Time spent at retail locations such as a grocery store, other store, or mall, accounts for 13% of US adults’ time away from home and the workplace, finds the Outdoor Advertising Assocation of America in a May 2012 report conducted by the Media Behavior Institute. Using 1,000 smartphones diaries to capture behavioral data every 30 minutes over 10 days, the study found that travel dominates away from home experiences, at 62% share of time spent. Food service (10%), outside (10%), gym (2%), and public transport (2%) made up the remainder of adults’ time spent away from home or work.
Away From Home Has Significant Reach
Data from the “USA TouchPoints” study indicates that on an average day, 80% of Americans interact with away from home places and vehicles. While outside the home or workplace, these consumers are engaging with activities critical to marketers, such as: using media and being reached by messages; socializing and influencing other people; and shopping and making purchasing decisions.
The potential certainly exists to impact this large swathe of the population. According to survey results released in February 2012 by BrandSpark International in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens, among the more than 3,000 North American respondents, 80% said they always (18%) or sometimes (62%) notice outdoor ads.
Meanwhile, the peak time for away from home is during the afternoon, with consumer reach on the average day generally highest from midday to 6 PM. In fact, the afternoon is the peak for away from home reach on both weekdays and weekends.
Retail Gets More Share of Time on the Weekend
The OAAA study also finds that while the a similar proportion of consumers are away from home on the weekend as during the week, their share of time spent in different locations shifts quite significantly. For example, on the weekend, consumers spend 9% less of their away from home time traveling, while spending 16% more at retail locations, 10% more at food service establishments, and 27% more simply being outside.
Midday is Prime Time for Retail
Looking at when the average consumer reach is highest among the different categories, the OAAA study reveals that retail peaks in the early afternoon (roughly between 1PM and 4PM), which is roughly the same range for outside’s peak. Travel opportunities for marketers are highest at 8:30-9 AM, 12-12:30 PM, 3-3:30 PM, and 5-6:30 PM. OAAA insight indicates that the distinct, staggered prime times for the different categories suggests that multiple placements can be most effective for maximizing consumer exposure.
- According to the study, different places have different reaches among demographics. For example, adults with household income of $75k+ per year over-index on time spent traveling, at retail locations, and at food service establishments.
- The most common consumer activities while away from home are: using media; socializing; and shopping. Media use peaks in the early evening (roughly 5-6:30 PM), while socializing peaks from about 7:30-8 PM and shopping between 1 and 4 PM.
About the Data: The study examined the behaviors of adults aged 18 to 64. The reporting time was from 6AM to 12AM.