About eight in 10 U.S. adults plan to spend an average of $486 during the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, according to data released this week.
An estimated 74 million American adults plan to spend $36 billion on shopping during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, estimated Vistar Media, a geospatial technology company, and MFour, a mobile research and location analytics company.
Men plan to spend about $608 on average, compared with women who plan to spend about $397 during the weekend. Males are also almost twice as likely to make purchases at an electronics store compared with women, at 56% vs. 31%, while 72% of women versus 56% of men anticipate shopping at an apparel store during the weekend.
Vistar and MFour, which partnered to better understand shopping preferences around Memorial Day, released the findings from the report based on responses from 1,000 consumers surveyed about travel plans, purchase intentions, shopping preferences and customer location affinity. These companies are mostly focused on digital out-of-home (DOOH), location and mobile media, but even now, as the holiday weekend approaches, there are opportunities for search marketers to drive consumers from online platforms into stores -- where the report suggests most of the shopping will be done.
The data, aggregated between April 5 and April 9, suggests that online marketing and advertising campaigns should lead consumers into stores, rather than focus on getting consumers to make purchases online. About 93% of consumers plan to shop in-store, with only 7% expecting to make purchases mostly or only online. The study shows that about seven times more consumers plan to shop primarily in stores versus online, with an average spend of about $486 per adult.
Some 62% ranked low cost as having a major impact on where they will shop, followed by both convenience of location and sales or promotion at 54%.
Clothing and accessory specialty stores ranked high on the list at 67%, followed by department stores at 55%, electronics at 39%, home improvement at 38%, and home goods and furnishings at 36%.
People who tend to shop for apparel are the most likely to be repeat category purchasers, according to Vistar and MFour, which focus on location and DOOH and mobile advertising, and suggest that marketers focus on reaching consumers on these types of media at retail stores, malls, schools and office buildings.
They also suggest using mobile advertising to re-engage on-the-go consumers, and tailor creatives to specific audiences, highlighting relevant product categories like women’s clothing and accessories or trendy men’s footwear.
On Google, however, searches for the term “memorial day” began peaking in April. Consumers began adding the word “sale” about 90 days ago. In the past 30 days related queries began changing in focus from home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes, even Best Buy, to more generic terms like “when is memorial day weekend this year,” “memorial day furniture sales 2018,” “memorial day appliance sale,” and memorial day appliance sales 2018.”
Those searching online in the past 30 days were also interested in Peace Officer Memorial Day,” “Fireworks,” “Parade,” and Confederate States of America.”
About 41.5 million Americans -- up 5% since last year -- will travel this year and officially start their summer getaways during the Memorial Day weekend according to the AAA, which becomes an opportunity for marketers to reach consumers via DOOH, location and mobile media.
The 88% of travelers choosing to drive will pay the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014, according to the AAA. Gas prices averaged $2.72 in April, up 33 cents from last year.