Erie Tops the List of Cities Looking for a Holiday Bargain

Black Friday is an advertiser’s dream. In 2011, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that spending during the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving had reached $52.4 billion, up 16% from the prior year. On Black Friday—one of the most important shopping days of the year—consumers looking for the best deals crowd stores at all hours of the day. In most cases, they’ve spent time looking at digital ads, emails, and circulars to help guide their shopping plans for the big day.

With the NRF predicting $586.1 billion in holiday sales up for grabs this year, it’s more important than ever for brands and retailers to reach the right shoppers online before they head to the store. And when it comes to locating the shoppers most looking for a bargain, there are 10 specific cities to keep in mind.

We analyzed offline and online data points—including point-of-sale data and consumption of social media, videos, music, local web pages, and online magazines—to identify the top 10 cost-conscious cities in the United States. Shoppers in these cities are most likely to watch their budgets and stick to items on sale when ticking gifts off their holiday shopping lists:

The Top 10

  1. Erie, PA
  2. Leesburg, VA
  3. Rochester, NY
  4. Athens, OH
  5. Greenville, SC
  6. Lakeland, FL
  7. Waco, TX
  8. Pine City, MN
  9. Richmond, MI
  10. Hattiesburg, MS

Shopper Profile
Zoom in on neighborhoods in these cities, and you’ll notice similarities among their residents. Cost-conscious shoppers tend to:

  • Have children
  • Own their homes
  • Make between $40,000 and $60,000 per year
  • Have a college education or less schooling

Above all else, they share an interest in long-term savings, which they achieve by incrementally purchasing items at a lower cost. To entice these shoppers into stores on Black Friday, advertisers often find that digital ads promoting coupons, deep discounts during special hours, and other bargain-friendly deals are the most successful.

There’s More
Take a closer look at the top city on the list—Erie, Pennsylvania—and you’ll see that not all cost-conscious consumers are purchasing the same products. While some are looking for a great deal on a new tablet for their tech-savvy daughters, others are searching for the ultimate gaming system for their teenage sons. Erie’s cost-conscious neighborhoods are interested in different products this holiday season:

Neighborhoods Interested in Tech Gadgets

  • Glenwood
  • Weber Hills
  • Eaglehurst

Neighborhoods Interested in Gaming

  • Edinboro
  • Cambridge Springs
  • North East Township

Check out the infographic at the end of this report to learn more about these neighborhoods, including what they’re searching for online and which products they’re purchasing in stores.

What This Means for Advertisers
Campaigns that target the wrong audience can be frustrating and expensive for retailers, brands, and agencies, especially during a critical selling period such as the holidays. By taking a hyperlocal approach to digital advertising and focusing on the neighborhoods that are not
just interested in deals this season but deals for your specific type of product or service, you can make sure you get the most out of your holiday advertising efforts.

MaxPoint in Action
Using the data from this Interest Index, we ran several digital advertising campaigns:

Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free – For one of the largest and fastest-growing employee-owned supermarket chains in the United States, MaxPoint implemented a “buy theirs, get ours free” campaign. We targeted cost-conscious neighborhoods within a 10-mile radius of select locations with an offer to purchase a national brand’s product and receive the supermarket chain’s equivalent for free. The campaign drove traffic to store locations and increased consumers’ perception of the generic brand’s value. The campaign also achieved a strong CTR, which led the supermarket chain to increase its budget during the campaign’s flight.

Save on Gas – For a supermarket chain with more than 200 stores in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, MaxPoint implemented a digital advertising campaign targeting those shoppers most interested in holiday bargains. The chain offered shoppers savings on gas when they purchased $50 in holiday gift cards—available for more than 150 retailers—at the chain’s stores. The campaign resulted in a CTR that substantially exceeded the industry average.