SOURCE: PunchTab


October 28, 2014 08:00 ET

PunchTab Report Reveals Holiday 2014 Spending Trends and Purchase Drivers Among Consumer Shoppers, Top Retailers

77 Percent Will Spend the Same or More This Year, Yet 58 Percent Will Spend Less at the Same Stores; Word of Mouth and In-Store Browsing Dominate Gift-Buying Decision Making, Facebook and Pinterest Are Top Social Networks Overall for Informing Gift-Buying

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - October 28, 2014) - PunchTab, the leading omni-channel engagement and insights platform, today announced a new report that details shopping trends and purchase drivers among different consumer segments, leading up to the holiday 2014 season.

The report surveyed more than 1,100 people across numerous consumer segments to find out how Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X'ers, men and women planned to shop-including when they would start, how much they would spend, the drivers behind their purchase decisions, and their chosen retailers.

The PunchTab report finds that this year, nearly 77 percent of consumers across all demographic groups plan to spend the same or more on holiday shopping. Despite this, more than 58% of holiday shopping dollars are up for grabs, with most shoppers either undecided or likely to spend 50% or less at the same stores they purchased from last year.

Top purchase decision influencers
Across all groups, 66% of consumers rated talking with friends or family as the most important resource for informing gift buying. Browsing in person at stores or malls (55%) made up the second largest resource, followed by reviewing recipients' wish list (42%) and browsing brand websites (40%).

Millennials showed the strongest propensity to word of mouth, with 77% naming it as their most important resource.

Among social networks specifically, Facebook was the most likely to be used for deciding on gifts, with 19% of all consumers turning to the network this holiday season. Pinterest (14%) and YouTube (7%) followed.

Other points:

  • Almost 50% of Millennials will use some social media channel
  • Nearly 70% of older generations will not use any social media channels
  • Women are more likely than men to use Pinterest

The holiday rush: Key dates for consumers
November is the most popular month for starting to shop overall, with 40% of consumers waiting until that month. Results skewed differently per consumer segment, however.

Baby Boomers were more likely to start shopping earlier, while Millennials and Gen X'ers planned to start in December

Other points:

  • Among Baby Boomers, 34% will start shopping in November, while 22% will shop in September or earlier
  • 75% of Millennials and Gen X'ers will wait until December

Mobile as a shopper resource
Smartphones will be a significant part of how consumers shop this holiday season. All consumer segments will use them to assist in shopping, yet the ratio is significantly higher among younger generations.

Among all consumers, 35% plan to use their smartphone for browsing items in online stores. Comparing prices among different stores and looking for coupons also ranked as objectives for smartphone usage.

When it comes to using smartphones while already shopping in-store, most consumers (38%) use them for communicating with others via text, phone or email to get input about the purchase. Taking pictures of items (36%) was followed by comparing prices at other retailers (34%), also known as showrooming.

Other points:

  • Among men, comparing prices is the number one reason for smartphone usage in-store
  • Women are more likely to use their mobile phone for all tasks except checking prices at other stores and reading online reviews

Loyalty programs and coupons as purchase drivers
Coupons or deals are important to all generations, with approximately 80% noting that they are important or very important in purchase decisions. Men are less deal driven, with 40% saying that coupons are important or very important, compared to 55% of women.

Nearly 25% of respondents consider earning and using points in loyalty programs to be important or very important, while another 25% consider it "somewhat important."

There is a difference by gender as well, with 28% of women considering earning and using points in loyalty programs to be important compared to 19% of men.

Top retailers
The top retailers across all demographics for holiday shopping included Amazon, Target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, and Best Buy. Two stores making the list for Gen X but not other generations included Game Stop and Toys "R" Us.

"Consumers continue to hit retailers harder than ever this holiday shopping season," said Robyn Hannah, VP, PR and Communications at PunchTab. "It isn't as easy as 'opening the doors' and cashing in on that increased interest, however. It's become mission critical for retailers to understand how increased consumer demand falls between different consumer segments -- from where they want to shop to how they are using smartphones. Data is the key to ensuring retailers can stay top of mind with the consumer mindset, allowing them to align their marketing efforts with changes in purchase behavior."

For more information or to view a copy of the full report, please visit:

About PunchTab, Inc.
PunchTab is the leading engagement and insights platform committed to creating technology that allows brands and retailers to grow engagement and lifetime value with their consumers across any channel or device.

Leading CPG and retail brands like The Yankee Candle Company, PURELL, ConAgra, Arby's and more use PunchTab's cloud-based solution to deepen audience engagement, build awareness, and gain a data-driven, 360-degree view of consumer behavior and purchase drivers. PunchTab offers a self-serve, easy-to-implement product, and fully customizable, white-labeled loyalty and engagement programs.

Based in Silicon Valley PunchTab is funded by Mohr Davidow Ventures, Chamath Palihapitiya from The Social+Capital Partnership, Crunch Fund, Venky Harinarayan, and Anand Rajaraman. For more information visit

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