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RATES NEWS Shopping Trends


THE HOLIDAYS may have passed, but they 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 shop- ping trends. A recent study by The NPD Group, Inc., a lead- ing market research company, found two important trends go- ing into the new year: women’s shopping habits and smart- phone shopping capabilities. The study affi rms that women


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openly admitted to spending less on gifts this past holiday season, as well as cut back on the number of gifts bought. NPD also reports, “When as- ked if they bought items on sale, shopped in less expen- sive stores and bought more practical or thrifty gifts, again a higher percentage of women answered ‘Yes.’” This doesn’t mean women sold themselves short in the shopping experien- ce. Fifty percent of women told NPD they bought something for themselves during the co- urse of their holiday shopping. Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of the NPD Group, Inc., confi rms, “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 rewarding themselves for be- ing so frugal, and there were a


lot of deals that were hard to pass up.” Another noteworthy trend


was the popularity of smart- phones and mobile marketing, as both men and women con- sumers used their phones as a channel for research and pur- chasing this holiday season. Women were only slightly more inclined to research a product (13 percent versus 12), as well as follow through with a purchase (fi ve percent versus four). Men, however, were more willing to use the phone as a resource while shopping in-store, read- ing product reviews along the way (seven percent versus fi ve percent). They were also more likely to discuss their shopping experience via social networks with other holiday shoppers (four percent versus three). “I think it is becoming clear that there is a growing market for this kind of consumer engage- ment,” said Cohen, “While the four percent of consumers that told us they used smartpho- nes to make a purchase doesn’t sound like a lot, remember it was less than a decade ago that only three percent of consumers told us they shopped online,” noted Cohen. ■


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