Empathica Consumer Insights Report:
Consumer Behaviors in Retail Purchases

Analysis of U.S. Consumer Behaviors in Retail Purchases

Executive Summary

The Wave 1 2012 Empathica Consumer Insights Panel surveyed more than 6,500 U.S. consumers, gauging consumer sentiment on subjects ranging from spending to consumer perceptions about big box retail shopping experiences. The Consumer Insights Panel survey was conducted in the context of a broader study of consumer shopping intentions and customer satisfaction as reported by thousands of consumers across the country.

Survey results show that consumers are facing important financial challenges, with three in five reporting that their current financial situation is more difficult now than it was six months ago. As a result, the majority of consumers intend to slash discretionary spending in several categories, including fine dining (71%), furnishings (69%), electronics (65%), casual dining (50%) and quick service restaurants (42%).

When it comes to big box retailers, nearly all consumers (93%) visit big box stores at least once a month and 70 percent shop big box three or more times per month. Predictably, customers cited price (61%) and convenience (12%) as the primary reasons behind the appeal of big box retail.

But while consumers recognize the appeal of the big box retail model, they are largely dissatisfied with the big box customer experience. Two in five consumers said that big box stores lack personalization, and just 39 percent feel that employees listen to them when they ask questions.

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