Survey Finds Retailers Experiencing A 'Challenging' Holiday Season
December 24, 2013 at 3:52 AM (PT)
The sales staff could run into cranky store owners, as the 2013 holiday season is shaping up to be a rather challenging one for retailers and marketers. With continued uncertainty over the economy and less disposable income and savings, nearly one-third of all consumers are expected to spend less in 2013 than they did in 2012. This, according to a recent survey from Global research consultancy, TNS of over 2,500 U.S. consumers aged 18-64.
According to the study, about one in three (34%) are looking to cut back on their holiday shopping this year citing an increase in living expenses and their lack of disposable income. While significant, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Consumers who rely on Government programs such as SNAP and WIC are facing even tougher choices this holiday season, as the 16-day partial U.S. government shutdown and recent expiration of increases in the aid programs take their toll. Of those who are on the program, nearly forty-four percent are looking to spend less this holiday season. A telling number given nearly eight percent of primary shoppers use the SNAP/WIC programs, according to KANTAR’s ShopperScape program.
“We believe retailers have to go the extra mile this holiday season with compelling pricing, promotional strategies, and delayed payment options to attract the level of shoppers they are custom to seeing,” said TNS SVP and author of the study DANICA KONETSKI. “Our research indicates shoppers with lower budgets tend to be more brand loyal, so it’s important for retailers to be proactive and do what is necessary for the consumer this holiday season. Their efforts will go a long way in engaging customers and generate long-term trust.”
It may not be all doom and gloom for retailers this year. According to the survey, nearly 28% of all holiday shopping takes place within the two week period leading up to the actual day of the holiday (12/10–12/25). “Given all the outside factors that are impacting the holiday season, retailers have their work cut out for them, commented KONETSKI, “it’s those who listen and adjust to the customer needs that will come out ahead.”