CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Get in touch to learn more. 

1. Most Americans prefer checking out with a cashier rather than self-checkout; however, the opposite is true for Gen Z and Millennials.

A number of retailers have begun to rethink their use of self-checkout kiosks – which ballooned in popularity during the pandemic. Some experts say retail theft concerns are one reason some stores are now limiting the use of self-checkout kiosks. In addition, frequent failures and errors at self-checkout machines have left many customers feeling frustrated. 

Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults say they prefer checking out with cashiers, compared with only 34% who prefer self-checkout kiosks. The opposite is true, however, when it comes to younger consumers – Gen Z and Millennial respondents are more likely to prefer self-checkout stations to cashier checkout lines. Meanwhile, adults 45+ are significantly more likely to prefer a cashier.

Additional SPEC Report data show that consumers who prefer self-checkout kiosks are nearly twice as likely to say they always donate money when asked for a donation at the checkout register.

Join the Conversation: Do you prefer traditional or self-checkout?

2. Single women outweigh single men in homeownership.

A recent National Association of Realtors report found that single women are making up an increasingly large percentage of U.S. homeowners. The report shows that single men and women were nearly equally likely to own a home 40 years ago, but now single women significantly outweigh single men in home ownership.

The same story holds according to CivicScience data – single women are noticeably more likely than single men to say they own a home. They are four percentage points more likely than single men to report being homeowners (and not looking to rent), increasing to an eight-point difference among single respondents with a household income of at least $75,000.

3. Democrats are ahead of holiday shopping and expect to spend more on gifts this year than Republicans. 

Ongoing CivicScience holiday tracking indicates that Democrats are more optimistic about the upcoming holiday season than Republicans. For example, SPEC report data show that Democrats are nine percentage points more likely than Republicans to say they’re looking forward to the holidays more than they usually do. They are also more likely to be ahead on their holiday shopping – 55% of Democrats have started at least ‘a little’ of their shopping, compared to 43% of Republicans and 48% of Independents. Conversely, Republicans are most likely to say they haven’t started holiday shopping yet (57%).

Perhaps due to getting ahead on holiday shopping, Democrats also report that they anticipate increased spending this holiday season. A third expect to spend more this holiday season than last year, compared to about a quarter of Republicans (who are more likely to spend less versus more this year).

Answer our Polls: Do you usually get all your holiday shopping done ahead of time, or do you wait until the last minute?

Want to see more of the in-depth consumer insights found in this report not covered here? Clients receive the SPEC Report in full, plus access to real-time insights, driven by our database of over 500K questions. Start here to see it in action.