More than 4 in 10 US consumers (44%) say they plan to shop on the day after Thanksgiving – “Black Friday” -Â 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.
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).
- 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.
- 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%).
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.