Holiday Shoppers Turn to Digital Devices to Stretch Their Dollars

Findings from SapientNitro & GfK Roper Survey | December 2011

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Findings from the 2nd annual SapientNitro-GfK holiday shopping survey show Americans are increasingly turning to digital gadgets to bargain hunt for holiday gifts.

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This is particularly true of iPad and other tablet owners, a majority (56%) of whom agree with that statement. When it comes to 18-24 year olds as a whole, nearly 2 in 3 (64%) express they feel “empowered” in the same way.

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One respondent said:

“Using digital devices makes it easier and makes me feel like I’m in control of the prices. I get better deals and better prices, and it’s enjoyable.”

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In fact, 39% of all Americans agree that their use of digital devices has “enriched” their shopping experience so far this holiday season. Nearly half of 18-24 year olds (47%) agree.

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One respondent noted:

“It was less confusing, so you don’t have to have [all] the papers with you—the ads are right there on your phone. That was wonderful.”

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“As the use of digital devices moves more and more to the forefront of Americans’ shopping behavior, the ease of findings deals with them – whether through research, social media, deal sites, and the like – has eased the pressures of gift giving in this down economy.”
– Chris Davey, global head of commerce at SapientNitro

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“This empowerment comes at the right time given that many Americans – 44% – plan to spend less on holiday shopping this year than they did last year.”

– Chris Davey, global head of commerce at SapientNitro

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Overall, use of digital media for holiday shopping is up from the 2010 post-Thanksgiving holiday season. For example, those with digital devices are more likely to report using one to:

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Browse for products (67%, up from 44% in 2010) • Research products (67%, up from 48%) • Compare prices at other retailers (60%, up from 40%) • Look for discounts or deals (48%, up from 35%)

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Many also used e-mails from vendors offering deals, consumer ratings on sites like Yelp or Amazon, or the increasingly popular daily deal sites like Groupon or Living Social to help them decide on a particular gift:

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Not all holiday shopping is done for others, however:

“About half of online holiday shoppers say they picked up something for themselves this holiday season, lending credence to the notion that ‘selfgiving’ is alive and well in 2011.”
– Geoff Feinberg, vice president at GfK Roper

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Areas to Watch
SapientNitro has identified a number of consumer trends to watch over the next few holiday seasons.

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“One area we’re watching with interest is GPSenabled mobile computing, particularly among the savvy tablet owner.”

– Chris Davey, global head of commerce at SapientNitro

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According to the survey, among consumers who have smartphones:

31% used their GPS/location feature on their phone to help with holiday shopping

• 30% used a mobile app to search for or purchase a product this holiday season

20% looked or posted something on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks to find or ask for advice on holiday gift buying

• 18% used a mobile coupon at point-of-purchase

19% used a QR code to find more information about a product

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Among tablet owners:
• 42% used a mobile app to search for or purchase a product this holiday season • 41% scanned a QR code or barcode to get more information about it (compared to 19% for smartphone owners)

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“Imagine the day when you walk into a store and the retailer already knows something about you based on location-aware services. The implications for retailers – in terms of targeted promotions or instore navigation – are fascinating.”

– Chris Davey, global head of commerce at SapientNitro

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How The Survey Was Conducted
December 9 - 11, 2011 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications on behalf of SapientNitro

Press Release: http://tinyurl.com/7uzo65e Contact: David LaBar Email: dlabar@sapient.com
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This telephone survey is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,000 general population adults age 18 or older reached on landline telephones.
The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples.

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