Consumers Look to Web for Help Achieving Financial Goals

Hostway Marketing - February 09, 2010

By Janet Attard

According to the results of a recent Performics study, consumers are looking forward to 2010 to get back on track financially. The findings come from the ninth month of consumer behavior findings in their “2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study.”

The study found that the Internet will play significant roles for many consumers as they fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents indicated they would use the Internet to perform research as it relates to accomplishing their resolution. Furthermore, 36 percent indicated they would go online to purchase items to further their resolutions and 14 percent said they would utilize an online support group or community to help reach their 2010 goals.

“Anyone can resolve to make a change at the start of the year, but sticking with it often turns out to be an entirely different story,” suggests Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics. “We discovered that nearly one third (29 percent) of respondents plan to use the Internet to track the progress they’re making with their resolutions. Interestingly, this activity specifically appealed to the younger population; where 44 percent of those in Generations X and Y (18-44) are likely to track progress online, compared to only 20 percent of those ages 45 and older who intend to do so.” Performics is the performance marketing expert within Publicis Groupe.

Respondents said their biggest 2010 New Year’s resolutions include:

  • Saving more money: 41 percent
  • Enjoying life: 38 percent
  • Losing weight: 38 percent
  • Debt reduction or elimination: 36 percent

Performics delved deeper into the year’s top resolution topic – money management. Fifty-six percent of respondents saved less than they originally planned to in 2009. Divided along gender lines, 61 percent of women indicated that they did not save as much as planned versus 48 percent of men. After not saving as much money as planned in 2009, 55 percent plan to save more in 2010. Of that majority, 66 percent of women versus 44 percent of men indicated they plan to save more. There were also age gaps among planned savers in 2010. Surprisingly, 66 percent of 18-44 year olds plan to save more in 2010, versus 50 percent of those ages 45 and older.

“Regardless of age or gender, consumers are clearly ready for a fresh start in the new decade,” notes Kahn. “For the past two months, most respondents have said they’ll reintroduce purchases into their budget this year, and consumer confidence has been rising. Balancing these returns to spending with resolutions to boost saving could present some challenges, but consumers clearly feel more confident entering 2010 than when they entered 2009.”

In December, 58 percent of respondents indicated that their household economic situation is the same or better, compared to only 47 percent in April. December also marked the second consecutive month when a majority of consumers indicated a positive perception of their household economic situation. Additionally, respondents who utilized low-interest mortgage rates, Cash for Clunkers and the new home owner $8,000 stimulus package in 2009 reported better household economic situations as a result.

Performics commissioned ROI Research to conduct this study, consisting of monthly surveys from April through December 2009. The December survey was conducted over a two-day period among 300 consumers who have made an online purchase in the past six months.

About the Author

Janet Attard is the founder and CEO of www.BusinessKnowHow.com , a popular small business Web site that provides ideas and strategies for growing a business and making it profitable. The site attracts 3 million visitors a year, contains thousands of free articles about sales, marketing, internet marketing, business finance, ecommerce and all phases of starting and growing small and home businesses. Janet is a small and home business expert and has authored several books for business owners and startups. Visit Business Know-How and sign up for their free newsletter at www.BusinessKnowHow.com.