Four in 10 to Shop on Black Friday; Ads, WOM Sources of Product Info

November 19, 2007

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Asia-Pacific | Magazines | Paid Search | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media

More than 4 in 10 US consumers (44%) say they plan to shop on the day after Thanksgiving – “Black Friday” - and more than half say they rely on advertising and word-of-mouth for information on products, according to the findings of an Accenture survey released today.

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Among the key findings of the study:

  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) cite advertising as their primary source to learn about holiday products. More than half (55%) cite word of mouth. Fewer consumers consult retailer and manufacturer websites (39% and 23%, respectively).

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  • Nearly six in 10 respondents (57%) said they will set a budget for holiday gift buying before heading to the stores, but about half (51%) of respondents said they are likely to overspend their budget.

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  • More than two-thirds (70%) of respondents are concerned about the safety of products made in China:
    • Almost half (48%) said they have chosen not to buy items manufactured in China, and 9% said they have returned an item made in China.
    • More than a third of respondents (37%) said they are unconcerned about where the goods they buy are made.
  • When asked what bothers them most about holiday shopping in stores, the greatest number of respondents – 77% – cited crowded malls, followed by long lines (65%).

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  • About half of respondents (49%) said that gas prices will not affect their holiday spending, but nearly the same amount (45%) said they will make fewer shopping trips this year due to gas prices.

Other findings from the Accenture Holiday Retail Survey 2007:

‘Hot’ Products

  • While 58% of respondents said they anticipate buying a “hot” gift item (a trendy product in high demand) for someone this year, 38% say they rarely find innovative items for the holidays.
  • Asked what they would do to obtain a hot item for someone on their shopping list:
    • 45% said they would order it in advance, if possible.
    • Almost one-quarter (23%) said they would stand in line at a retailer, with 15% saying they would arrive at a store early to secure a place in line.
    • Nearly four in 10 (39%) said they would not do anything extraordinary to obtain a hot gift item.

‘Green’ Shopping

  • Almost half of respondents (47%) said concern for the environment is an important influence on their shopping behavior, and nearly six in 10 (57%) said they are willing to spend more on “green” products.

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  • More consumers seek environmentally friendly products than look for environmentally friendly retailers (60% versus 46%).
  • Some shoppers, however, are influenced by retailers’ environmental practices, with 35% of respondents saying they are influenced by retailers’ recycling programs.

Gift Cards

  • Four out of five respondents (80%) said they have either received or given a gift card in the past year.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said they purchase gift cards because they are more convenient than gifts.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) said they give gift cards when they don’t know what size of clothing the recipient wears.
  • About three-quarters of respondents (73%) said they purchase gift cards at the retail store where the card will be used; only 14% of respondents purchase them in another location, such as a grocery or convenience store.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they will use a gift card they receive to treat themselves to something they would not otherwise buy, and 44% said they will buy something for which they were saving.
  • Fewer than one in four respondents (38%) said they use gift cards to shop for sale items.
  • About two-thirds (65%) said they use a gift card in a single shopping trip, and 38% use the gift card within one month of receiving it.

Various other survey findings:

  • More than one-third (39%) of respondents said they believe the economy will be weaker in 2008, while nearly the same number (37%) said they believe it will be the same.
  • Home heating costs will not affect holiday spending for 69% of respondents.
  • Only 24% of respondents expect to travel for the holidays. Among those travelers, most expect to drive (78%) to visit family and friends (84%).
  • Some 15% are avoiding travel because of high gas prices.
  • About 22% plan to spend the holidays vacationing within the United States.

About the study: The Web-based survey of 532 US consumers age 18 and older was fielded in November 2007.

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