Women Remain Frugal and Mobile Remains Frequent

holiday shopping trendsThe holidays, while gone, are far from forgotten as industry leaders and market researchers in the retail sector analyze holiday sales and all related data for a glimpse of 2012’s possible shopping trends. A recent study by The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, had two trends it felt were worthy of mentioning going into the new year: women’s shopping habits and smartphone shopping capabilities.

Holiday Input Help Forecast 2012 Retail Trends

The frugal mindset of the female consumer, according to multiple studies by NPD, appeared in the early months of 2011 and lasted straight through the holidays. The recent study affirms that women over men openly admitted to spend less on each gift this holiday season, as well as cut back on the number of gifts bought. NPD also reports, “When asked if they bought items on sale, shopped in less expensive stores and bought more practical or thrifty gifts, again a higher percentage of women answered ‘Yes.’” This doesn’t mean, however, that women sold themselves short in the shopping experience. In this post-holiday study 50 percent of women told NPD they bought something for themselves during the course of their holiday shopping. Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of the NPD Group, Inc., confirms, “Women were the ones that told us they cut back on their spending, cut back on the number of people on their lists and in general were more thrifty in their gift shopping. So, they felt more comfortable about rewarding themselves for being so frugal ad there were a lot of deals that were hard to pass up.”

Another noteworthy trend was the popular topic of smartphones and mobile marketing, as both men and women consumers used their phones as a channel for research and purchasing this holiday season. Women were only slightly more inclined to research a product (13 percent versus 12 percent), as well as follow through with a purchase (5 percent versus 4 percent). Men, however, were more willing to use the phone as a resource while shopping in store, reading product reviews along the way (7 percent versus 5 percent). They were also slightly more inclined to discuss their shopping experience via social networks with other holiday shoppers (4 percent versus 3 percent). “I think it is becoming clear that there is a growing market for this kind of consumer engagement,” said Cohen, “While the 4 percent of consumers that told us they used smart phones to make a purchase doesn’t sound like a lot, remember it was less than a decade ago that only 3 percent of consumers told us they shopped online,” noted Cohen.

To read other details of The NPD Group’s holiday sales and trends study, click HERE.

To read other industry news and analysis, check out IndependentRetailer.com’s Industry Headlines section.

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