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Data-Mining Uncovers Valuable Insight Stores Need to Succeed


CivicScience, a firm that collects real-time consumer data through polling applications that run on hundreds of U.S. publishing websites, issued a report recently on the Buying Preferences of In-store vs. Online Consumers, in the Clothing & Shoe category and Electronics category.

Their findings offer valuable insight to retailers.

One of the most important attributes considered by shoppers is being able to see/touch the product in the store (56%). Shoppers are likely to live in the suburbs and be over 35 years old. Gender is evenly split. They are more likely to have household incomes of $35K-$125K and to be parents or grandparents.

While retailers are fighting over the Millennials and Hispanic segment, the “grandparent” group has largely gone unnoticed. There are about 70 million grandparents in the U.S. and they will spend an estimated $52 billion on their grandchildren this year, including $17 billion on gifts, according to the American Grandparents Association. Of almost 750,000 people who answered CivicScience’s survey on parental status, 25% of respondents said they were grandparents – and 22% of these grandparents were under the age of 55.

Also, when buying electronics, people who value receiving help from a sales associate are more likely to be older women who have children or grandchildren and who are less tech savvy than other groups.

Shopping behaviors of grandparents differ from the general population in that most grandparents shop in store vs. online. Among the most recent grandparent statistics, 68% said they do most of their shopping at brick-and-mortar locations. This group has major spending power, so retail marketers should take notice.

It’s important to remember that grandparents differ from the general population of U.S. adult consumers in several key areas. They are more likely to stretch out their holiday shopping and avoid major sales events or days like Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and they spend most of their holiday shopping money at discount superstores. In addition, their incomes reflect more focus on gift-giving to their grandchildren.

Another highlight of the CivicScience survey showed that people who value browsing are 22% more likely to be women than men. Most are under the age of 35 and are more likely to a have a graduate degree or PhD.  These browsers are at least 30% more likely to always check online reviews than the other two groups, and over 35% are strongly influenced by social media, over TV and online ads.

Consumers who prefer taking home their purchases right away are 17% more likely to be women than men, and when compared to the other groups, they are the most likely to have an income under $35K. They are more likely than the other groups to watch local TV news daily, own a smartphone, make decisions quickly and confidently, research online, buy in-store, and are heavily influenced by fashion seen on TV and in the movies.

Breaking down electronics buyers in-store, seeing/touching the product accounted for 36% of those surveyed and the majority of that number were professional women in the suburbs, most of whom owned tablets or e-readers.

Those who preferred taking home their electronics purchase right away were more likely to be men, 44 years old and under, and more likely than other groups to be making over $125K/year. They also own smartphones, text daily and are somewhat more active on Facebook than other groups, and admit to being addicted to their digital devices.

Marketing and merchandising strategy, staffing, and store operations can all benefit from the power that this kind of knowledge brings, and this data-mining should be part of the arsenal of information that brick-and-mortar stores use day in and day out.

TAGS: retail, retail trends, retailers,
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