LARGO, Fla., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With the holiday season quickly approaching, consumers are holding onto their budgets tightly, according to Valpak's Semi-Annual Consumer Spending Report. The report revealed 20 percent of consumers are spending less this year than last and are becoming more creative when it comes to finding deals.
Valpak, the 44-year direct and digital savings leader, conducted the report in an effort to understand how consumer spending has evolved since last year's "post-recession" economy. Shoppers are planning to start their holiday spending earlier this year with 40 percent of consumers beginning their shopping before, and during, the month of October, including searching throughout the year. Eighty four percent of shoppers will spend the same or less on holiday-related purchases, with over half (53 percent) planning to use coupons for gifts, entertaining, travel and food/catering.
"The 2012 Consumer Spending Report is Valpak's third annual. It's also the third consecutive year we've seen over half of shoppers planning to use coupons during this holiday season to purchase toys and games, electronics, and food or catering," said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, provider of Valpak. "Another notable takeaway from this year's report is it marks the third year nearly 20 percent of shoppers indicated they plan to spend less during the holiday season than they did the previous year, highlighting a pattern of how consumers approach the holidays with a goal to cut back."
Among the findings several notable trends in spending, coupon usage and purchase intentions were revealed:
Checking the Budget Twice
According to the survey, shoppers are concentrating on sticking to their budget, with nearly half (46 percent) of respondents spending less than $500 this year on gifts. When many consumers are thinking about trick-or-treating, 40 percent of consumers are starting their holiday shopping before, and during, the month of October, in hopes of purchasing great gifts at lower prices.
Coupon Clipping is Alive and Well
Similar to last year's results, more than half (53 percent) of consumers say they will use coupons when making holiday-related purchases to hopefully stretch their dollar a little farther. Gift-givers also say they plan to cut costs on gifts and holiday entertainment with coupons on toys/games (60 percent), food/catering/groceries (56 percent), electronics (56 percent) and entertainment (48 percent). Shoppers with smart phones won't have to hold on to paper coupons, with coupons available on the go through mobile apps, like the newest iOS 6 Passbook app from Apple. Valpak is one of their first providers of local coupons for Passbook, which allows shoppers to organize, manage and retrieve local coupons, loyalty cards and other money saving information. These coupons from Valpak make saving money on gifts, dining out and every day errands more affordable, and the new functionality will alert them to use a coupon in their Passbook when they're close in proximity to a business.
The Early Bird Catches the Deals
When asked if they shop for gifts during big sales days, one in three men (32 percent) and women (35 percent) make their way through the early morning crowds on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).Similarly, 36 percent of women and 31 percent of men are looking for gifts on Cyber Monday. For those super shoppers out there, 14 percent of men and women will take advantage of deals and savings on both mega shopping days.
Giving to Ourselves
Men and women are searching for deals on big sales deals, not only as gifts for loved ones, but for themselves. Roughly one fourth of women plan to brace the long checkout lines on Black Friday (26 percent) and/or search the web on Cyber Monday (23 percent) in hopes of purchasing items for themselves. Men are slightly more likely to shop for their own wants and needs online on Cyber Monday than women (27 percent) – proving consumers are almost equally likely to be generous to the one paying the bills this holiday season.
Keeping Budgets In-Check
Families are still holding back on purchasing gifts this year, and managing on a decreased budget. For all holiday purchases, including gift and travel intentions, 84 percent of consumers plan to spend about the same or less than last year. Families looking to spend less this year are looking to reduce gift purchasing, with both men (84 percent) and women (78 percent) planning to spend less. Half (50 percent) of the shoppers polled are planning to cut back on dining out with the family to help keep holiday spending down.
About the Valpak Semi-Annual Savings Report
Valpak's Consumer Savings Report surveyed more than 1,500 consumers and was conducted by Research Now. Results are within 2.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The survey was conducted in September 2012 and compared to the same survey in September 2011. Spring/Summer Consumer Savings Reports were conducted in May 2012 and May 2011.
About Cox Target Media and Valpak®
Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, along with Savings.com. With nearly 170 franchises across the United States and Canada, the signature Blue Envelope® delivers savings and value to nearly 40 million households each month. Annually, Valpak will distribute some 20 billion offers inserted in more than 500 million envelopes. Valpak also offers digital solutions with www.Valpak.com®, an online site for printable coupons, e-commerce and coupon codes, which has nearly 70 million offer views each month, as well as apps for smartphone platforms For more information about advertising with Valpak, please contact 1-800-676-6878.
About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of Cox Reps. Additionally, CMG owns and operates Cox Target Media, providers of Valpak, a leading North American direct marketing company and Savings.com, a leading online coupon site and community. With $1.7 billion in revenue, the company operations include 15 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 86 radio stations, eight daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG operates in more than 30 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including 30 million TV viewers, more than 4 million print and online newspaper readers, and 18 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.