MBPT Spotlight: Nielsen’s Message To Marketers: Multicultural Consumers Are Major Holiday Spenders

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and Nielsen data indicates that marketers should be targeting multicultural consumers in a big way with their campaigns. 

A Nielsen report says that while 10% of the U.S. population plans to spend more this holiday season than last year, multicultural households will account for 43% of the projected extra spending. The breakdown is: 17% of African-Americans polled plan to increase their holiday spending, followed by 13% of Asian-Americans and 13% of Hispanics.

More than one-third of each group plans to spend an average of $250-$500 on gifts, while over 20% of each group plans to spend an average of $500-$1000. And the breakdowns by group are relatively close. In the $250 to $500 spending category, 33.2% are African-Americans, 34.3% are Asian-Americans and 38% are Hispanic. In the $500 to $1000 category, 20.4% are African-Americans, 21.5% are Asian-Americans and 22% are Hispanic. About 7% of all three groups combined plan to spend over $1000 on gifts this holiday season.

The insights in the Nielsen report were developed from data collected in an English-language consumer survey of more than 25,000 U.S. households in September.

The data found that among all consumers, gift cards, electronics and toys will see more shopper spending this holiday season. Compared to last year, all shoppers will spend 12% more on gift cards, 10% more on electronic merchandise and 10% more on toys.

The survey found that while many of the same items top the gift lists of multicultural consumers, their households plan to spend more on those and on their other top categories than the general population.

African-Americans plan to spend 17% more on electronics this holiday season, 17% more on food and gifts and 15% more on apparel. Asian-Americans plan to spend 14% more on food, 13% more on electronics and 12% more on apparel. Hispanics plan to spend 15% more on gift cards, 13% more on electronics and 13% more on toys.

While a majority of multicultural consumers plan to do their shopping in stores, 24% of both Asian-Americans and Hispanics say they plan to do most of their holiday shopping online. Among African-Americans, it’s 20%.

Offline, mass merchandise or “large box” retailers will also be popular among multiculturals this holiday season, with 13% of Hispanics and 11% of Asian-Americans planning to shop there. Electronics stores will also be popular, with 15% of African-Americans and 10% of Asian-Americans planning to head there at some point during the holidays. Meanwhile, 11% of Hispanics plan to shop at toy stores.

Nielsen data found that advertisers spent nearly $2.5 billion to market their brands to consumers during the holiday season last year, with the biggest ad spending increases being in tech, video games, books, kitchen appliances and jewelry. The data also found that toy retailers and brands spend 56% of their annual ad budgets during fourth quarter with most of that geared toward the holiday season.

Randall Beard, global head, advertiser solutions at Nielsen says during the holiday season, “it’s key for advertisers to make wise ad investments that differentiate themselves, resonating with audiences and driving consumer sales at home, online and in-store.” He adds that, “being able to anticipate consumer buying behavior is a tremendous leg up, though delivering the best possible holiday campaign is the difference between money in the bank and just another Christmas commercial.”

The report indicates one of those wise investments would be to target multicultural consumers. “With multicultural consumers driving the rise in spending, markets and manufacturers have a big opportunity to reach these consumers with the items they’re looking for and the places they’re shopping,” the report states. “And these lessons aren’t just for the holidays. Seasonal spending reflects the larger consumer retail landscape, and multicultural consumers are increasingly influencing dollar growth and a fundamental component to business success today. Marketers, retailers and manufactures would do well to heed this new reality and appeal to multicultural consumers not only now but throughout the year.”