An analysis based on data from a holiday shopper insights study conducted by Shopper Sense clustered respondents based on their level of agreement with a broad set of attitudinal statements regarding this holiday season. The analysis yielded three distinct segments, each of which possesses unique attitudes and behaviors as they relate to holiday shopping in 2012.
Segment #1: “On a Merry Mission”
This segment’s name reflects the way in which they are attacking gift buying. While they typically enjoy the task at hand they are defined by two primary factors. First, is their approach to developing a shopping strategy and then staying focused while executing. These shoppers consider themselves to be planners. They rely heavily on pre-store information to help guide them on where they will shop and what items they will look for, and often go so far as to determine the brands they want to buy before they head out into the retail jungle. Most of these shoppers (85%) select stores that offer a wide array of items. Their satisfaction comes from getting exactly what they set out for. They tend to prefer to shop alone and will try to not get distracted by looking around at items outside of their plan.
The second driver of this group is price sensitivity. These shoppers are not loyal to any particular retailer. They will shop for the best deal and leave a store if they feel they can get a better price elsewhere for an item they want. Nearly two-thirds of these shoppers (64%) say great deals and specials are extremely important to them when selecting which specific stores to shop in. They wait for an item to go on sale even if it means the risk of missing out on it.
Segment #2: “Ho Ho Happy Go Lucky”
This shopper segment is all about the gift buying experience and enjoying the process (81% report that it is important to shop in stores that are fun and entertaining). These shoppers get an emotional high from the holiday cheer while trolling among the crowds and they would rather hit the mall than hit the sack with their spouses (46%). They are strongly influenced by the retail environment and admit to being easily tempted by attractive merchandising and displays. They self describe as impulsive when it comes to gift buying. This segment is far less price sensitive than the others and they don’t mind paying full price for gifts they really want to give. Finding that “just right” holiday gift is more important to these shoppers than saving money and the majority (82%) prefers stores that carry unique and interesting products.
Segment #3: “Scrooge”
The Scrooge segment experiences holiday shopping as a chore and obligation. They dread the process and face the experience with anxiety over having to spend money on gifts (85% rate everyday low prices as an important factor when selecting which stores to shop in). This disposition is compounded by the feeling of time pressure from their everyday lives. They approach gift shopping with a restrained mindset and are more likely to shop the same stores they usually do. When a store is out of stock they feel more frustrated than others.
Shoppers may possess traits that draw from across all the segments but most stay true to their inner shopper throughout the holidays.