Never Too Late To Go Holiday Shopping

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Have you even started it yet? (Don’t mean to be all judgy, but you better get going soon!)

How are you doing with your holiday shopping? Let us know!

This may not surprise you, but many, many people will still be shopping through Christmas Eve. (My husband being one of them!)

According to a really interesting survey from the National Retail Federation, more than 40% of holiday shoppers surveyed expected to finish their holiday gift shopping by Wednesday (12/19).

However, according to the National Retail Federation, 24% plan to make their last purchases Saturday or Sunday and 7% said they will still be shopping on Christmas Eve. And 4% said their final gifts wouldn’t be bought until after Christmas.

The survey found that 56% of holiday shoppers – about 134 million people, up from 126 million last year – plan to shop this weekend on “Super Saturday,” the last Saturday before Christmas.

Of consumers who had completed half or less of their shopping, 44% said they were still deciding what to buy, up from 42% last year. Meanwhile, 27% were waiting for family members to share their requests, while 26% cited other financial priorities, 25% were too busy with other activities, and 22% admitted being procrastinators, according to the National Retail Federation.

As of December 12, consumers still shopping planned to make their remaining purchases online (51%), at department stores (41%), discount stores (25%), apparel stores (21%), electronics stores (17%), local/small businesses (14%), and grocery stores (13%).

The survey also found that 53% of consumers have already purchased clothing as gifts; 38% gift cards; 37% toys; 32% video games, books, and movies; 24% food or candy, and 23% electronics or computer-related accessories.

No matter what you buy or where you buy it from, please remember to record all of your holiday – as well as your regular – purchases!

I wish you all the best. Hope you have a happy and healthy New Year!

I’ll be talking with you again in January. (Here’s a little teaser – we’ll be having a new contest early in 2019!)

PSC Holiday Closings
The Panel Support Center will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday, December 24
  • Tuesday, December 25 (Christmas Day)
  • Monday, December 31
  • Tuesday, January 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day)

Our PSC would like to wish you and your family all the best this holiday season and in the New Year!

Check Out Our Redesigned Blog!

I’m sure you noticed we have a new look. We just thought we’d spruce things up a bit. I hope you like it!

We’ve also included new links on the menu bar:

  • If you’re not a panel member and would like to become one, just go to the Join NCP page.
  • If you have a question about your panel membership, see the Contact NCP page for ways to contact our Panel Support Center.
  • Finally, if you have a question for me, well, that’s easy! Just go to the Contact Taylor page.

Please! Please! Please! If you have an issue with scanning and transmitting, or any other aspect of panel membership, contact the Panel Support Center directly. They will be better able to help you in a timely manner than if you contact me.

OK, so we’re all really busy this time of year. But I want to remind you to scan, scan, scan!

For some retailers, the holiday season can represent as much as 30 percent of annual sales. So now is the time to make sure you’re recording every single one of your purchases – this information is, as you know, so critical for both manufacturers and retailers.

Here are some scanning tips to help you:

  • Before you wrap that special gift you bought for a friend or family member, don’t forget to give the barcode a quick scan to record the purchase. But, you do not need to record gifts that YOU receive.
  • The best time to scan your purchases is as soon as you get home from a shopping trip. This way the purchases are fresh in your mind! Use your receipt as a guide.
  • Make sure to scan the actual barcode on the items purchased, and not the receipts from the stores!
  • On-the-go purchases and gifts, like a bottle of liquor picked up on the way to a party, pose a unique scanning challenge. So instead of asking for the empty bottle to go, just write down the barcode numbers on the back of the receipt and key the entry when you get home.
  • Many coupons have barcodes on them. Of course we want you to tell us about any coupons you use, but please do not scan the barcode on the coupon. Although the scanner may accept the barcode, the information is not readable to us.
  • If the store you shopped at does not appear on your Store List, use a Store Type category, for instance, Drug Store, Department Store, Pet Store, and Restaurant. If you still can’t find the right Store Type, use All Other Stores. Even though you won’t be telling us the specific store, we can still use these information, plus you’ll be credited with having provided us with a shopping trip!
  • Online purchases may come in one or multiple shipments and don’t always include a packing receipt. Consider printing out your email/order confirmation so you can refer back to it when reporting your purchase.
  • If your items do come separately, please scan them as you receive them.
  • If an item arrives with the UPC barcode covered by another label, try carefully peeling off that label and scanning the UPC barcode on the item (or manually enter the barcode number if the barcode is damaged).
  • If you buy something from the website of a retailer that also has a storefront, make sure to report the trip as an online purchase. For example, if you order something from Walmart’s website, select “Walmart .com” when you record the purchase (whether the item was shipped directly to you or picked up at the store).

Thank you in advance for making sure to scan all your purchases!

Have a great day!

Don’t Forget Your Pets This Holiday Season

Along with giving gifts to the humans in their life, many people also wrap up little surprises for their pets. I’m one of those people. I know there are a lot of other people who do the same!

According to a survey conducted by Rover.com, 95% of pet owners admit to having purchased a holiday gift for their pet. Christmas is, unsurprisingly, the most popular pet-rewarding holiday, ahead of their birthdays (which 61% surveyed admitted to giving on) and Valentine’s Day (11%).

The survey found that gifts average about $36, and that about 5% of respondents said they’d bought something that cost over $100. Meanwhile, 33% of all respondents said that they get their pet a present on every holiday and birthday.

According to survey cited by express.co.uk,

  • 54% of pets will have a Christmas stocking
  • 29% will receive a Christmas card from their humans even though they can’t read
  • 16% say their pets will be featured on their Christmas cards
  • 40% of pet owners confess to giving other people gifts and putting their pet’s name on the gift as the gift giver

If you buy gifts for your pets, what do you get? Do you sign your pet’s names on your holiday cards and gifts? Does your dog or cat or bird or fish have a stocking? Is your pet on your holiday card? Let us know!

As usual, please remember to record all of your purchases, even the gifts you buy your pets.

Have a great weekend, and happy shopping!