Nearly 180 Million U.S. Consumers Shop Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

By Staff
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 8:00 AM WASHINGTON—Nearly 180 million Americans shopped during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey recently released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“Retailers have adapted and enticed customers with a number of incentives throughout November. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend remains a significant time for friends and families to check specific holiday items off their lists,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Over the last few years consumers have shifted their holiday shopping plans to start earlier in the season.”

In total, 179.8 million unique shoppers made in-store and online purchases during the holiday weekend, exceeding NRF’s initial expectations by over 21 million. The figure compares with 186.4 million shoppers in 2020 and is in line with the average of the last four years.

As retailers continue to extend deals and other offers into October and early November, half (49 percent) of shoppers said they took advantage of early holiday sales or promotions before Thanksgiving this year. Most weekend shoppers (82 percent) felt the deals were the same or better than last Thanksgiving.

By 2026, 75 Percent of Customers Will Call Customer Service Due to Loneliness, Gartner Predicts

By Staff
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 8:00 AM By 2026, 75 percent of customers who call customer service and support organizations will do so out of loneliness, according to Gartner, Inc. This will affect service and support leaders’ priority of migrating customers to self-service and ensuring rep well-being. “Lonely customers looking to fulfill their interpersonal needs through service organizations are unlikely to use self-service to resolve their issues," said Emily Potosky, senior research principal in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice.

Holiday Spending Is Expected to Spur Consumer Adoption of Buy Now, Pay Later

By Staff
Monday, December 6, 2021 2:31 PM Buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions are quickly gaining adoption as consumers look for new financing options and merchants aim to drive sales, according to a recent posting by market research firm Insider Intelligence. Over one-third of U.S. consumers have used a BNPL service—and the solutions have widespread adoption, considering over 20 percent of consumers in each listed age group have used a BNPL service, Insider Intelligence reported in its emarketer bulletin.

Amid the Pandemic, a Rising Share of Older U.S. Adults Are Now Retired

By Staff
Thursday, December 2, 2021 1:36 PM As employers contend with growing numbers of younger employees quitting in the great resignation, the COVID-19 recession and gradual labor market recovery has also been accompanied by an increase in retirement among adults ages 55 and older.

As of the third quarter of 2021, 50.3 percent of U.S. adults 55 and older said they were out of the labor force due to retirement, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the most recent official labor force data. In the third quarter of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, 48.1 percent of those adults were retired. In regard to specific age groups, in the third quarter of 2021 66.9 percent of 65- to 74-year-olds were retired, compared with 64 percent in the same quarter of 2019.

The leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation reached age 62 (the age at which workers can claim Social Security) in 2008. Between 2008 and 2019, the retired population ages 55 and older grew by about 1 million retirees per year. In the past two years, the ranks of retirees 55 and older have grown by 3.5 million. Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.

Shortages Lead Shoppers to Pivot Their Purchasing

By Staff
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 2:41 PM As product availability remains strained this holiday season, consumers are taking a flexible approach to shopping. According to a recent feature from eMarketer, between August and October, the majority of U.S. shoppers either switched brands or products (39 percent) or switched retailers (32 percent) when their item of choice was unavailable. Meanwhile, 13 percent waited for the item to come back in stock, and 16 percent simply opted to do without.

'Can't Afford Food' Online Searches Skyrocket 1,700 Percent in U.S.

By Staff
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 12:31 PM Recent analysis of Google search data reveals that online searches for ‘can’t afford food’ exploded 1,700 percent in the U.S. on November 23, two days before Thanksgiving and the same week that rates of inflation in the U.S. were reported to be some of the highest in the world. The cost of groceries alone in the U.S. has risen by 5.4 percent in the last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Amex 12th Annual Small Business Saturday Hits All-Time High

By Staff
Monday, November 29, 2021 1:46 PM As consumer spending continues to rebound, U.S. shoppers showed up in a big way for the small businesses in their communities during this year’s Small Business Saturday on November 27, positioning American Express’ 12th annual event to be one of the most impactful shopping days of the holiday season. The results of the American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey show that total reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion.

Survey Finds Many Americans Are Worried About a Recession, While Others Think Outlook Is ‘Even’ or Improving

By Staff
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:01 PM NEW YORK—Americans’ outlook for the future is grim, though there are some indications it is leveling out or even slightly improving, according to a recent YouGov/Economist survey. Only one in four say the current economic situation is excellent (4 percent) or good (21 percent)—about the same as a previous survey this fall indicated. 

Yet, on the other hand, nearly half (46 percent) say the economy is getting worse, while 19 percent say it is getting better—a slight improvement from last week’s 48 percent to 14 percent split on these two metrics, according to the survey’s findings. Half (52 percent) don’t expect a full post-pandemic economic recovery until more than two years from now, while just 27 percent expect a recovery within about a year. The figures were a grimmer—57 percent and 22 percent—a month ago. 

Six in 10 people (62 percent) say a recession is likely in the next 12 months, including 25 percent who say a recession is very likely in that timeframe. Both fears are at higher levels than in late March 2020, during the lockdown of the pandemic’s first weeks.

Gartner Says Global Smartphone Sales Declined 6.8 Percent in Third Quarter of 2021

By Staff
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 11:56 AM Global smartphone sales to end-users declined 6.8 percent in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Component shortages disrupted production schedules, leading to lower inventory and delayed product availability, which eventually impacted sales to end-users.

“Despite strong consumer demand, smartphone sales declined due to delayed product launches, longer delivery schedule and insufficient inventory at the channel,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.

On-Demand Telehealth Is Booming

By Staff
Monday, November 22, 2021 3:48 PM Telehealth got high marks in a new poll of U.S. adults who rated their experiences with remote forms of care. The study, conducted by Morning Consult, found that 91 percent of respondents described their telehealth experiences as “friendly.” Ninety percent called it “easy,” and 88 percent characterized it was “affordable.”

The survey also found that 72 percent of U.S. adults who have used telehealth said they’ve accessed virtual care through their regular provider or health plan.

News on Twitter: Consumed by Most Users and Trusted by Many, Pew Research Finds

By Staff
Friday, November 19, 2021 12:57 PM NEW YORK—As many among us have come to realize, news plays a prominent role across the popular Twitter platform today. Overall, 23 percent of Americans use Twitter, and roughly seven-in-10 Twitter users (69 percent) in the U.S. say they get news on the site, according to a new Pew Research Center study that surveyed 2,548 Twitter users earlier this year.

For most of these Twitter news consumers, the site is an important way they keep up with the news—but not the most important way. Just 8 percent of Twitter users who get news on the site say it is the most important way they get news, while an additional 59 percent say it is important but not paramount, according to the Pew Research analysis
One key area of news people rely on Twitter for is breaking news. Fully 70 percent of Twitter news consumers say they have used Twitter to follow live news events, a significant increase from 59 percent who said this in 2015, according to Pew.
Twitter news consumers have generally positive opinions of the accuracy and amount of news they see on the site. Although only 7 percent of Twitter news consumers say they have “a great deal” of trust in the accuracy of information on Twitter, two-thirds say they have at least some trust in it.
This is far higher than the share of Americans (27 percent) who say they have at least some trust in the information they find on social media in general. In addition, two-thirds of Twitter users who get news there say they like the amount of news they see on the site, versus 32 percent who say they are worn out by the amount of news there.

How the Cyber Five Are Stacking Up for Holiday Shopping

By Staff
Thursday, November 18, 2021 11:47 AM Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been growing in importance to holiday e-commerce for more than a decade, despite the persistent myth that early holiday promotions would pull demand forward to take the wind out of these promotions. Retailers other than Amazon will have difficulty activating consumers outside of established tentpoles, according to a recent feature in eMarketer. 

However, because Amazon hosted a mid-October event last year, demand was materially pulled forward. As a result, the Cyber Five period (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) noticeably underperformed season-average growth rates. Nevertheless, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving were still the top three ecommerce spending days for the season. 

What’s in store for this year? EMarketer expects the Cyber Five to deliver strong sales volume and solid (if unspectacular) growth rates. The forecast by eMarketer is that the period will marginally increase its share of holiday e-commerce from 18.4 percent to 18.5 percent but will still down from its high of 20.0 percent in 2019.

According to eMarketer, each Cyber Five shopping day will surpass $5 billion. The top two days—Cyber Monday and Black Friday—will top $10 billion, but Thanksgiving Day and the weekend will post the strongest growth rates. Click here to read the full story from eMarketer.

Thanksgiving Weekend to See More Holiday Shoppers Than Last Year and Consumers Already Have a Head Start

By Staff
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 3:41 PM WASHINGTON—Nearly 2 million more people than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year even as consumers have continued the trend of starting their holiday shopping earlier in the year, according to the annual survey released yesterday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Fully two-thirds (66 percent) of holiday shoppers surveyed in early November plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend this year. That amounts to an estimated 158.3 million people, up from 156.6 million last year but still below the 165.3 million in pre-pandemic 2019. 

The survey found 30.6 million plan to shop either in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day, 108 million on Black Friday, 58.1 million on Small Business Saturday, 31.2 million on Sunday and 62.8 million on Cyber Monday. (The total of the daily numbers exceeds the overall figure because some consumers will shop multiple days.)

“We’re expecting another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as it always has,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Nonetheless, consumers are starting earlier than ever to be sure they can get what they want, when they want it, at a price they want to pay."

Correcting Misconceptions About Video Gamers

By Staff
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 12:03 PM Statista data journalist Felix Richter recently noted that a common misconception about video games is that they are for a young, predominantly male audience only. That is far from the truth, as the accompanying Statista chart illustrates. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 41 percent of all gamers in the United States are female and the average age range for players is 35 to 44 years.

New Technologies Energize Last-Mile Food and Grocery Delivery Market

By Staff
Monday, November 15, 2021 12:55 PM Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis of the global last-mile food and grocery delivery market finds that an influx of new tech-savvy startups with unique business models and services are disrupting the supply chain ecosystem. With instant deliveries and user experience becoming critical value differentiators, firms are exploring new technologies and services such as artificial intelligence, dynamic route optimization, and autonomous technology, according to Frost & Sullivan.