With the holidays quickly approaching, marketers need timely, actionable, and forward-looking consumer data to power their Q4 strategies. What shopping trends are leading the way when it comes to consumer decisions? As we transition into the busy fall season, check out the latest roundup of key consumer insights tracked by CivicScience via the InsightStore.

Trend 1: Holiday Spending Outlook Looks On Track With Last Year

Ongoing tracking by CivicScience shows that confidence in personal finances and the U.S. economy is trending downward, while a growing number of consumers are cutting spending on many leisure categories (such as dining out, travel, and entertainment) and preparing to increase spending on essentials such as groceries and household items. 

Is increasing financial concern likely to impact holiday spending? As of now, close to half of U.S. adults who are planning to spend on the holidays are likely to spend as much this year as they did last year. A slightly higher percentage are planning to spend less this year (27%) than more (25%). These spending expectations look nearly identical to last year’s numbers at this time.

Adults under age 35 greatly outweigh older adults in plans to spend more this year, especially Gen Z. In comparison, older Millennials and Gen Xers are the most likely to pull back on spending.

Additional insights from the InsightStore find that consumers plan to do more online shopping this year, while looking for deals/promotions and free shipping. 

Trend 2: Consumers Will Be Looking to Utilize Loyalty Programs

Shoppers will also be on the lookout for opportunities to take advantage of brand loyalty or rewards program benefits, such as discounts and freebies. Recent CivicScience data suggest that two-thirds of U.S. adults belong to at least one loyalty program, with the majority of these consumers saying those programs carry at least some degree of importance when it comes to choosing where to shop and what to buy.

Loyalty programs may also play a role in holiday shopping. People who plan to spend more this season are twice as likely as other shoppers to value loyalty programs as ‘very important.’ While it’s hard to say if loyalty programs incentivize increased holiday spending, it’s arguable that users may still leverage or rely upon program savings for their budgets. Cost-saving discounts and perks are the top reasons people utilize loyalty programs.

Trend 3: Consumers Are Conscious of Dynamic Pricing 

Another key finding from Q3 – consumers are aware of the practice of dynamic pricing, and the majority view it as synonymous with price gouging. Prices that fluctuate too greatly are likely to cause shoppers to turn away and pursue alternative brands or retailers, or simply not purchase the product at all.

Anticipating how people plan to shop this holiday season, those planning to do the majority of their gift shopping at specialty retailers and locally-owned stores are the most likely to forgo a purchase on items that rise quickly in price. On the other hand, those who plan to holiday shop at department stores or big-box stores are the most likely to continue with a purchase regardless.

CivicScience and the InsightStore can help retailers gain a deep understanding of where these and many other trends sit among their brand and target audiences. Ready to see how? Schedule a meeting today. 

CivicScience helps retailers to:

+ Stay ahead of rapidly changing consumer preferences
+ Track and navigate disruption from challenger brands 
+ Visualize a 360-degree view of consumers through demographic, behavioral, cultural, & other contextual metrics
+ Quickly and easily gain insights and turn data into compelling presentations
+ Stay current with how consumers are using mixed reality (MR) technology 

Our clients include:

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“CivicScience surfaced the one game-changing insight that our army of analysts, consultants, and agencies couldn’t find.” David Feick, VP of Insights, T-Mobile