ThoughtWorks Retail Holiday Shopping Consumer Survey Finds: 77% of Consumers Will Shop Stores or Websites During the Holidays They Don’t Usually Shop

Results reveal trends in holiday shopping: 1 in 4 shoppers save
holiday shopping until the last minute, 46% of women may just walk out

today announced results of its inaugural holiday shopping
survey of more than 500 U.S. consumers —51% female and 49% male.* The
results revealed new insights into five key areas of interest to
retailers: loyalty, fulfillment, mobile, consumer behavior and customer

Below are key findings from the survey:

Loyalty: A New Opportunity To Earn It
Retailers spend much
time talking about loyalty but the reality is, most consumers feel
pretty lukewarm about all those loyalty cards taking up space in their
wallets: only 9% of those surveyed limit their shopping to retailers
with which they have loyalty card or rewards memberships and only 25%
say a store or website’s loyalty program is important to them and will
influence whether they shop there. But new customer acquisition can be
the gift that keeps on giving if retailers are ready for it: 77% of
consumers say they will shop stores or websites during the holidays that
they don’t usually shop.
This important finding represents an
opportunity for retailers to earn new fans – that is if retention
strategies are in place now.

Fulfillment: Retailers Better Be Prepared for the Holiday Shipstorm
of 2015

The survey revealed that 58% of consumers plan to have
some or all of their holiday shopping shipped this year. Couple that
with another recent survey of more than 200 U.S. retailers where 68%
admit they’re not well-prepared to provide shipping choices such as
same-day, express, guaranteed-delivery and weekend or after-hours
deliveries and you’ve got the makings of a Holiday Shipstorm.

Mobile: “Apps” Have a Different Meaning During the Holidays
it comes to apps, most consumers are thinking about chips and dips, not
shopping. More than half (51%) of those surveyed said they will not
use mobile apps to help them shop during the holidays. However, 20%
indicated they have Amazon’s mobile app, 15% have Google and 15% have
Target’s Cartwheel app on their mobile devices.

Shopping Behavior: Consumers Are Spreading The Wealth
60% of consumers say they “shop all throughout the holiday season”; good
news for retailers whose Black Friday sales fall short of expectations.
In fact, only one-third of shoppers say they always shop on Black
Friday. Another reason for retailers to remain hopeful: 1 in 4 shoppers
save their shopping until the last minute. Perhaps less surprising, men
are almost twice as likely as women to procrastinate. Further:

  • 20% of consumers never shop on Black Friday
  • 31% always shop on Cyber Monday
  • 9% don’t know what Cyber Monday is

By leveraging this knowledge, retailers can develop online and in-store
personas to best support behavior, providing resources to consumers such
as click and collect, last minute deals or quick check outs. When
considering POS, retailers can rest assured knowing credit is still
king, especially online: 50.5% prefer to pay with a credit card.

Experience Wanted: Retailers Have An Opportunity to Wow Customers
appear to have low expectations and seem to be anticipating aggravation
when it comes to holiday shopping, leaving retailers with ample
opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression.

  • 58% dread the “crowds of people”
  • 53% feel annoyed by items, colors, and sizes being out of stock
  • 45% feel frustrated by long lines to pay
  • 33% anticipate poor customer service
  • 33% walk out when stores are a mess or picked over

Across the board, women were significantly more likely than men to
notice these common retail complaints but the biggest gender disparity
had to do with customer service. Women were nearly 10 times more likely
than men to cite poor customer service as the “worst part of holiday
.” As well, 46% of women were most annoyed by waiting in
long lines to pay, making them possibly more likely to walk out of a
store instead of ringing up.

“When you combine consumers’ generally low expectations with the fact
that 77% of them will shop stores or websites that they don’t usually
shop, retailers have tremendous opportunity in the next few weeks to
really wow new customers. By leveraging more advanced clienteling
solutions, order management, point of sale and analytics, retailers can
provide better customer service leading to improved customer loyalty and
retention,” said Robin Copland, VP of Retail, Americas at ThoughtWorks

*The ThoughtWorks Retail Consumer Holiday Shopping Survey was
conducted online among 500 consumers, November 16-18, 2015. 100% of
those surveyed report an annual income of $45K+ and plan to do some
holiday shopping in the next several weeks.

About ThoughtWorks

ThoughtWorks is rethinking retail. We take a customer-centric approach
in accelerating and delivering digital business transformation and
unique unified customer experiences. Our retail team accelerates ideas
to outcomes quickly and we are driving differentiation to boost
your brand. Our agile way of working and lean processes combined with
our unbiased approach enables retailers to become more market responsive
and ensures rapid time-to-value. Visit us at
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Ketner Group PR + Marketing
Catherine Seeds, 512-794-8876