Fifty-six percent of U.S. shoppers in Q1 2012 are choosing stores based on lower prices offered, versus 52% in Q1 2011; more shoppers making lists, looking at store circulars than a year ago: SymphonyIRI

, April 30, 2012 (press release) – Consumers’ confidence in their personal finances is returning to levels seen in Q1 2012, reports SymphonyIRI Group’s latest MarketPulse™ survey, released today. However, consumers remain cautious about their financial future and will continue to ramp up and/or maintain their conservative shopping behaviors this year. In addition, the recent survey uncovered that the nation’s 85 million moms have a sunnier outlook on the future compared to the general population. SymphonyIRI is taking a closer look at this important consumer segment, who have trillions of dollars in spending power, in a special Point of View: “Valuable Assets: Today’s Moms Represent Savvy, Smart Shoppers.”

“Americans have certainly been on an economic roller coaster ride for the past few years, so it is no surprise to anyone that they will not forgo their frugal ways even though they may feel a bit more confident about their bank accounts,” says Susan Viamari, editor, Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI. “They are opening their wallets a bit more these days, but they are still making lists and clipping coupons, so the key for CPG marketers is to demonstrate the value of their products to consumers.”

Financial Optimism Springs Back Slowly
Consumers’ confidence about their personal financial situations is rebounding in Q1 2012, after slipping in Q2 and Q3 of 2011 and inching up slightly at the end of last year. Today, 19 percent of consumers feel their financial position has improved during the past year, 40 percent feel it has remained unchanged and 41 percent feel it has deteriorated. While these are not glowing statistics, it is the most optimistic outlook seen since Q1 2011.

However, when consumers were asked about their expectations regarding personal finances for the coming year, they were not as positive compared to one year ago. According to the MarketPulse survey:

28 percent of consumers in Q1 2012 expect improvement in their personal finances during the coming year versus 33 percent in Q1 2011
46 percent feel the same about their personal finances today versus one year ago
26 percent of consumers in Q1 2012 expect their personal finances will deteriorate during the coming year versus 20 percent in Q1 2011

Conservative Shopping Behaviors Remain Top of Mind
Shoppers are still looking for a good deal and are putting the time and energy needed into finding the right product for the right price. For instance:

71 percent of shoppers in Q1 2012 are still make shopping lists at home versus 67 percent in Q1 2011
56 percent of shoppers in Q1 2012 are choosing stores based on lower prices offered versus 52 percent in Q1 2011
62 percent of shoppers in Q1 2012 look at store circulars before entering the store versus 56 percent in Q1 2011

In addition, consumers leveraged a wide variety of tools in Q1 2012 to find the best value:

7 percent of shoppers are using retailer Web sites to make lists
9 percent of shoppers are using the Internet to make lists
42 percent of shoppers are making lists based on coupons
49 percent of shoppers are making lists based on circulars

Moms are Resourceful, Tech-Savvy Shoppers
For generations, moms have been teaching their families to “make lemonade from lemons,” and today’s moms are no exception and are tackling money-saving strategies from a number of angles. Because moms utilize new media quite extensively already, the influence of these technologies is notable. MarketPulse survey results show that moms over-index by a wide margin versus the general population across many social media activities. They are two-and-one-half times more likely than the general population to take recommendations/information from social networking sites or blogs. They are more than twice as likely to engage with smartphone applications, and they are twice as likely to react to mobile advertising.

“As the pool of tech-savvy moms continues to grow, the opportunity for CPG marketers and retailers that can connect with them across these various media will grow exponentially, too,” adds Viamari.

To find out more about moms’ shopping behaviors and trends, download the free Point of View: “Valuable Assets: Today’s Moms Represent Savvy, Smart Shoppers,” at http://www.symphonyiri.com/Insights/Publications/MarketPulseSurvey/tabid/354/Default.aspx.

About SymphonyIRI’s MarketPulse Survey
SymphonyIRI provides new survey results at the end of each calendar quarter, covering shoppers’ behaviors and attitudes as it directly relates to their strategies for learning about, purchasing and utilizing CPG and healthcare products, as well as information regarding perceptions of economic conditions and the ability to provide for their families. For more information about customizing the research for a particular category or industry, please contact
SymphonyIRIMarketing@SymphonyIRI.com.

About SymphonyIRI Group, Inc.
SymphonyIRI Group, Inc., formerly named Information Resources, Inc. (“IRI”), is the global leader in innovative solutions and services for driving revenue and profit growth in CPG, retail and healthcare companies. SymphonyIRI offers two families of solutions: Core IRI solutions for market measurement and Symphony Advantage solutions for enabling new growth opportunities in marketing, sales, shopper marketing and category management. SymphonyIRI solutions uniquely combine content, analytics and technology to deliver maximum impact. SymphonyIRI helps companies create, plan and execute forward-looking, shopper-centric strategies across every level of the organization. For more information, visit http://www.SymphonyIRI.com.

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