Shoppers have certainly changed since the recession. Having adopted a “new normal” tenet that focuses on cost-conscious, value-driven approaches to spending, today’s consumers are constantly seeking out sales and promotions, comparing prices, and researching products to ensure they get the most bang for as few bucks as possible. Advances in mobile technology over recent years have only made it easier for shoppers to adhere to this mindset. While many thought that declining gas prices would be the shot in the arm to spending in 2015, cautious consumers defied conventional “wisdom” and instead focused on paying down debt and increasing savings. And so the challenging retail environment continues…
Now we find ourselves mid-year 2015 with the back-to-school shopping season upon us. The National Retail Federation reports that shoppers plan to spend about $630 overall on clothing, shoes, supplies, and electronics for their K-12 students this year, a nearly 6% decline from the $669 average planned budget in 2014. Since the recession, consumers’ back-to-school budgets have consistently followed an up/down pattern as parents restocked one year (“up”) and reused backpacks, digital devices, etc. the next (“down”), so this year’s decline in planned spending didn’t exactly come as a surprise. Of course, this doesn’t make marketers’ jobs any easier in what’s already proved to be a challenging year for ringing up retail sales. Digging into our back-to-school insights a bit further, though, can help us uncover which retailers may be better positioned to gain this season versus those who may end up missing out. And for this installment, we’ll focus on the “Big 3” in back-to-school retailing: Walmart, Target, and Amazon.com. Continue reading →
Fact: Millennials shop Walmart. Well, lots of people shop Walmart; the big discounter didn’t grow to be one of the world’s largest retailers without any shoppers. While this fact isn’t exactly headline news, it did recently come as a “shock” to Walmart executives that the youngest generation of adult consumers perused their aisles and “like Walmart the best” over competitors, thereby implying that Millennials “love” shopping Walmart.
Whoa. Like? Love? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Recent analysis of 25 merchandise categories tracked by Prosper Insights reveals unique insights on why Millennial shoppers are headed to Walmart as well as how this burgeoning group of shoppers really feels about the big discounter – pointing to some weaknesses that Walmart’s competitors could turn into opportunities. For benchmarking purposes, Millennials who shop rival Target were also examined for this analysis. (Note: Prosper conducts online consumer surveys and tracks the 25 merchandise categories via unaided, write-in questions). Continue reading →
In the battle of every retailer versus Amazon.com, Walmart is preparing to take direct aim at the latter’s popular Prime membership program this summer with the introduction of Shipping Pass. For $50 a year – half that of the $99 Amazon Prime program – Shipping Pass members will receive free three day shipping on Walmart.com orders; it’s a bid to promote loyalty for the Bentonville-based behemoth and keep wandering shoppers from clicking over to Amazon and competing retailers as the retail world becomes increasingly digital.
It’s an interesting move for the discount giant, whose shopper wheelhouse includes lower income, budget-focused families. Would current Walmart shoppers be willing to invest in a $50 free shipping program? And, would the Shipping Pass discounted price entice Prime loyalists to change allegiances? Of course, one can only answer these questions by asking shoppers themselves, which is exactly what Prosper Insights did in our latest consumer survey. Continue reading →
Although Walmart’s global e-commerce operations reported 22% gains in sales for fiscal year 2015, U.S. same-store sales at Walmart stores were comparatively lackluster at +0.5%. Overarching retail trends like declining store traffic, the “death” of malls, and rise of online shopping (and, of course, Amazon.com) have been discussed at length by analysts and industry pundits with Walmart executives announcing plans to combat this in-store shopping fatigue by improving customer experience, keeping prices low, and expanding product assortment. While this three pronged approach to engaging shoppers and promoting loyalty to Walmart seems well-meaning, it’s also very broad and, quite frankly, could be used to define the strategies of any one of Walmart’s competitors, including Amazon.
Using the years of syndicated insights Prosper has collected on Walmart, I took a deeper look at one of the big discounter’s core customer groups – its grocery shoppers – in order to gain a better understanding of what ails this retailer. This analysis revealed that potential revenues are leaking like a sieve out of Walmart’s apparel departments, with Kohl’s lapping up a hefty proportion of Walmart’s so-called “lost opportunity.” Continue reading →
New infographic from ProsperChina highlights top apparel destinations and compares their Net Promoter Scores. It also provides the latest insights regarding Chinese consumers’ feelings about fashion and their country of origin preferences for branded apparel.
Worthington, OH – 1/28/2015
ProsperChina™ has released the latest Consumer Snapshot Infographic, available in both English and Chinese, to provide global marketers with a better understanding of Chinese Consumers. The infographic uses information from the newly released Q4 ProsperChina Quarterly Survey which is the largest, ongoing survey of its kind in China. This unique infographic includes the top five destinations for apparel in China as reported by Chinese consumers, along with their respective Net Promoter Scores* (NPS) and how the ratings compare to the overall average. It also uncovers country of origin preferences for clothing (including China, U.S., Europe, Japan and Korea) for Chinese consumers and highlights feelings about fashion. Continue reading →
Prosper Insights & Analytics, a leading provider of advanced business intelligence, released the Holiday 2014: Retailers to Watch at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference today. Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst for Prosper, presented unique findings about select retailers along with emerging holiday trends. Continue reading →
It’s a highly competitive retail marketplace. Corporations are always looking for a competitive edge. With that in mind, here are five unique business insights with one goal—to arm business professionals with valuable pieces of consumer intelligence to take to their executive team. These insights will provide a different perspective, aid in decision making, and impress them, all at the same time. Remember these and you’ll have something to talk about if you run into your boss at the water cooler.
1. What to say when your boss asks about the spending outlook for retail… continue reading…
With the back-to-school season winding down, it’s about that time of year for shoppers to look forward to the winter holidays. And while it may seem premature to preempt Halloween with the holiday discussion, last year one in five began their shopping prior to October, so many consumers are already planning their budgets for this all-important spending season. In July, we asked consumers to share their preliminary thoughts on holiday spending, and it appears that retailers may be in for a brighter holiday season compared to 2013.
According to the Prosper Spending Score, the overall outlook* for holiday gift spending in 2014 is up more than 8% from last year. While celebrants planning to spend more on gifts are relatively stable year-over-year at 9.1%, those budgeting less for gifts dropped 11% from 2013 to 38.0%. The majority of consumers (52.9%) are planning to keep budgets in line with the previous year. Directionally speaking, our preliminary Spending Score has served as a relatively accurate bellwether for consumers’ holiday intentions; last year’s lackluster score in July foreshadowed a nearly 3% drop in planned gift spending (released by the National Retail Federation the following October). Similarly, bullish preliminary outlooks for holiday spending preceded spending increases in 2010 and 2012. Continue reading →
Consumers may forgive, but they will not forget. Unfortunately in Target’s case, shoppers are slow to even muster up that forgiveness. With its holiday data breach impacting every level of Target’s organization, one must look to the most important piece of the equation – customers – to assess the ongoing damage and pinpoint what’s working for the retailer versus what’s not. For this new analysis on the current state of the former discount darling, we’re examining the point of view from one very influential group of shoppers, women. Continue reading →
Amazon.com may be finally facing a worthy adversary in the retail arena: itself. The online giant recently announced its intent to increase the $79 annual fee on its popular Prime membership by $20 to $40, but our consumer insights suggest that its shoppers aren’t buying into plan, signaling what could be a dangerous move in an already hyper-competitive retail environment where loyalty is hard to win and easy to lose. Continue reading →