Does Black Friday Shopping Behavior Change When Millennials Become Parents?

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Just when you think you’ve figured out Millennials, they start having children. Now what? Do we have to go back to the drawing board? How do marketers figure out what makes this multitasking, mobile device-juggling, work-life balancing, world-changing generation tick?

Let’s take a deep breath and start the analysis by taking a look at how Millennials shopped brick-and- mortar stores on Black Friday 2016. On a high level, Millennial shoppers were slightly less likely to make a Black Friday purchase (29.2% of households) than the average of all shoppers (32.1%).

Things change in just about every aspect of life when children are factored into the equation, and shopping behavior on Black Friday was no exception. Millennials with kids were more likely to shop in-store on Black Friday (30.0% of households) than Millennials without kids (28.7%).

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Among those Millennials who did shop in brick-and- mortar stores on Black Friday, shoppers with kids in tow were bigger spenders. Millennials with kids spent $68.48, compared to $59.17 for those without kids. That’s a kid-friendly boost in spend of about 16%.

So far, it seems surprising that Millennials with kids are more likely to participate in Black Friday compared to Millennials without kids. We looked at the kinds of products being purchased on Black Friday to explain why this might be the case. Below are a list of categories, as well as the relative likelihood of each category being purchased by Millennials with kids compared to childless Millennials.

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As Millennials get older and start having children, gone are the days of using Black Friday to find good deals on that killer 60-inch TV you’ve always wanted. Now, Black Friday is all about the kids – buying toys for holiday gifts and stocking up on parenting necessities.

Having kids also influenced which retailers were visited by Millennials on Black Friday. For example:

  • Walmart was a much bigger Black Friday hit for Millennials with kids (43%) than Millennials without kids (31%). Walmart’s wide assortment across categories probably give it an advantage for families who want that new stereo as well as new clothes for their toddler.
  • Millennials without kids visited drug stores more often than Millennials with kids – 8% without vs. 5% with for CVS, and 6% without vs. 4% with for Walgreens. Seemingly, Millennials without kids are opting for those low-profile Black Friday trips where they can quietly avoid long lines (and perhaps the shrieking cries of newborns).
  • Target, however, did well on all Millennial fronts. Millennial Black Friday shoppers with kids (30%) and without kids (29%) visited Target at a higher rate than all Black Friday shoppers (23%). This makes sense, considering Target’s sales track record for being a Millennial haven.

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What does this all mean? Historically, Black Friday represents a unique 24-hour period in American culture when shoppers of all ages seek out bargains on exciting new products like TV sets, stereos, and video game systems. But as some shoppers move on to the next stage of their adult lives, Black Friday becomes more than just a vehicle for self-indulgence; it’s a day to stock up on everyday necessities at heavily discounted prices. So marketers, take note: on a sales day as important as Black Friday, it’s not enough just to know who your shoppers are. Knowing who else is in the household could be enough to move from the red to the black.

About the Data

Using InfoScout’s proprietary mobile apps, we captured purchase data from the receipt images of more than 3,000 Millennials who shopped at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday, and more than 77,000 Millennials who shopped at brick-and-mortar stores during the prior 52-week period. Millennial shoppers were also broken down into two groups – those with kids and without kids. Data is based on non-grocery purchases.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

 

PlayStation Takes the Shelf, Xbox Wins the Browser

Looking to squeeze every last drop from an existing generation of consoles, both Microsoft and Sony released minor upgrades leading up to Black Friday in an effort to win the all-important holiday shopping weekend. Xbox trimmed down the device itself while adding support for HDR gaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray players, coining their new console the Xbox One S. PlayStation followed suit on aesthetics, offering the PlayStation 4 Slim with a sleeker design. Sony also looked to capitalize on the 4k TV trend with the November release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, offering enhanced hardware performance and support for 4k streaming.

Driven primarily by a discount at Target for the PlayStation 4 Uncharted Bundle ($212), Sony won the war of the shelves for the 2016 Black Friday Weekend.

Gaming Console Brick & Mortar Share
But when it came to online shopping, the storyline was different. The appetite grew beyond the base 500GB models with the Xbox 1TB Battlefield Bundle, which was marked down to $299 from $349 at major e-tailers, garnering an 18% market share.

Gaming Console Online Sales

Did the push by both Sony and Microsoft to slim down and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the console have an influence? According to our survey to 300+ console purchasers on Black Friday, not so much. Less than 8% of respondents cited exterior console design as an influencing factor for their purchase.

While PlayStation4 buyers had few console+game bundles to choose from, namely the Uncharted 4 Bundle, Xbox had a wider variety (Battlefield, Gears of War, Minecraft). This appeared to bolster sales as Xbox buyers cited the bundled game as a influencing factor in their console decision.

Gaming Console Factors
Stay tuned for our breakdown of the top games from Black Friday 2016!

About the Data

The data in this article was sourced from over 1.2m transcribed brick-and-mortar and online receipts on Black Friday weekend from Thursday evening to Sunday night. This included over 1,500 gaming console purchases at major brick-and-mortar retailers and major online e-tailers. The 2016 analysis was limited to Xbox and PlayStation, purchases including the Nintendo WII and 3DS were not included. 

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

Who Won the Black Friday Turf Battle?

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Did shoppers stay home after Thanksgiving dinner this year or head out for their annual shopping pilgrimage?  Recent data show “The Black Friday” shopping event may be losing its luster. Looking at results from InfoScout, the number of unique retailers visited over Thanksgiving/Black Friday declined slightly, with the typical customer visiting just over two stores.  This suggests that shoppers consolidated their purchases or cut back on the time spent shopping.

As expected, Walmart and Target were the most popular destinations among those who headed out after finishing their Thanksgiving dinner or set their alarm for an early shopping day Friday. In fact, the majority of the top brick-and-mortar retailers mirror Black Friday 2015, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Kohl’s and Home Depot each moved up to become the 3rd and 4th largest retailer in 2016.
  • Club stores and home improvement captured a larger proportion of Black Friday spending compared to last year, as did JC Penney. The struggling retailer was aggressive with Black Friday promotions, which may account for the retailer moving up to 5th place (from 8th in 2015).
  • While there were fewer register rings at Best Buy, the chain’s dollar share dropped more dramatically.
  • Looking beyond the top ten retailers, rankings improved for CVS and The Gap, Inc.

About the Data

More than 300,000 Americans snap pictures of their everyday shopping receipts via InfoScout’s mobile apps. The first 70,000 receipts reported on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday were analyzed to provide a quick read on which brick-and-mortar retailers were most popular among shoppers.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

Click and Collect Picks Up Steam with Holiday Gift Shoppers

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Click and Collect is gaining traction as more shoppers make purchases online and pick up merchandise in a physical store. People like the convenience of shopping online and having their order ready within an hour in most cases without paying shipping fees.

Long story short, Click and Collect enables the end consumer to get the product they want, when they want, where they want, how they want, and at the price they want.

InfoScout has been tracking the use of Click and Collect, particularly during the 2016 holiday gift shopping season. We surveyed 600 Click and Collect shoppers to see if there has been a shift in adoption, identify the top Click and Collect retailers for holiday gift shopping, and find out how shoppers rate their experiences with Click and Collect.

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Among those shoppers who have used Click and Collect, 38% have already used the service for purchasing and picking up holiday gifts this year. 15% used Click and Collect for the first time during the 2016 holiday shopping season. 51% used the service for the first time within the past 12 months, showing an uptick in adoption.

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There is a clear “Big Three” for top Click and Collect retailers during the 2016 holiday gift shopping season – Walmart (58%), Target (39%) and Kohl’s (26%). JC Penney (12%), Sears (9%) and Kmart (8%) round out the next tier of Click and Collect retailers.

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Perhaps the most encouraging sign for future adoption of Click and Collect is the positive feedback. 99% of shoppers rated their overall experience with Click and Collect during the 2016 holiday gift shopping season as “as expected” or “better than expected.”

92% of shoppers who have already used Click and Collect to purchase holiday gifts in 2016 said they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to use this service to purchase additional gifts before the holiday season is done. Looking ahead to 2017, 95% of shoppers are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to use Click and Collect again when they shop for holiday gifts next year.  These additional Click and Collect purchases pose a significant challenge to retailers in that they have to find creative ways to encourage shoppers to buy impulse and add-on items that typically end up in the cart from general in-store shopping (ex. batteries for the toy helicopter, case for the new tablet, etc.).

There are two important points to consider about this data. First, InfoScout focused exclusively on Click and Collect for the purpose of holiday gift shopping. Our survey doesn’t account for other use cases and time periods in which adoption could be increasing.

Second, the holiday shopping season is far from over, as most shoppers plan to wrap up their shopping during the second week of December. If the intention of shoppers to use Click and Collect again holds true to form, the service could end up having an even greater impact on the 2016 holiday gift shopping season.

About the Data

These insights were powered by InfoScout’s ability to trigger real-time surveys based on observed shopping behavior. The data in this article was sourced from a survey completed by 600 shoppers who have used a Click and Collect service at least once in the past 24 months.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

The Amazon Effect: Why Prime Members Stayed Home on Black Friday

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It’s no secret that online shopping is growing in popularity. It’s also no secret that Amazon is driving and even accelerating that shift from in-store to online. Amazon Prime memberships have increased 23% to nearly 50 million just since last year, according to estimates from Cowen & Co.

With Black Friday 2016 in the books, InfoScout wanted to find out why Amazon Prime members shopped online instead of in-store. We also wanted to gain a clearer understanding of Prime members’ holiday gift shopping habits before and after Black Friday.

We conducted a survey of more than 2,000 Amazon Prime members and found that fewer members were shopping in-store on Black Friday – 59% of respondents this year vs. 65% in 2015. 

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Why did shoppers stay home this year? “Crowds, stampedes, and bad attitudes,” replied one shopper. “Lines and grouchy people” said another. Interestingly, “prices” and “deals” were mentioned far less frequently.

In other words, Prime members who stayed home on Black Friday weren’t bargain hunters. Most were just trying to avoid the long lines and hordes of frantic shoppers.

Will that feeling continue throughout the holiday season? When we asked where their remaining holiday gift shopping will occur, 85% of surveyed Prime members said they will do at least half of their shopping online. Just 15% plan to do most of their shopping in-store.

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However, the fact that Amazon Prime members avoided leaving the house on Black Friday doesn’t mean they’re procrastinating their Christmas shopping. Nearly 25% expect to wrap up their online holiday shopping by the end of November, compared to 20% for in-store purchases.

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Though it may seem contradictory, the popularity of Black Friday appears to be driving shoppers to stay home and shop online. As more holiday gift shopping inevitably shifts online, brick-and-mortar retailers would be wise to start linking in-store purchases with extra discounts for their shoppers to also visit them online (e.g., “Spend $100 in-store and get $10 to spend online). Attracting and retaining these shoppers will be key to competing with their online-only competition.

About the Data

The data in this article was sourced from a survey completed by more than 2,000 Amazon Prime members from InfoScout’s consumer purchase panel.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

 

Why Did Some Shoppers Bail on Black Friday?

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Recent data shows that Black Friday, as a one-day shopping event, is gradually losing impact. Early holiday gift shopping trends for 2016 indicate that more shoppers are taking advantage of Black Friday deals that start early in November and extend into December rather than focusing on a single day. Also, Super Saturday is poised to surpass Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the holiday season as more consumers, especially millennials, shop later in the season.

InfoScout had a simple question for “defectors” – those who shopped on Black Friday in 2015 but decided to pass on Black Friday this year: Why?

The answers may surprise you.

The natural assumption is that people just don’t want to deal with the madness that has become synonymous with Black Friday. Huge crowds, long lines, and fighting for parking spaces don’t exactly fill people with joy during the most wonderful time of the year.

In fact, this was the top reason why people who shopped on Black Friday in 2014 decided to skip Black Friday last year, as 44% of respondents to last year’s survey said the craziness wasn’t worth it. However, that number dropped to 25% in our 2016 survey.

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This year, more people just couldn’t afford to shop yet, as 26% of survey respondents felt they weren’t financially ready to shop on Black Friday. 39% of defectors plan to shop during the first two weeks of December instead.

The number of defectors who were more likely to have previously shopped for themselves was cut in half (20% in previous years vs. 10% this year), indicating that the financial crunch felt by many shoppers is limiting “treat” purchases.

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We also looked at where defectors shopped last year so we could find out which retailers are losing Black Friday dollars in 2016. InfoScout data shows that Walmart (22.9%) and Target (14.6%) had the largest shares of 2015 Black Friday spend by far and stand to be the biggest losers.

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So why did defectors choose not to shop on Black Friday this year? They didn’t want to brave the crowds, they didn’t feel financially comfortable to spend on gifts yet, and they know that they have the option to purchase gifts well into December, as retailers spread out the holiday shopping season over a longer period of time every year. 

About the Data

These insights were powered by InfoScout’s ability to trigger real-time surveys based on observed shopping behavior. The data in this article was sourced from a survey completed by 388 consumers who shopped on Black Friday in 2015 and did not shop on Black Friday in 2016 (November 25, 2016).

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

Black Friday’s Top Sellers by Retailer: Did Sony’s PlayStation get boxed out by Microsoft?

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InfoScout’s early read on this year’s top items turned up some usual suspects, along with a few surprises. While Sony’s PlayStation 4 held onto its #1 spot at Best Buy again this year, Microsoft’s Xbox One S Minecraft bundle took the lead at both Target and Costco. Walmart and Sam’s Club shoppers took advantage of whopping 40% discounts off Philips and Vizio Smart TVs to aggrandize their living rooms. But most surprising? Pork Loin ranked first in unit movement at Costco, where shoppers lined up with $8 off instant coupons.

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About the Data
More than 300,000 Americans snap pictures of their everyday shopping receipts via InfoScout’s mobile apps. The first 40,000 receipts reported on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday were analyzed to provide a quick read on this year’s hottest items based on unit sales and dollar sales for each major retailer.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com.

Early Read on Black Friday at Walmart: Which brands made the Top 10 list?

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What do food storage, socks, Legos, and virtual reality headsets have in common? We’re guessing the only thing is appearing on Walmart’s list of top sellers for Black Friday 2016! An early read of 26,000 Walmart receipts from Thanksgiving night through mid-day Black Friday indicates some well-rounded shopping trips that covered everything from household staples to electronics to toys.

About the Data

More than 300,000 Americans snap pictures of their everyday shopping receipts via InfoScout’s mobile apps. The first 26,000 receipts reported from trips to Walmart on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday were analyzed to provide a quick read on this year’s hottest items based on unit sales.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

For more information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com

 

 

An Early Look at 2016 Holiday Gift Shopping Trends

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We all know people who start holiday gift shopping as soon as the kids go back to school. We all know people who make a mad dash to the mall on Christmas Eve. We all know people who wait on line in front of discount stores to take advantage of doorbuster deals on Black Friday. And we all know people buy everything online with their fuzzy slippers on and never leave the house.

But when do most people start their gift shopping? How much do Black Friday and other sales events impact shopping plans?

InfoScout conducted a survey of approximately 2,100 consumers over the weekend to answer these questions and see what factors are influencing shopping behavior.

How Much Holiday Gift Shopping Has Already Been Done?

More than seven in 10 consumers (72%) have started their holiday gift shopping. However, a larger percentage of shoppers have yet to start shopping compared to last year (28% vs. 21%). Also, shoppers were further along at this point in 2015 than they are this year.

The fact that people haven’t started shopping as early as they did last year could be due to the continued growth of Amazon and its fast, inexpensive shipping options for Prime members. In fact, a new study from Cowen & Co. reported in Barron’s estimates that Prime memberships have increased 23% to nearly 50 million since last year. People are more confident that gifts will arrive on time, and they don’t have to pay a fortune for fast shipping.

Also, the fast emergence of the Click and Collect option (buy online and pick up merchandise in the store) could be making it easier for shoppers to procrastinate. Click and Collect eliminates two major frustrations from the holiday shopping equation – long lines and shipping fees. As a result, 95% of those who used Click and Collect last year plan to do so again this year.

Is Black Friday Losing its Mojo?

Trends are pointing in that direction, especially if you consider that Black Friday is now part of a month-long (or more) sales push rather than a one-day event.

However, more people are taking advantage of pre-Black Friday sales, and fewer people are planning to shop Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. 36% of respondents are shopping pre-Black Friday sales this year, up from 31% last year, while 32% plan to shop on Saturday and Sunday, down from 37% last year. This would indicate that people know they can get most of the same deals before and after Thanksgiving weekend.

The continued dilution of Black Friday helps to explain why Super Saturday, the last Saturday before the Christmas weekend, continues to grow in terms of shopping trips and sales.

Online, In-store, or Both?

Overall, more shopping continues to move online. 42% of survey respondents plan to do most or all of their holiday gift shopping online in 2016, compared to 38% last year. 16% plan to do most or all of their holiday shopping in a physical store compared to 20% last year.

As for Black Friday in particular, more people plan to shop online (28%) than last year (25%), while fewer people plan to shop in stores (37%) than last year (41%). The gap was much wider for Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, as 27% plan to shop online compared to 19% in 2015, and 28% plan to shop in stores compared to 36% last year.

Using our proprietary apps that capture physical and digital receipt images of customer purchase data, InfoScout will be analyzing shopping behavior in near real-time this weekend, from Black Friday to Amazon to Click and Collect. Check back often as we publish these valuable insights!

InfoScout Debuts at #31 on Deloitte Technology Fast 500!

deloitte-technology-fast-500The InfoScout team is proud to announce another industry award: #31 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ list! InfoScout earned a place on this prestigious list by growing revenues by 3,507% (!) over a three-year period. The full list of winners, along with their rankings, was revealed at an awards reception on November 15, 2016 in Silicon Valley. This is InfoScout’s first year on the list.

Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies – both public and private – in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2012 to 2015.