News • 01.11.2019

Holiday season: 47% of shoppers need gifting ideas

Research from Periscope® by McKinsey

The "2019 Holiday Season Shopping Report: Shoppers are ready to spend but retailers need to personalize" by Periscope® By McKinsey looks  beyond Periscope's traditional Black Friday research focus to undertake a deeper exploration of shopper attitudes toward a range of holiday shopping events.

Young couple opens Christmas present
Source: PantherMedia / AllaSerebrina

Consumers Are Looking For Inspiration

With almost half of consumers admitting that they are looking for gift ideas, browsing in-store was listed as the top research channel utilized by consumers in Canada , the US and Germany. The top preference for UK shoppers is browsing retailer websites even before browsing in-store.

To help inform their buying decisions this holiday season, consumers also welcome receiving marketing messages and communications from retailers that help inform and guide their seasonal shopping efforts. Promotional e-mails were by far the most preferred choice for the majority of shoppers in all territories surveyed.

Clear Customer Segments Emerge

The research findings reveal that savvy retailers will need to think beyond Black Friday – getting both the timing and targeting of promotions and deals right to capture those hyper-organized consumers keen to get their gift shopping tasks wrapped up early. Asked when they start thinking about shopping for the festive holidays, 52 percent of female shoppers in the UK and 50 percent in the US said that they get a jump-start on their holiday gift buying in the October-November timeframe, followed closely by 46 percent of female consumers in Germany and Canada. Female shoppers evidently represent a prime target from pre-October to early November which retailers would be remiss to overlook, whereas the mid-end of October to December timeframe is the ideal window to capture the attention of male shoppers . For women, the focus is on gift purchases for the household and children, while male consumers shop primarily for their partner/significant other (and for themselves).

Asked about the monetary value of their holiday spend budgets, consumers in Canada and the US had allocated the highest budgets for their seasonal purchases; 18 percent of US and 16 percent of Canadian shoppers expect to spend $1000 or more. Meanwhile, shoppers in Germany appear the most muted with regard to their gifting budgets – with 14 percent saying they will spend less than $100.

Mobile Has Transformed In-Store Shopping Behaviors

For today's connected consumers, the smartphone has become a vital shopping aid. Far from diminishing the appeal of physical shopping, smartphones are being used for a variety of select purposes whenever shoppers visit bricks-and-mortar stores. The study findings show 51 percent of consumers use them to compare prices with competitors, 33 percent to search for in-store discounts or coupons, and 30 percent to look up further product information.

Retailers should not assume it's only the younger generations are using their smartphones to compare prices/products, read reviews, hunt down coupons or purchase products they've looked at/touched when in-store. The research findings indicate that those over 50 and the 60-69 age cohort are also intrigued by such activities.

Taking advantage of a digitally enabled in-store shopping experience is also particularly appealing to consumers aged 18-39. For them, facilities such as mobile POS, digital displays to view products, the ability to self-check-out, and get offers on their phones all add up to a more convenient and consistent experience.

Brian Elliott, Founder, Senior Advisor & Head of Innovation at Periscope By McKinsey, said: "Given these trends, it's becoming clear that the winners of this holiday season will be those retailers who get personalization right, create omnichannel experiences, and win the battle of consideration by launching promotional campaigns earlier."

Source: Periscope by McKinsey

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