($1.6 billion U.S.). Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.
RetailMeNot.com (www.retailmenot.com) is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared millions of deals at more than 130,000 merchants. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. RetailMeNot.com is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.
Make sure to "like" RetailMeNot.com on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot.
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