Apr 27 2011
Basis Team

Eye-Opening Consumer Behavior Trends


I recently attended a MRCC (Media Research Club of Chicago) event with special guest, Bill Tancer, author of “Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why it Matters.”  Mr. Tancer provided a very entertaining and insightful look at online consumer behavior. Here are a few highlights:

Advertisers can change online consumer behavior: Mr. Tancer shared eye-opening findings in regards to peculiar search behavior for the search term, prom dress. Prom season typically occurs between March and May; however, search volume for “prom dress” spiked in January. This bizarre spike in volume and expansion of prom season was later attributed to a teen fashion magazine’s advertising campaign that ran earlier in the year. Eureka – advertising works!

The economy influences consumers’ desire to save: Mr. Tancer talked about the Groupons of the world and how their growing popularity is largely due to the current state of the economy. Groupon is reaching mainstream adoption with the 55+ age group leading in average visits. The deal itself seems to be the ultimate driver, not the site. This was evident when LivingSocial scooped up Groupon’s market share with an 80% increase in traffic due to an attractive 50% off deal from Amazon. The economic downturn has created a new consumer segment, known as the “Boomerang” segment. “Boomerangers” are defined as young adults who, after living away from home, have returned to live with their baby boomer parents. Can you say hello new niche market?

Mobile: Mobile phones are for adults AND kids? In 2010, nearly a quarter (23%) of kids ages 6-11 had a cell phone.

Social: Social media is no longer for young adults (18-24). Now, you can find the entire family on Facebook. The 55+ age group in particular is one of the fast growing segments.

Digital usage continues to expand across all generations: This glimpse into consumer behavior offers valuable takeaways for advertisers, including observing online behavior, finding a diamond in the rough economy and tapping into new audience segments. What types of consumer behavior trends have you noticed this year?