The holiday season can be a stressful time for everyone. Retailers are stuck working long hours, have to deal with the crowded stores, and are constantly restocking and tidying store shelves. Consumers are making their lists (and checking them twice), venturing out with the masses, and some are trying to stick to a shopping budget. The whole process can be fraught with mixed emotions.
For retailers, identifying consumers’ pet peeves (and hopefully addressing them) when it comes to holiday shopping in stores, as well as doubling-down on what they enjoy the most about the experience can result in a happier holiday season for everyone.
CivicScience asked over 1,800 U.S. adults since mid-October to pinpoint what they enjoy the most about holiday shopping in stores. After eliminating those who don’t holiday shop in stores, we found that 26% of consumers most enjoy holiday music, decorations, and displays – followed by 14% who favor in-store deals and sales, and 12% who most enjoy being able to see and touch the products.
Unfortunately for retailers, 41% of adults don’t enjoy anything about holiday shopping in stores. (More on this later…)
Let’s take a closer looks at the consumers who picked one of the top two “most liked” options:
Holiday Music, Decorations, Displays:
Women are 68% more likely than men to enjoy the music and decorations most. Although they plan to holiday shop online, their online shopping carts won’t be too full: those who enjoy the festive atmosphere are 25% more likely to do a quarter or less of their holiday shopping online. These respondents are also slightly more likely (+14%) to say TV ads have the most influence on their purchases.
By creating cheerful displays, consumers may be willing to spend more time in stores perusing the merchandise. Maybe retailers could offer contests among their employees or local organizations for the best holiday display. Also, playing a variety of holiday music could help get shoppers in the holiday spirit, but that doesn’t mean consumers want to hear holiday music before Thanksgiving…
A whopping 79% of U.S. adults would rather the holiday tunes stay on pause until November 27.
Deals in the Store:
Younger individuals are more likely to enjoy the deals in the stores most: Millennials are 43% more likely to answer this way. The deal seekers seem to be price sensitive given they are more likely to have a lower income than average (not surprising considering their age) and are 53% more likely to use coupons every chance they get when shopping for non-grocery products. They are slightly more likely to say ads on the Internet have the most influence on their purchases and are 32% more likely to be brand loyal.
By rewarding loyal customer groups with coupons or special shopping days where they can earn extra reward points could be a great way to get these consumers spending a little more and visiting the stores throughout the holiday season.
What About Those Who Dislike Everything?
Men are 56% more likely to not enjoy anything about holiday shopping in stores, and older consumers over-index in this group too (those 65 and older are 23% more likely to not enjoy anything). These respondents are less likely to use coupons when shopping, are less brand loyal, and are 36% more likely to plan on doing more than 75% of their holiday shopping online. Those who dislike holiday shopping in stores are 30% more likely to be most influenced by comments or recommendations on social media.
It’s evident these consumers enjoy convenience, and it will be challenging for retailers to get them shopping in the stores over the holidays. However, advertising certain perks such as the capability of using Apple Pay, extended store hours, or maybe even personal shopping consultants that will help them find exactly what they are looking for, may persuade these consumers to give stores a second chance. For retailers with a strong online/e-commerce presence, these consumers can also mean opportunity if marketing tactics for online deals and incentives properly target them.
But in terms of disliking the in-store shopping experience, we used our polling to get more specific insights about consumer opinion on this matter. Our partner The NPD Group used our data to publish a report today, “The Top 5 Things People Hate Most About Holiday Shopping,” which brings to light consumers’ aggravations of in-store holiday shopping, as well as profiling the respondents.
Retailers should play up what people enjoy most about the holiday shopping in stores, which could potentially bring consumers into the stores more frequently, ultimately leading to more spending. However, retailers also need to understand consumers’ grievances and try to fix them as best they can in order for everyone to have a merrier, and hopefully more stress-free holiday season.