Pasadena’s OpenX 2018 Holiday Survey Finds Strong Consumer Confidence in U.S. Economy Will Fuel Spending, Much of It Online

With surging confidence in their own economic outlook, consumers plan a strong showing this holiday season fueled by significant shifts in how, when and where they shop

Published : Monday, September 24, 2018 | 4:43 AM

A respected Pasadena-based international advertising software company just completed a consumer survey which concludes that more than 80 percent of consumers plan to spend the same or more on gifts this holiday season than they did in 2017 and that that half of all consumers plan to spend a majority of their holiday budgets online and via mobile devices this year.

The study, conducted by OpenX Technologies Inc., with The Harris Poll from August 30 to September 6, said most consumers throughout the United States feel the economy is doing better today than it was a year ago, and 75 percent feel it will get even better next year.

It also showed 41 percent of millennials, more than any other group, plan to spend more this year.

In its 2018 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report, OpenX said while strong consumer confidence is good news for marketers, brands will need to pay attention to certain consumer behaviors – such as how they consume advertising content, research products and ultimately make purchases – so they could make the most of the holiday season.

Caption: From the OpenX 2018 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report

The report said half of all consumers now plan to spend most of their holiday budgets online and by using mobile devices this year.

“With consumers taking greater control over when, how and where they shop, mobile and digital shopping have now reached parity with in-store shopping and consumers plan on spending nearly an identical amount in-store and online,” the report said.

The report also said 55 percent of consumers are on their smartphones for at least three hours a day, with more than a third of millennials and one out of four parents spending more than six hours on their smartphones daily.

Twenty-five percent of consumers do not watch live TV anymore, the report said, adding millennials watch less than half as much live TV as the average consumer.

The report suggested that brands should be able to build omnichannel engagement programs that meet consumers where they are watching content, and where they are choosing to make their holiday purchases.

“The big changes we see this year involves how shoppers consume content and how they plan to spend their holiday dollars,” Dallas Lawrence, Chief Brand Officer at OpenX, said. “The shift away from traditional television content to mobile is fueling a strong surge in mobile holiday shopping this year. Whether it’s the one out of four consumers who now make mobile purchases weekly from bed at night or the 10 percent who are now using smart speakers to help research holiday purchases, consumers are shopping in new and unique ways, relying on mobile in particular, and advertisers that have developed smart omnichannel strategies to reach the always on shopper will have the happiest holiday returns.”

The survey also highlighted changing consumer perceptions around key shopping events like Black Friday. Less than half of consumers believe Black Friday is the best day to get deals, and many consumers have strong negative associations with the day, with 60 percent finding it overwhelming, the report said. Most consumers also said they plan to skip what has traditionally been the biggest shopping day of the year all together in 2018.

The survey findings are expected to have a significant impact on spending at Pasadena retail stores as well, especially among local merchants who own and operate only one store.

OpenX and The Harris Poll conducted the online survey using a base of 2,021 adult consumers.

With its international advertising exchange, OpenX connects tens of thousands of top brands with consumers across the most trafficked websites and mobile apps globally. The company stands as the recognized leader in quality, scale, and performance, delivering value across every type of connected screen and format.

OpenX operates out of its headquarters at 888 E Walnut Street in Pasadena.

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