Is false pessimism about the economy fueling support for Trump?

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Trump supporters are 44% more likely than Clinton supporters to claim that they’re paying significantly more for groceries over the last year. But in fact, they’re paying less.

This election season, it’s been widely reported that Trump supporters are much more likely than Clinton supporters to hold the opinion that the American economy is doing much worse this year than a year ago.  To understand this phenomenon, InfoScout decided to peel back the onion to better understand whether or not individual Trump supporters might actually be facing a different economic experience than their Clinton supporting counterparts.

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To perform this study, InfoScout surveyed nearly 2,000 consumers who have been using one of the company’s mobile apps (e.g., Shoparoo & Receipt Hog) to submit pictures of their receipts after every shopping trip for more than one year.   These consumers were asked a series of questions related to their views on social issues, the economy and especially their perception of price inflation versus one year ago.  Once a survey respondent’s economic perspective was captured, they were then asked whether or not they were planning to vote, and if so, which party they are affiliated with and which candidate they planned to support.   

For each of the 1,842 individual respondents who stated that they were planning to vote in Tuesday’s election, InfoScout identified purchases of the exact same grocery item in both the most recent three months ending October 31, 2016 and in the same three month period one year ago.  The prices paid for these identical items at the exact same stores (e.g., a 12.25oz box of Honey Nut Cheerios from Target) were then compared on a year-over-year basis.

The data clearly indicates that overall prices for the same items are down from a year ago and in fact are down slightly more for the Trump supporters studied due to geo-demographic attributes.  Taken by itself, this is not a very interesting or insightful finding, but when we combine these shopping behaviors with the attitudes expressed by these voters, the results are quite illuminating.

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Despite paying less for their groceries, 52% of Trump supporters surveyed believe they are paying more for their groceries now than they were a year ago.  By contrast, this number falls to 36% for supporters of Hillary Clinton.  This means that Trump supporters are 44% more likely than Clinton supporters to falsely believe that grocery prices are on the rise.  This false pessimism may be fueling their drive for a change of party in the White House – especially if Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is seen as a continuation of the current administration.  Perhaps more concerning for the Clinton campaign is that undecided voters appear just as likely as Trump supporters to incorrectly assert that they are paying more at checkout.  Clinton’s White House pursuit may very well depend on her ability to convince undecided voters that perhaps the economy isn’t so bad after all.

InfoScout is one of America’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies

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3 years, 3600% growth.  As you might imagine, a lot of things have to go right to experience the kind of growth that landed InfoScout at 84th among this year’s Inc. 5000.

The first among the dominoes to align for InfoScout was a large market of consumer goods and retailers, distraught by a lack of innovation among the incumbent consumer panel providers for nearly 30 years.  These clients already knew that there had to be a better way to understand the drivers of change in retail sales and market share, and they were just waiting for a disruptive start-up like InfoScout to come along.

Second, was a sea-change of technological advancements including more powerful smartphones, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, and machine learning – all of which were necessary for InfoScout’s approach to work.

Next, we had to assemble an engineering team capable of harnessing all of these technologies to solve a seemingly endless series of challenges in a unified way. My CTO and co-founder, Jon Brelig, built a team that would engineer the diverse components necessary for success, including a portfolio of consumer mobile apps, a scalable transcription pipeline, and a SaaS analytics platform to derive insights from the data. And what better place to build this team than San Francisco – the epicenter of tech innovation.

Fortunately, key leaders at Procter & Gamble and Unilever were willing to bet on our nascent technology back in 2012 – before we’d even launched our first product – or we wouldn’t have been eligible for the 2016 Inc. 5000 list.  We must have done something right, because in every year since, our growth has been fueled more through deeper relationships with existing customers than by adding new clients.  The tremendous revenue growth we’ve seen comes entirely from our customers – a fact we don’t take lightly, as it only raises the bar in terms of the value we must deliver in exchange.

To rise to that occasion, we’ve recently benefitted from a series of partnerships that enable us to deliver new ways of measuring the true incrementality and ROI of advertising campaigns, retail promotions, new product launches, and brand building. With their help we hope to finally render this adage irrelevant among consumer brands: “I know that 50% of my marketing is working – I just don’t know which half.”

Finally, for all of the amazing technology behind InfoScout, we know that we could not achieve nor continue this growth without a great team of people who continuously find clever solutions to complex problems, who focus on their collective impact, and who strive to delight our customers in every interaction. Thank you, Team InfoScout!

(P.S. – Special thanks to Ajay Agarwal and Indy Guha of Bain Capital Ventures, David Frankel of Founder Collective, and Andre Gharakhanian of Silicon Legal Strategy.  You’ve been great partners at every step along the way.)

Black Friday’s Top Sellers by Retailer – Did Apple’s iPad ‘throw in the towel’ against the Amazon Fire?

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After the Apple iPad dominated Black Friday in 2013 and 2014, most pundits predicted another strong holiday season for the tablet. Although the iPad remains near the top of the charts as a best seller once again in 2015, InfoScout’s early read on the top items this year favors ‘throws’, ‘towels’ and the Amazon Fire tablet.

 

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* After $200 manufacturer rebate

 

About the Data
More than 300,000 Americans snap pictures of their everyday shopping receipts via InfoScout’s mobile apps: Shoparoo, Receipt Hog and Receipt Lottery. The first 150,000 receipts (151,337 to be exact) 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.

 

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For further information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com

You Won’t Believe Which Brands Dominated Black Friday at Walmart

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Wrangler? Hanes? Better Homes and Gardens? Seriously?!

That’s right, gone are the days of Black Friday dominance by iPads, Xbox consoles, and Samsung TVs. An early read of 15,000 receipts from shopping trips to Walmart between 6:00pm Thursday and noon on Black Friday indicates a very different kind of Christmas this year.

 

Without further ado, here are Walmart’s hottest products this Black Friday 2015:

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About the Data

More than 300,000 Americans snap pictures of their everyday shopping receipts every day via InfoScout’s mobile apps: Shoparoo, Receipt Hog and Receipt Lottery. The first 15,000 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. For further information, please contact press@infoscoutinc.com

100 Million Shopping Trips and Counting

 

 

ORLANDO, FL – November 4th, 2015 – InfoScout announced today at THE Market Research Event that it has processed 100,000,000 shopping receipts submitted by consumers using the company’s portfolio of mobile apps.

 

“When we launched our first app in 2012, our goal was to leverage the full benefits of smartphones to rethink what a consumer purchase panel should be like in the 21st century,” said Jon Brelig, co-founder and CTO. “By developing a portfolio of apps that engage diverse types of people with unique experiences, we’ve been able to quickly build the largest and most representative panel in America.”

 

InfoScout now processes more than 300,000 shopping trips per day across all retailers, in-store and online – more than legacy panel providers capture in an entire month. In addition, the company will soon surpass 100,000 yearlong ‘static’ panelists – 50% more than their nearest competitor.

 

“In the two-years I’ve been working with InfoScout, I’ve been impressed by their rapid growth – not only in their panel size, but also in the number of clients whose brands they help grow,” said Joan Lewis, Procter & Gamble’s recently retired SVP of Consumer and Market Knowledge. “In my nearly 30 years in the insights industry, InfoScout has brought the most innovative solutions and fastest growth in individual-level insights.”

 

In the last year, InfoScout has added more than 50 retailer and consumer goods clients leveraging its InfoScout Insights™ analytics platform, consulting services, and in-the-moment triggered surveys to derive deeper shopper and consumer insights.

 

According to Jared Schrieber, InfoScout’s co-founder and CEO,

“It’s no coincidence that our 100-millionth receipt was an e-receipt from Amazon.com, of a digital format book, about a sci-fi future, sold for ‘free’ through a Prime subscription. Retail is changing rapidly and this receipt is indicative of the macro-waves we are riding to disrupt a monopolized industry that’s sought profits over progress for far too long.”

 

As part of this milestone, the team dug into the 100,000,000 receipts and found some intriguing metrics. Here is a sample of them:

This Holiday Season’s Hottest Gifts: Ideas For The Last Minute Shopper

Black Friday may seem like ages ago already, but this season’s shopping frenzy is far from over. (At least for those 11th hour-shoppers, that is.) For those of you planning to hit the stores tomorrow in one last mad dash, we’ve got some ideas for you. This holiday season, InfoScout analyzed over 3,500,000 shopping trips across all retailers – both online and offline – made by over 178,000 Americans to bring you this year’s best seller lists.

Electronics dominated holiday shopping once again this year with TV’s and Tablets again leading the pack.  Here are the top sellers heading into Christmas:

 

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65″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV

TVs

65″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV ($648 and up)

40″ Samsung LED HDTV ($329 and up)

50″ Emerson LED HDTV ($218 and up)

32″ Samsung LED HDTV ($199 and up)

32″ Emerson LED HDTV ($98 and up)

 

 

Tablets

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Apple iPad Air 2 16GB

Apple iPad Air 2 16GB ($449 and up)

Apple iPad Mini 16GB ($199 and up)

Amazon Fire HD 7″ 8GB ($114 and up)

RCA 10″ Android Tablet ($79 and up)

RCA 7″ Android Tablet ($29 and up) 

 

 

 

In our extensive, real-time coverage of Black Friday shopping, we found that Xbox One outsold the PS4 to win the console holiday battle for the second year in a row.  Sports-related games climbed the list this year owning 3 of the top 6 spots, a jump from just one sports game in the top 5 last year.   Here are the three most popular video game consoles on the market this holiday season:

 

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Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle

Video Game Consoles

PlayStation 4 500GB Console w/ 4 games ($399 and up)

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle ($329 and up)

Nintendo Wii U with SuperMario 3D World ($279 and up)

 

 

 

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Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll


For Girls

Disney Princess Ultimate Doll Collection ($40 and up)

Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll ($29 and up)

Disney Maleficent DVD ($19 and up)

 

 

 

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Bouncepro 14ft Trampoline

For Boys

Bouncepro 14ft Trampoline ($159 and up)

Zoomer Dino ($79 and up)

Lego Building Sets – Star Wars Phantom ($19 and up)

 

 

 

For Friends & Family

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Beats By Dre Beats Solo Headphones

Keurig 2.0 K560 Brewer with 48 K-Cup Packs ($149 and up)

Beats By Dre Beats Solo Headphones ($100 and up)

Rachael Ray 15-piece Cookset ($88 and up)

Gift Cards ($25 iTunes, Amazon & Google Play are top sellers)

Dale Earnhardt “The Intimidator” Pocket Knife ($15 and up)

Glade Wax Melts Warmer Starter Pack ($9 and up)

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate: Lindt truffles and our local favorite, Ghirardelli chocolates

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @infoscout to stay abreast of the real-time retail action this holiday season.

Data methodology:
Top sellers are listed by price, not by sales rank. InfoScout analyzed over 3,500,000 shopping trips across all retailers – both online and offline – made by over 178,000 Americans over the holiday season to bring you this year’s best seller lists.   For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Top Selling Items on Record Shattering Cyber Monday

Amidst reports of Black Friday’s slumping sales numbers, this past Monday’s online sales hit a record breaking $2 billion mark, making 2014’s Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day to date.  This is just one more data point confirming the accelerating trend away from traditional brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping as detailed in our prior post outlining Black Friday’s rapid shift to become Cyber Friday.

Which items contributed to this 24 hour e-commerce frenzy? Here are the top selling products at some of the major online retailers:

 

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Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @infoscout to stay abreast of the real-time retail action this holiday season.

Data methodology:
This data was collected from the online purchases of InfoScout’s 40,000 panelists who share access to the e-receipts they receive in their email inboxes each day. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Apple Pay’s Black Friday, By The Numbers

Here at InfoScout, we love data.  And we love mobile technology.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’ve put on our analytics hats to learn how the hottest new player in mobile payments, Apple Pay, performed in the Super Bowl of shopping: Black Friday.  To do this, we tracked the shopping behavior and opinions of those in our 170,000 household consumer panel who own an iPhone 6 / 6 Plus and shopped at a retail store that accepts Apple Pay this Black Friday weekend.

Despite its hype within the tech community, Apple Pay still has a lot of ground to cover.  Out of all Apple Pay-eligible transactions on Black Friday, the new NFC-powered mobile payment method was used less than 5% of the time. Let’s explore the details behind this number and what the landscape looks like in terms of Apple Pay usage.

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According to these real-time shopper surveys data, just over 9% of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who shopped on Black Friday have ever tried using Apple Pay at checkout.  Among those who have used Apple Pay, there was a 50-50 chance that they would use it at checkout when shopping at a participating retailer on Black Friday.  To understand the “why” behind this behavior we explored the extent to which the product or experience itself was the culprit.  We asked Apple Pay users what they thought of it as compared to swiping a card, and found overwhelmingly positive reactions to the experience.

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If Apple Pay users have had such positive experiences, why did only half of them use Apple Pay when given the chance on Black Friday?  Well, we figured they’d know best… so we asked them.

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The biggest piece of the puzzle is simple: they were unaware that the store accepted Apple Pay.  The second-most common reason is that they simply forgot. This isn’t necessarily surprising; the checkout process has become habit for most, and integrating mobile payments into your purchase flow requires change to a very deeply ingrained pattern of behavior.  These two data points highlight Apple’s need to find a way to capture mindshare at checkout, and to remind or inform the user that the purchase could be made with Apple Pay.  Of the two icons currently in use at Apple Pay-accepting stores, only one actually has any Apple branding, and both are fairly subtle and unlikely to grab attention.  If there were a more prominent display, Apple could feasibly increase Apple Pay usage by over 40% – simply by having its user base behave more consistently.

 

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Either of these two icons can be seen at retailers accepting Apple Pay, but only one of them directly refers to Apple Pay.

Taking a step back, however, we see that the biggest opportunity is for Apple Pay to drive adoption among the 90% of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who have yet to try it – despite shopping at stores that accept Apple Pay.   InfoScout’s survey of these potential users yielded some interesting results…

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A whopping 32% of eligible users haven’t tried Apple Pay because they aren’t familiar with how it works, and 11% simply haven’t heard of it.  That means that nearly half of people who are eligible to use Apple Pay can still be influenced via informational outreach or educational advertising. We’ve already seen that most users who pay with Apple Pay find it to be easier and faster, but now Apple needs to better inform their potential user base of these benefits.  Bonus points to Apple if they can use that same campaign to address any security concerns users may have.

Even with all this data in hand, it is very evident that Apple Pay is still a nascent competitor in the payments industry.  Apple Pay has only been around for 5 weeks, and with over 70 million Apple Pay-capable iPhones expected to sell in Q4 of this year, adoption of Apple Pay may shift drastically as more people upgrade their devices and the positive word-of-mouth from existing users spreads.

We’ll be tracking it all, so stay tuned in to all the action by subscribing via the button above.

Holiday Spending Jumps 29% among Online Shoppers

Forget Cyber Monday, this Thanksgiving weekend online shoppers eschewed packed parking lots, doorbusting brawls and languishing lines to kick-off the holiday shopping season.   Early data from nearly 40,000 Americans* who share their e-commerce shopping activity with InfoScout indicates that online sales are up 29% from Thanksgiving and Black Friday one year ago.

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Which online retailers are leading the pack?  Among the four largest sites we’re tracking in real-time this weekend, Amazon has a clear lead with nearly 41% share – a slight gain from last year.   While Walmart’s overall e-commerce sales appear to be up from a year ago, the brick-and-mortar giant’s share of cyber sales is slightly down versus is its biggest online competitors.  By contrast, BestBuy is rapidly gaining virtual ground thanks to a well executed Cyber Savings campaign that includes free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  Meanwhile, eBay continues its “Countdown to Cyber Monday” campaign which is effectively giving their competitors a three-day head-start in the race for consumers’ limited dollars this holiday season.

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With overall online sales up 29% this Black Thursday & Friday, it begs the question of whether online shoppers are going online earlier this year, or whether they are shifting their spend from physical retail to e-commerce.  By studying both the online and offline purchases reported by Amazon’s holiday shoppers, InfoScout found that their Black Thursday & Friday spend in stores dropped 38% year-over-year to $153.43.  Meanwhile, their average spend at Amazon.com grew 67% to $83.27.  If this trend continues, Amazon’s loyal shoppers will spend more on Amazon.com next Black Friday than they will in all brick-and-mortar retailers combined!

 

Data methodology:
InfoScout’s 40,000 Omnichannel Panelists provided real-time visibility into their Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping both online and in-store.  The data in this study includes purchases at all major e-commerce sites including Amazon, Walmart, eBay, BestBuy, Target, Apple (and more) by 8,793 panelists who also reported their online shopping activity to InfoScout more than one year ago.  The margin of error in the market share analysis is <2% absolute.   The confidence intervals for Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, and eBay in the market share analysis in 2014 are ±2.78%,±2.61%,±2.48%, and±0.9%,  respectively.  The 95% confidence interval for the first chart on normalized $ spent is ±8.26 for the year 2014.   For more information related to InfoScout’s panel representation and data, visit our data page.

Retailers Face Heavy Deflationary Headwinds this Holiday Season

Powered by over 170,000 consumer panelists, InfoScout’s real-time read on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales indicates that early reports of a strong holiday shopping season for America’s major retailers may be inflated.

With consumer electronics dominating the list of best sellers at Walmart, Target, Best Buy and even Kohl’s, these retailers now find themselves exposed to the deflationary pressures of the gadget industry.   Last year, consumers were exposed to exciting new products, and shoppers swarmed in to seize the new must-haves like the iPad Air, Beats Headphones, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.  As an industry that relies on innovation, the relative lack thereof in 2014  has left American shoppers unwilling to spend more for only minimally improved versions of their favorite products.  With their top-selling items now on-shelf at reduced prices, retailers will need to sell many more units than last year to keep pace with sales from the 2013 holiday season.

The list of best selling products in each of Walmart’s top holiday categories is remarkably unchanged, with slightly better offerings at predominantly lower prices.

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Target carries a similar assortment of products to Walmart and therefore faces similar deflationary headwinds this holiday season.   Sales of iPads had accounted for such a large percentage of Target’s holiday sales in 2013, that the retailer will have to steer shoppers towards other products in 2014 in order to overcome the large year-over-year price reductions.

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Even the highly innovative Amazon has struggled to improve upon its Kindle Fire offering from last year.   In fact, consumers are trading down this year from 7-inch to a 6-inch display at a much lower price point.

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It should be no surprise then that average basket values appear to be down across almost every major retailer compared to the year prior.  Early data coming in from InfoScout’s panelists’ shopping in stores on Black Thursday & Black Friday indicate that only Macy’s has managed even the slightest gain in their average transaction.  While this data is just a preliminary read, it is derived from more than 42,000 shopping trips reported thus far at the retailers below.

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To stay on top of America’s shopper journey throughout this retail holiday season, be sure to subscribe (above) for real-time updates.

(Author’s note:  Special thanks to Ben Ahn & Bret Weinberg for their real-time reporting.)