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American Psychological Association Survey Shows Money Stress Weighing on Americans’ Health Nationwide

Stress in America™ survey finds parents, younger generations and lower-income households have higher stress than others overall

WASHINGTON, February 4, 2015, While aspects of the U.S. economy have improved, money continues to be a top cause of stress for Americans, according to the new Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health survey released today by the American Psychological Association. According to the survey, parents, younger generations and those living in lower-income households report higher levels of stress than Americans overall, especially when it comes to stress about money.

“Regardless of the economic climate, money and finances have remained the top stressor since our survey began in 2007. Furthermore, this year’s survey shows that stress related to financial issues could have a significant impact on Americans’ health and well-being,” APA CEO and Executive Vice President Norman B. Anderson, PhD, said.

The survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of APA among 3,068 adults in August 2014, found that 72 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during the past month. Twenty-two percent said that they experienced extreme stress about money during the past month (an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”). For the majority of Americans (64 percent), money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress, but especially for parents and younger adults (77 percent of parents, 75 percent of millennials [18 to 35 years old] and 76 percent of Gen Xers [36 to 49 years old]).

A gap also appears to be emerging in stress levels between people living in lower-income (making less than $50,000 per year) and higher-income households that mirrors the growing wealth gap nationwide. In 2007, there was no difference in reported average stress levels between those who earned more and those who earned less than $50,000, with both groups reporting the same average levels of stress (6.2 on a 10-point scale). By 2014, a clear gap had emerged with those living in lower-income households reporting higher overall stress levels than those living in higher-income households (5.2 vs. 4.7 on the 10-point scale).

Stress about money and finances appears to have a significant impact on many Americans’ lives. Some are putting their health care needs on hold because of financial concerns. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans say that they have either considered skipping (9 percent) or skipped (12 percent) going to the doctor when they needed health care because of financial concerns. Stress about money also impacts relationships: Almost a third of adults with partners (31 percent) report that money is a major source of conflict in their relationship.

The report also uncovered good news about stress management. Americans who say they have someone they can ask for emotional support, such as family and friends, report lower stress levels and better related outcomes than those without emotional support. Unfortunately, some Americans say that they do not have anyone to rely on for emotional support. According to the survey, 43 percent of those who say they have no emotional support report that their overall stress has increased in the past year, compared with 26 percent of those who say they have emotional support.

On average, Americans’ stress levels are trending downward: The average reported stress level is 4.9 on a 10-point scale, down from 6.2 in 2007. Regardless of lower stress levels, it appears that Americans are living with stress levels higher than what we believe to be healthy — 3.7 on a 10-point scale — and some (22 percent) say they are not doing enough to manage their stress.

“This year’s survey continues to reinforce the idea that we are living with a level of stress that we consider too high,” Anderson said. “Despite the good news that overall stress levels are down, it appears that the idea of living with stress higher than what we believe to be healthy and dealing with it in ineffective ways continues to be embedded in our culture. All Americans, and particularly those groups that are most affected by stress — which include women, younger adults and those with lower incomes — need to address this issue sooner than later in order to better their health and well-being.”

To read the full Stress in America report or download graphics, visit the webpage.

For additional information on stress, lifestyle and behaviors, visit the APA Help Center webpage and read APA’s Mind/Body Health campaign blog. Join the conversation about stress on Twitter by following @APAHelpCenter and #stressAPA.

Methodology

The Stress in America survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association between Aug. 4 and 29, 2014, among 3,068 adults ages 18 and older who reside in the U.S. Because the sample is based on those who were invited and agreed to participate in the Harris Poll online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. To read the full methodology, including the weighting variables, visit the Stress in America Press Room webpage.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

 

 

SOURCE:

 

APA

http://www.apa.org

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Americans’ Personal Finance Sentiment Strengthens, Housing Optimism Follows Suit

Confidence in Home Selling Environment Hits New Survey High

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2014, Results from Fannie Mae’s October 2014 National Housing Survey show Americans’ optimism about the housing market continued its gradual climb amid greater confidence in household income and personal finances. The share of respondents who say they expect their personal financial situation to improve during the next 12 months climbed to 45 percent – seven points higher compared to one year ago – while the share expecting their financial situation to worsen decreased to 10 percent last month. Although consumer attitudes about the direction of the economy remain subdued, with only 40 percent of survey respondents saying the economy is on the right track, the October results mark a 13 percentage point improvement compared to the same time last year.

“Consumers are growing more optimistic about the housing market in the face of broader improvement in economic sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who expect their personal finances to get better is near its highest level since the survey’s inception, while those expecting their finances to get worse reached a survey low. Home price expectations rose significantly this month, largely reversing the dip witnessed over the past four months, and the share of consumers who think it’s a good time to sell a home reached another survey high. The narrowing gap between home buying and home selling sentiment may foreshadow increased housing inventory levels and a better balance of housing supply and demand. These results may help drive a healthier housing market in 2015.”

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation rose to 2.8 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell by one point to 44 percent. The share who say home prices will go down decreased by one point to 7 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months rose by three percentage points to 48 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house fell to 65 percent. Those who say it is a good time to sell increased to 44 percent—a new all-time survey high.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation rose to 3.7 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months decreased by six percentage points to 49 percent.
  • The share of respondents who think it would be difficult to get a home mortgage today increased by two percentage points.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move fell to 65 percent, while the share who would rent increased to 30 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track held steady at 40 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next 12 months increased to 45 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained at 25 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago fell slightly to 36 percent.

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014. For more information, please see the Technical Notes. Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

For detailed findings from the October 2014 survey, as well as a podcast providing an audio synopsis of the survey results and technical notes on survey methodology and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The October 2014 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between October 1, 2014 and October 25, 2014. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae’s business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

Fannie Mae enables people to buy, refinance, or rent a home.

Visit us at http://www.fanniemae.com/progress.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FannieMae.

SOURCE:

Fannie Mae http://www.fanniemae.com

 

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Survey Finds Banking Experience is Improving, But Consumers Are Missing Easy Savings Opportunities

Despite having a checking account, 22 percent of Americans report using alternative banking products like cash checking services

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Sept. 25, 2014, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, today released its second annual TD Bank Checking Experience Index, which found that the banking experience of Americans has improved year over year. According to the Index, 86 percent of consumers rate their day-to-day experience with their checking account as excellent or very good (compared to 83 percent in 2013) and 85 percent of consumers say their bank is excellent or very good when it comes to accessibility (compared to 83 percent in 2013). The TD Bank Checking Experience Index is a nationwide survey of more than 1,500 consumers with checking accounts at various financial institutions.

Although consumers are generally happy with the services provided by their banks, 22 percent of survey respondents with a bank account say that over the last three months they have used alternative banking products such as check cashing services (12 percent), money transfer agents (11 percent) and payday loans (4 percent). When bank customers were asked why they used alternative banking products, 16 percent said they did not have a particular reason for using non-bank financial services.

“One in five consumers with a bank account are using alternative banking products, which could add needless cost to their monthly budget,” said Ryan Bailey, Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Deposit and Payment Products, TD Bank. “Consumers who are using these types of services should have a conversation with a banker to learn about less expensive financial products that can meet their everyday financial needs.”

Banking Behaviors Continue to Evolve Debit cards and online banking play central roles in the banking behaviors of today’s consumers. A large percentage of those surveyed reported that their experiences with debit cards and online banking are excellent or very good (92 percent and 91 percent, respectively). Of the 23 banking transactions that checking account holders report making each month, on average, 10 are debit card purchases and six are conducted through online banking.

Across all survey respondents, 60 percent of checking account owners said their debit card is an essential service. An even larger number of Millennials (74 percent) can’t imagine not having a debit card. When it comes to online baking, 51 percent of consumers cite it as their preferred channel to conduct checking account transactions.

While services like debit cards and online banking are both vital, the Index found that a personal connection remains important to consumers. When asked about the last time they had a question or concern regarding their checking account, the majority of respondents still rely on a telephone call or a visit to a bank location to have questions answered. However, behaviors are evolving. Telephone outreach for issue resolution grew almost 9 percent over the past year (34 percent in 2013 vs. 37 percent in 2014) and in-person resolution at a bank location declined by 15 percent (40 percent in 2013 vs. 34 percent in 2014).

Triggers for Switching Banks Include Life Events and Fees The TD Index data also reveals that fees and life events remain major triggers for changing banks. More than one third (38 percent) say they would close their primary checking account or consider leaving their bank because of fees. However, only eight percent of respondents had closed or switched their primary checking account in the past two years, down from 12 percent in the 2013. Of the eight percent of respondents who reported closing or switching checking accounts in the past two years, the main reason for doing so was a life event such as moving (29 percent), followed by bank fees (27 percent).

Advice for Consumers Based on the results of the Index, Bailey offered advice to help consumers improve their banking experience while getting the most out of their checking accounts:

  • With 60 percent of Americans saying they can’t imagine not having a debit card, consumers should have a plan of action if their card is misplaced or stolen. They should check to see if their bank offers on-the-spot debit card replacement and access to 24/7 customer service.
  • Only 13 percent of Americans are using reloadable prepaid cards. This relatively new product category offers many of the benefits of a checking account, such as the ability to receive a paycheck through direct deposit and to make purchases online, and can serve as an introduction to banking for the population that currently depends on alternative financial service providers.
  • Nearly two thirds (62 percent) of Americans say their bank is offering products and services that take advantage of new technologies like mobile apps and mobile deposit. That means that 38 percent of account holders may not be enjoying the conveniences that modern banks are providing. Consumers who want access to the latest banking technologies may want to consider trying a bank that offers their customers the ability to manage their finances in more ways.

Survey Methodology The study was conducted among a nationally representative group of consumers from August 25 through September 1, 2014. The sample size of 1,510 consumers has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical—a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

SOURCE:

http://www.td.com

 

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No Silver Spoon: Most Millionaires Credit Hard Work And Smart Saving As Keys To Financial Success

– Few Gain Wealth Through Inheritance Or Spouse, PNC Survey Finds –

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21, 2014, Most American millionaires cite smart saving over investment choices as the key ingredient to their financial success and very few have benefited from inheritance or a rich spouse, according to the PNC Wealth and Values Survey.

Saving early and regularly is named most often (56 percent) as the personal decision that most influenced their financial success, according to the survey by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). Controlling spending (38 percent) and making good investment decisions (38 percent) were next, while “earning a lot of money” is fourth on the list, mentioned by 26 percent. Even fewer cite an inheritance (12 percent) or marrying someone with money (3 percent) as significant.

Asked to rank the greatest influences, two-thirds (65 percent) said “hard work” followed by good decisions (16 percent), discipline (8 percent) and luck (7 percent).

“For individuals who aspire to be millionaires, the survey results are positive.  The most likely path to building wealth is not through inheritance, marriage or luck,” said Joseph Jennings, director of investments for PNC Wealth Management.  “Most of the millionaires surveyed have controlled their own destiny by working hard and saving early and regularly.  These are personal choices over which we all have control.  This indicates that the ‘American dream’ is still very much alive.”

Other Findings
The seeds of success were planted early for most American millionaires, but they have yielded an outcome that goes beyond what they expected. Three out of four (76 percent) expected as they were growing up that they would be successful financially but most (81 percent) express pleasant surprise at the scale of their success.

Slightly more than one third (36 percent) have accumulated at least $1 million within the last decade, with the same number (36 percent) having done so within the past 10-20 years.  Fewer than one in three (28 percent) have had at least this much money for more than 20 years.

Most millionaires (53 percent) say that whatever financial acumen they have is largely self-taught, but the vast majority (77 percent) now work with a financial professional to help manage their wealth. For most, the relationship is very much a collaboration; fewer either delegate most decisions to their advisors or rely solely on their own judgment.

American millionaires report that now they are more at peace and enjoying life more, whereas 10 years ago they were much more likely to be pushing to achieve more.

Most have been able to move beyond a concern about saving enough for retirement (a key priority now for just 8 percent) or paying down debt (a priority for just 2 percent). Now they are most concentrated on having enough money to live comfortably in retirement (the top concern for 57 percent).

Preservation of capital continues to be the main focus for this group, cited more than twice as often (51 percent) as accumulation (23 percent) as a major concern.

An online media kit containing survey highlights and background information are available on PNC’s website at http://www.pnc.com/pncpresskits.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

Survey Methodology
The Wealth and Values Survey was commissioned by PNC to identify attitudes about wealth among high-net-worth individuals, how it affects their lives and their needs in managing wealth. Artemis Strategy Group conducted the online survey in September and October 2013, 923 interviews were completed nationally including 473 with assets of $1 million or more, including 169 with $% million or more. Sampling error for 473 respondents is +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. DISCLAIMER: This report was prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Any reliance upon this information is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

The survey was designed and managed by HNW, Inc. (www.hnw.com), an integrated marketing and technology firm with a focus on financial services and understanding and connecting with the affluent. The survey was supported by Artemis Strategy Group (www.ArtemisSG.com), a communications strategy research firm specializing in brand positioning and policy issues.

This report has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Information has been gathered from third party sources and has not been independently verified or accepted by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, assumptions, analyses or conclusions presented in the report. PNC cannot be held responsible for any errors or misrepresentations contained in the report or in the information gathered from third party sources. Any reliance upon the information provided in the report is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

CONTACT:

Alan Aldinger
(412) 768-3711
alan.aldinger@pnc.com

SOURCE:

PNC Wealth Management

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Small Businesses Up the Ante this Holiday Season: Offer Discounts and Invest in Advertising to Get More Out of Small Business Saturday, According to NFIB/American Express Research

Number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising to promote Small Business Saturday doubles; 67% will offer discounts to drive consumers to ‘Shop Small’ on November 30

Washington, D.C. – November 6, 2013 – With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season. According to the second annual Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, more independent merchants will feel the Christmas creep as they start their promotional activity earlier than last year.

For many of the small business owners who are aware of Small Business Saturday, the day will be a part of their promotional calendar. Of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70% say Small Business Saturday will be helpful in attracting new customers.

Small Business Saturday has become an important fixture on the business calendar for merchants and an increasing number are investing more money and providing additional incentives to reach customers.  Even as social media and word of mouth remain the top methods for business owners to reach customers with their Small Business Saturday offerings, the number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising (TV, radio and newspaper) to promote Small Business Saturday has doubled (18% vs. 9% in 2012).  Discounts continue to be the top incentive used to encourage consumers to Shop Small, but more business owners are planning to reward customers by offering them a free gift with  purchase (33%, up from 20% in 2012).

The busy holiday season often demands a more robust workforce; a large number of business owners are looking to their local communities to hire the help they need to meet consumer demand this holiday season. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of local small business owners aware of Small Business Saturday said they make it a point to hire employees from their neighborhood.

Small Business Saturday, now in its fourth year, falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and serves as the traditional kick off to the holiday season for independent retailers and restaurateurs. The day was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need, more customers, and has since grown into an annual celebration of the independent businesses that help boost our local economies.

“Small-business owners are always looking for new ways to creatively promote their products and services—especially in a tough economy,” said NFIB president and CEO Dan Danner. “Small Business Saturday is a reminder of how important the small-business sector is to our economy and why it’s so important to Shop Small all year around.”

Findings from the survey also uncover the lengths to which small businesses are ready to go to promote their activities on Small Business Saturday. Among those that plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday promotions:

•    75% say the day would be more effective if communities participated together by hosting events;
•    39% are planning to collaborate with other small businesses in a community event to promote Small Business Saturday; and
•    33% rely on social media most to promote Small Business Saturday to their customers.

The Small Business Saturday Insights Survey was created to provide a window into holiday planning for small business owners. Other key survey findings relating to Small Business Saturday activities include:

•    67% will offer discounts on specific items or general discounts on the day;
•    36% will offer coupons for future offers or discounts;
•    32% are starting their holiday promotions earlier than last year; and
•    21% are planning to increase the number of employees working on Small Business Saturday.

Communities Come Together To Take Small Business Saturday to the Next Level
American Express has created a Neighborhood Champions program, working with business organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the Latino Coalition and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to organize Small Business Saturday events in communities throughout the country. To date over 1,000 Neighborhood Champions have signed up to rally businesses in their municipalities to partake in local activities leading up to and on the day.

“In 2012, small businesses took ownership of the day by offering great deals and amazing experiences for their customers,” said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN. “This year, with more than 1,000 ‘Neighborhood Champions’ rallying communities, the country will be blanketed with Small Business Saturday events that can undoubtedly help keep the registers ringing.”

Tools for Making the Day Their Own
For the past three years, small business owners have embraced the day and developed creative and effective ways to promote their businesses.  American Express is again helping to amplify those efforts with free digital and in-store marketing tools to help small business owners expand their local footprint on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.

The Small Business Saturday Marketing Toolkit provides businesses with turnkey, personalized assets and materials to better promote their efforts.  These tools are available at ShopSmall.com and include:

•    Printable signage and decals to print and display in a business
•    Logos and imagery for business websites, custom materials, and social media pages
•    Suggested social media and email templates to get the word out to customers on the Web

American Express has also rallied organizations from across the country to lend a hand in providing resources to mobilize businesses and consumers for the day. Premier partners include:

FedEx Office
A longstanding supporter of Small Business Saturday, this year, FedEx Office is offering two copies of the free 11” x 17” printed poster that small business owners can create as part of their customized marketing campaign on ShopSmall.com.  In addition, FedEx Office will offer a special discount to small businesses that take advantage of the free printing offer. FedEx will also promote Small Business Saturday to small businesses and consumers through their marketing channels. Offer terms apply and are available http://local.fedex.com/?promo=sbs2013.

Foursquare
New this year, Foursquare and American Express are offering small businesses $250,000 in free credits to use on the recently launched Foursquare Ads for Small Business platform. The credits will enable businesses to create local campaigns that can help drive new customers into their stores based on where they are, or what they are searching for. Additionally, Foursquare will highlight millions of small businesses in their app to help drive foot traffic to local merchants on Small Business Saturday. Offer terms apply and are available at http://business.foursquare.com/shopsmall.

Twitter
Twitter is offering one million dollars in free advertising to small business owners who have not advertised with Twitter previously, to help drive customer engagement and increase sales on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.  Business owners can also get ready for the big day with an educational toolkit containing helpful tips on gaining more followers and launching exclusive promotions. Offer terms apply and are available at https://business.twitter.com/shop-malsl.

United States Postal Service (USPS)
As a Premier Partner of Small Business Saturday, USPS is providing shipping of Shop Small branded merchandise orders placed on ShopSmall.com as well as Neighborhood Champion Activation Kits.  In a move to help drum up support and activity on Small Business Saturday, USPS will also distribute a consumer mailer and place signage at approximately 1,500 Post Offices to emphasize the importance of supporting their neighborhood business and to help motivate consumers to go out and Shop Small on the day.

Consumer Incentives to Shop Small
Again this year, American Express will give Card Members a special offer for shopping on Small Business Saturday. Card Members who register an eligible American Express® Card will get a one-time $10 statement credit when they use their registered Card to spend $10 or more on November 30, 2013, in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location that appears on the Small Business Saturday Map. Enrollment is limited and opens on November 24th at ShopSmall.com. Offer terms apply and are available at ShopSmall.com/offerterms.

About the Survey
The Small Business Saturday Insights survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 500 owners/managers of retail establishments with physical storefronts, kiosks, and restaurants/bars/pubs that are not part of a franchise.  In order to qualify, all establishments had to have fewer than 100 employees.  No quotas were established for this criterion, in order to allow for a natural representation of retailers.  The average number of employees of all establishments in the survey was 6 (with the vast majority falling in the 0-5 range).  The study was conducted anonymously via telephone by Redshift Research from October 4 to October 16, 2013.

About Small Business Saturday

November 30th marks the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers.

About NFIB
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 states. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom or NFIB.com/shopsmall.

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

SOURCE:

NFIB

 

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Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey: More Consumers Shopping Mobile and Local

Smartphone ownership rises to 61 percent of consumers; Two-thirds of Americans plan to shop small businesses or independent retailers

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2013, Increasing smartphone ownership is taking more consumers down the digital shopping route, while many shoppers plan to frequent local small businesses when visiting stores this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 28th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends.

Overall, smartphone ownership has risen to 61 percent of respondents from 42 percent just two years ago.  Women, younger generations and households earning less than $100,000 annually showed the most significant leaps in smartphone ownership, expanding the base of shoppers that retailers can access via mobile devices. For example, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) of women surveyed own smartphones, up from 46 percent last year, and 79 percent of consumers ages 18-24 own a smartphone.

Among smartphone owners, nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) plan to use their devices for holiday shopping.  These consumers will primarily use smartphones to search for store locations (56 percent), check and compare prices (54 percent) and obtain product information (47 percent).

Consumers that use smartphones to assist in holiday shopping will likely help retailers’ registers jingle this year, as these shoppers plan to spend 27 percent more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners.

The survey also found a significant number of consumers expecting to shop using their tablets.  Among the 38 percent of respondents that own tablets, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of these owners indicate they plan to use it for holiday shopping this year, with “shop or browse online” ranking as the No. 1 activity.

“Tablets are a two-way street for retailers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and retail & distribution sector leader.  “They have opened up an entirely new consumer touchpoint, where shoppers can view multiple retailers’ products regardless of their location – from their couch to the point of purchase.  Retailers can also put tablets to work in their stores, providing both their sales team and customers with a broader lens into merchandise selection.  Now that the majority of consumers also own smartphones, these two devices have altered the way they interact with a brand, while also yielding a higher spend per customer.”

Shoppers stay close to home

This year, two-thirds (66 percent) of shoppers plan to shop locally at small businesses, independent retailers or boutique shops which are not part of national chains.

The survey indicates that one-third (34 percent) of consumers’ budgets will be spent at local stores. Among the reasons for shopping locally, consumers cite desire to support the local economy (60 percent), to find one-of-a-kind gifts (53 percent) and because it is more convenient (44 percent). Nearly one-third (30 percent) report having greater loyalty for the local store over national chains.

Stores still make consumers’ spirits bright

While the Internet ranks as the top shopping destination for the 2013 holiday season, 37 percent of respondents still prefer shopping in a physical store rather than online for holiday products. Service levels continue to influence respondents’ willingness to give a retailer their business.

More than half (54 percent) of shoppers say that knowledgeable store associates will lead them to making an in-store purchase, and 32 percent of shoppers feel store associates can provide customers a better shopping experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies.  Yet, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) shoppers feel they are better connected to consumer information, including coupons, competitive pricing and product availability, than store associates.

“In the store, retail associates can be engaged to drive loyalty rather than just complete a transaction,” continued Paul. “The most successful retailers are empowering their associates to become devoted brand advocates who are knowledgeable, connected online, have the authority to price match and are aware of products available through other channels.”

Retailers also benefit from providing shoppers with self-help technology in the store. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of shoppers will use self-help technologies – the most common being price checkers (60 percent) and self-checkout payment lanes (57 percent).

About the Survey
The Holiday Survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research organization between September 13 and 23, 2013. The survey polled a national sample of 5,018 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

About Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution Practice
Deloitte is a leading presence in the retail and distribution industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to nearly 75 percent of the Fortune 500 retailers.  With more than 1,400 professionals, Deloitte’s retail & distribution practice provides insights, services and solutions assisting retailers across major subsectors including apparel, grocery, food and drug, wholesale and distribution and online. For more information about Deloitte’s retail & distribution sector, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/retail-distribution.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

SOURCE:

Deloitte
http://www.deloitte.com/us

 

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New Survey Finds Millennials Rely on Friends’ Financial Habits to Determine Their Own 

AICPA and Ad Council release results of national survey as they launch new ads and website encouraging young adults to ‘feed the pig’

Contacts: AICPA, Kristin Vincenzo, 212-596-6138, kvincenzo@aicpa.org, Ad Council, Ellyn Fisher, efisher@adcouncil.org, 212-984-1964

New York, October 30, 2013 – Doing alright financially? The answer, if you’re 25 to 34 years old, depends on your friends, according to a new survey from the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council. They released the results today to coincide with a new series of national public service advertisements and a redesigned website for their Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign.

The national poll found that three quarters of young adults, or 78 percent, use their friends’ financial habits to determine their own. The vast majority, 66 percent, wants to keep pace with their peers on where they live; 64 percent say the same thing about what they wear. Nearly two-thirds experience pressure to keep up with the types of places they eat and the gadgets they carry.

At the same time, in the past year alone, almost half of those in the age group had to use a credit card to pay for necessities like food or utilities and more than a quarter missed a bill payment or were contacted by a bill collector. Sixty-one percent still get financial help from their family.

“As the old saying goes: Be careful about the company you keep,” said Ernie Almonte, CPA, chair of the AICPA’s National Financial Literacy Commission. “Many young adults are building financial foundations with the wrong blueprints. They need to make sure they’re modeling the best behavior for their long-term financial stability.”

The new series of PSAs, developed pro bono by kirshenbaum, bond, senecal + partners (kbs+), taps into millennials’ desire for belonging and its impact on their financial well-being in a light-hearted way.  The PSAs are designed to remind this demographic that they need to forge their own path to financial security. The television PSAs feature scenes of over-the-top spending contrasted by financial achievement. In one ad, for instance, a college graduate celebrates paying off her student debt while a friend, lounging in a formal dress, surrounded by designer shoes and feeding a pet horse, complains that she can never save enough money to get ahead. Earlier this summer, the campaign released print, outdoor, radio and digital PSAs, urging viewers, “When it comes to financial stability, don’t get left behind.”

“Young adults are in the midst of making critical financial decisions about family and careers and are establishing the spending and saving patterns that often last throughout their lives,” added Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our new PSAs tap into the insight that this generation is strongly influenced by their peers when it comes to lifestyle purchases, but our goal is to extend that peer pressure to also include saving for the future.”

The PSAs direct viewers to www.feedthepig.org, which was relaunched this month. In addition to a myriad of money management tips and tools, the new website features personal finance calculators and short-, mid-, and long-term action plans for achieving goals like buying a house, starting a family or paying off debt. The campaign also directs young adults to Facebook and Twitter to ask questions and engage with financial experts.

“The AICPA cares about the financial literacy of 25 to 34 year olds and they wanted to communicate to them that understanding your finances is crucial at a young age. To do this, the AICPA, the Ad Council and kbs+ created a campaign that humorously brings to life the poor financial decisions that many young adults make every day,” added Will Bright, kbs+ creative director.

The AICPA and the Ad Council first launched the Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign in 2006. To date, the campaign has received over $277 million in donated media support. Per the Ad Council’s model, the new series of PSAs will be distributed to over 33,000 networks nationwide and continue to run in airtime and space donated by the media.

The AICPA and the Ad Council commissioned the new nationwide online survey earlier this month of employed adults between the ages of 25 to 34. It was administered by the Ad Council, conducted by LightSpeed Research and reached a representative sample of men and women. The survey also found:

·         For 70 percent, financial stability means paying all the bills each month.

·         Women feel more financially stable than men.

·         Men find it more important than women to keep up with their friends.

Source:

AICPA

http://www.aicpa.org/

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