In order to save gasoline, more consumers are combining shopping trips with the daily commute, according to a study by BIGresearch. It cites a 20 percent increase in the number of consumers opting to drive less, and suggests that retailers might do well to promote to consumers in the workplace.
Nearly three quarters of all working Americans indicate they are consolidating their shopping trips and making purchases on the commute route to and from work. They spend an average of 48 minutes per day on the commute route.
"It used to be that an afternoon of shopping was considered a leisurely pursuit," said Stephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media, which studies the nation's workplace and sponsored the study. "Now, with soaring fuel costs, it's all about getting in and out with as few unscheduled stops as possible. Retailers would do well to recognize the value of reaching consumers at their workplace," she advised.
Calling this practice a, "commute route pit strategy," the study noted that 74 percent of at work consumers report regularly or occasionally dining out during the workday, with another 72 percent purchasing food, beverages or other grocery items along the work route.
More than half of at work consumers said they spend their lunch break shopping for beauty care products and cosmetics, while 61 percent spend that time shopping for apparel. 48 percent said they shopped for shoes on their lunch break, while 24 percent said they shopped for jewelry and watches.
Molnar said this is a dramatic change in consumer shopping behavior, with ramifications for retailers who are also feeling the strain, and suggested retailers consider reaching people in the workplace. "Drastic changes in shopping behavior call for drastic changes in marketing methods," she said. "As a result, aggressive retailers are leveraging the commute route for retail activation and influencing purchasing decisions," said Molnar.
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