November 20, 2003
More Consumers Plan Cause-Related Holiday Shopping
A majority of Americans plan to shop with a cause in mind this holiday season, with 71% of consumers saying they are likely to consider a company's reputation for supporting causes when purchasing gifts, according to a survey by Cone, a Boston strategy firm that links companies and social issues. This figure represents an 11% increase over last year and is also one of the highest numbers in the seven years that Cone has conducted its annual Cone Holiday Trend Tracker. Women are more likely than men to do cause shopping, the survey found.
Cause-related shopping is a convenient way for time-crunched, budget-conscious Americans to give back to their communities during the holiday season, says Cone. Among the 93% of Americans who intend to engage in charitable acts this holiday season, cause-related purchasing actions are the second- and third-most popular activities planned, complementing traditional charitable efforts such as donating personal belongings, writing a check to support a cause or charity, volunteering or going to a fundraising event.
"In an uncertain economic environment, Americans appreciate that they can easily give back through cause-related shopping," says Mark A. Feldman, executive vice president of Cone. "In the seven years that we have been tracking this trend, we have seen an increasing number of companies providing their consumers with opportunities to impact causes. In return, these companies are rewarded with consumer purchasing dollars and loyalty."
The 2003 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker finds women are overwhelmingly more supportive than men of cause-related shopping during the holiday season. More than three-fourths of women (77%) are likely to consider a company's reputation for supporting causes when purchasing gifts, compared to 64% of men. Nearly two-thirds of female shoppers (65%) say they plan to purchase a product in which a percentage of the price is donated to a cause, compared to 54% of male consumers. Women are also more likely than men to buy holiday gifts this year from retailers that support social issues (60% vs. 49%).
The 2003 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker, conducted by telephone interviews from November 7-10, included a national cross-section of 1,027 adults. It was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. International and has an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points.