Who Plans Their Purchases? Parents, Online Shoppers

October 30, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Industries | Retail & E-Commerce

Targeting impulse shoppers? They’re more likely to be found in-store than online, and they’re less likely to have kids in the household, according to a study from Valassis [download page]. Based on a survey of 1,400 adults, the report indicates that among those who do most or all of their shopping online, 63% claim to research and plan all of their purchases.

That compares with just 32% of people who do most or all of their shopping in-store. In fact, these in-store shoppers are more likely to say they don’t research or plan any of their shopping (37%) at all.

Overall, in-store gets the nod over online for apparel and home improvement shopping, while respondents are more mixed when it comes to shopping for electronics and appliances. That’s supported by other recent data, which found the preference for in-store shopping to be much greater for home improvement than electronics.

Who Else Plans? Parents!

The survey looked further into how people plan for shopping – whether that’s researching store choices, prices, or searching for coupons and making lists.

One group that stood out in these activities was parents. Across each of the 5 retail buying categories examined, parents were more likely to report researching and planning all of their purchases than the overall average.

For example, two-thirds of parents reported researching and planning for every electronics and appliance purchase, versus 58% of adults overall. Likewise, parents claim to plan for all apparel purchases at a greater rate than the average (53% and 43%, respectively).

Valassis sees this as an opportunity for marketers, who can “impact the purchase cycle right from the start.”

Given that online shoppers also plan to a greater degree than in-store shoppers, it’s not surprising to see that parents are more likely to shop exclusively online than other adults. Roughly one-quarter claim to only shop online for housewares and electronics/appliances, compared to 13% and 16% of respondents overall, respectively.

While that suggests that marketers should heavily prioritize digital media to reach parents, print shouldn’t be forgotten. Citing third-party data from Propser Insights and Analytics, the study shows that print has a 27% share of influence on parents’ decisions, compared to 24% for online and 11% for mobile. So it seems as though a cross-channel approach is necessary…

About the Data: The Valassis Awareness-to-Activation Study is an ongoing study fielded in conjunction with The NPD Group, Inc., a global market research company. The sample was derived via an online survey, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States.Approximately 10,000 respondents are surveyed annually. The specific data included in Valassis’ latest report covered here is from the research wave fielded 5/26/17 ”“ 7/28/17 to over 1,400 respondents and is balanced by age and gender to U.S. Census demographic profiles.


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