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RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Report Explores 2012 Black Friday Outlook

Year-over-year survey data reveals changing consumer attitudes about holiday spending, promotional offers, most desirable gifts and online shopping

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- (, the largest online coupon site in the United States, today released its second annual Black Friday edition of its Shoppers Trend Report (STR), which identifies retail purchase patterns and consumer trends leading up to the 2012 holiday shopping season.


To understand changing consumer sentiments concerning the holiday shopping season, RetailMeNot compared findings from its newly released 2012 Black Friday survey conducted by The Omnibus Company (, a division of Kelton, against results from a similar 2011 Black Friday survey.

Comparisons of 2011 and 2012 holiday shopping survey data revealed that of consumers planning to shop this holiday season, fewer plan to scale back their budgets compared to those surveyed last year.

  •  This year 71% of holiday shoppers plan to spend "about the same" or "more" than they spent last year vs. 63% who said "about the same" or "more" in 2011.
    • This year 29% plan to spend "less" than they spent last year vs. 37% who said "less" in 2011.
    • This year 26% plan to spend "more" than they spent last year vs. 11% who said "more" in 2011.
    • This year 45% say they intend to spend "about the same" as they spent last year vs. 52% who said "about the same" in 2011.
  • This holiday shopping season, consumers expect to spend an average of $172 per person on gifts.
    • Men plan to spend an average of $215 per person on gifts, while women plan to spend an average of $131 per person.
    • Holiday shoppers ages 30–39 plan to spend the most this holiday season on gifts, reporting an average of $245 per person. 

The STR also revealed other consumer shopping insights leading into the holiday shopping season:


  • When asked which type of promotional offer would be most likely to result in a purchase, consumers who would be interested in such an offer at all express interest in a buy one, get one free deal (45%), followed by a specific dollar amount off (17%) or a specific percentage off (17%), then free shipping (16%).
    • In 2011, free shipping ranked first in popularity with 26%, followed closely by a certain percentage off (23%), buy one, get one free offers (20%) and a certain dollar amount off (18%).
    • Similar to 2011, very few consumers this year are most inclined to purchase an item if the promotional offer is a loyalty program points benefit (3%), while 3% would never purchase an item using a promotional offer, down from 11% last year.


  • According to the survey, clothing and accessories is the most popular gift category again this year, with 28% of consumers stating most of their purchases will fall within that category. In 2011, a majority (54%) of consumers said clothing and accessories were most likely to be on their gift lists.
  • Other popular items topping the list for shoppers this year include consumer electronics, such as TVs, video games, tablets, e-readers and mobile phones (22%); toys (18%); and books, movies & music (12%).
  • This year, very few report that most of their gift purchases will be in home goods (6%), bath & beauty (4%), travel (2%) or luxury (1%) gifts.
    • In 2011, popular items included books, movies and music (44%); consumer electronics. such as TVs, e-readers and video games (37%); toys (34%); bath and beauty products/treatments (26%); and furniture or appliances (18%).
  • This year, men will be more likely than women to make most of their gift purchases in the consumer electronics category (30% versus 14%).


This year, 69% of shoppers plan to do more or the same amount of online shopping for gifts this holiday season.

  • Shopping online for holiday gifts more this year than last year is more common among:
    • Consumers age 18–39 (40%) vs. those over 40 years of age (20%).
    • Those who will spend more than $75 per person on gifts (38%) vs. consumers who will spend less money (22%).
    • Consumers who use a mobile device (38%) vs. those who don't (17%).
    • Consumers who plan to purchase tech gifts this year (38%) vs. those who don't (16%).
  • 86% of working adults who intend to shop online this holiday season plan to shop online during work hours, and report spending an average of four hours a day doing so. In 2011, only about half of working adults (46%) planned to spend time shopping for the holidays online during work hours, including 11% who expected to spend five hours or more doing so.
    • Parents are more likely to spend four or more hours shopping online at work than shoppers without children (34% vs. 26%).

Visit or download the RetailMeNot Coupons app for iPhone and Android to search for thousands online and in-store offers this season and score the savings you want.

Survey Methodology:

The Kelton survey was conducted between November 6 and November 12, 2012, among 1,091 Americans ages 18 and over using an email invitation and an online survey.  Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.  In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.  The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.

About ( is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of deals and offers from retailers from across the globe. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.

Shopping on the go? Download the RetailMeNot Coupons app for iPhone and Android phones to access Hot Deals, browse top coupons, popular stores and categories and get thousands of online and in-store coupons to shop when you want, where you want. Make sure to "like" on Facebook, follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot and add us on Google+.

About WhaleShark Media, Inc.

WhaleShark Media, Inc. ( is the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company's websites enable consumers seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers across the globe. WhaleShark Media experiences more than 400 million consumer visits to its sites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the largest online coupon site in the United States;, the largest online coupon site in the United Kingdom; in Germany; and in France;;; and WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin VenturesNorwest Venture Partners, Adams Street PartnersGoogle VenturesJ.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

Be sure to "like" WhaleShark Media on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @whalesharkmedia.

Media Contacts:

Brian Hoyt
+1 512 777 2957 office
+1 202 330 3070 mobile
[email protected]

Kristen Nelson
+1 512 777 2887 office
+1 832 398 5792 mobile
[email protected]

Allison+Partners (for
[email protected]


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