Marketers missing out on big opportunity by ignoring this group
Single adults, a lucrative demographic that now comprises half the U.S. population, continues to be overlooked or misrepresented by U.S. marketers and retailers, according to a report by retail marketing agency TPN and market insights firm C+R Research.
The study, "Millions of Singles, Billions at Stake: The Rise of the New Independents," busts myths and stereotypes to help brands and retailers understand, engage and celebrate singles.
Why does it matter? The retail spending power in just one subset, 35 to 54 year old singles, equals $567 billion.
"Single adults are a chronic blind spot to many marketers," said Sharon Love, CEO. "They may be missing the mark by not reflecting or respecting half the population.”
In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that for the first time, there are more single adults in the U.S. than married ones — 124.6 million adults or 50.2%, a number that has been on the rise since 1960.
Inspired by this demographic and cultural shift, TPN and C+R studied 2,000 U.S. adults, 30-50 years old with $50,000+ income, and compared singles to the general population.
"The study's findings challenge conventional thinking about singles — revealing how they see themselves, observing their shopping behavior, and measuring their spending power in order to redefine their role in an evolving marketplace," said Dave Mastrofski, VP, C+R Research.
Here are key takeaways from the study:
• Offer Inclusive Products & Messaging: Many brands position their products for families, whether via product design or in the messaging. Family plans and bulk packaging leave out this important group of single buyers.
• Innovate for the Household of One: It is projected that one in four millennials will remain single and that households of one will continue to grow. Right now, Chicago (36 percent), New York City (32%) and Los Angeles (28%) are leading single-occupancy housing.
• TPN recommends creating products for smaller households, including portioned foods, individualized or re-sealable packaging, and delivering products in stylish, well-designed packaging.
• Show Respect: New Independents are proud of their choices and single status.
"Singles notice when they are not properly represented and will reward brands that reflect and respect their lifestyle choices," said Love.
• Don't Just Facebook Them: Offer live experiences that encourage dialogues – create interpersonal engagement and interaction. New Independents enjoy connecting with others and experiencing life, and they have the time to do it.
To download a copy of "Millions of Singles, Billions at Stake: The Rise of the New Independents," visit tpnwhitepapers.com.
Personalization is key to Pier I Imports’ omnichannel strategy
Pier I Imports is getting personal in its online marketing efforts, delivering individualized content to customers that is based on their previous shopping activity.
The retailer has partnered with Certona, a provider of real-time omnichannel personalization, to deliver a “hyper-personalized omnichannel experience” to shoppers.
The partnership supports Pier 1 Imports’ development of its ‘1 Pier 1’ corporate initiative with the goal of ultimately creating one cohesive experience in its brick-and-mortar and digital channels.
By leveraging Certona’s platform, Pier 1 Imports delivers curated, personalized product recommendations to its customers via Web, mobile and email. The integration offers customers an interactive and engaging experience as they browse and shop online. Pier 1 Imports also uses Certona’s personalization solutions for its in-store tablets.
“As part of our ‘1 Pier 1’ initiative, we focused on providing a seamless shopping experience across all of our customer channels, including our retail stores, ” said Andrew Laudato, senior VP and CIO of Pier 1 Imports. “Certona is a key partner in our omnichannel approach for both our brick-and-mortar and online channels. We’re thrilled to see results stemming from the integration and look forward to continuing to build out our ‘1 Pier 1’ initiative with Certona as a valued partner.”
With the help of Certona, Pier 1 Imports plans to deliver a consistent shopping experience across all customer touch-points.
Falling gas prices no Grinch this Christmas
A prolonged drop in gas prices is boosting hopes among retailers that consumers will spend more this holiday season.
According to the latest Consumer Fuels Survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), more than one in four (26%) consumers expect to increase their spending this month, a seven-point jump over the past month and the highest percentage this year. Last November, only 21% of consumers expected to increase their spending, according to the survey.
Fully half of all consumers surveyed (50%) say that they are optimistic about the U.S. economy. And for the first time since NACS began its monthly surveys (January 2013), women are more optimistic than men about the economy. While the spread observed this month concerning optimism is slim (51% of females are optimistic vs. 50% of males), men on average have been as much as 11 percentage points more optimistic than women over the past three years. The percentage of women expressing a sense of optimism is also the highest since February.
“The surge in optimism among women, who also tend to conduct the bulk of holiday shopping, is great news for retailers who depend on a strong holiday shopping season,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “We expect that convenience stores also will see benefits with increased sales of snacks, drinks, fuel and fill-in items for harried shoppers.”
Consumer perceptions of falling gas prices play a role in the improvement in economic optimism.
More than four in five Americans (81%) say that gas prices have an impact on their feelings about the economy; an even higher percentage of women (85%) say that gas prices affect their economic outlook. A majority (55%) of consumers say that gas prices in their area are lower than they were this time last month — making this the third month in a row that consumers report falling prices at the pump. Northeast consumers are most likely to say they’ve noticed lower prices (60%), whereas only two in five (40%) in the Midwest say they’ve noticed lower prices.
Nationally, consumers report an average gas price of $2.20 per gallon, the lowest reported average since February’s average of $2.10 per gallon.
Overall, 30% of women expect to spend more this month, significantly higher than the 20% who indicated so last November.
NACS will release additional survey findings related to Thanksgiving travel and holiday shopping on Nov. 16.
More survey results are available at nacsonline.com/gasprices.