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Study: Dads and Digital Introverts Still Shop at Department Stores

The ongoing saga of the dying department store has varying degrees of truth or falsity depending on whom you ask, but consumers are still shopping there and a new report points to exactly who.

A Viant-commissioned Neilsen study titled, “Examining the Three Heaviest Spending Retail Shoppers,” said the three kinds of consumers shopping in department stores are dads, digital introverts and convenience shoppers.

Combined, these three segments account for 80 percent of spend among the major retailers studied.

“The big opportunity for retailers lies in leveraging their own customer database to identify their best customers,” the report noted. “Once these high value customers are identified, marketers can custom tailor their messaging and media plans to better target these segments.”

Digital Introverts

Digital Introverts are those who prefer digital shopping channels to stores, and they place a high priority on their cross-channel experience with a brand.

According to Viant, the group is the most loyal to department stores of the three, having spent on average $665 during last year’s holiday season. That’s almost three times as much as the average department store shopper spent last holiday season.

“While this segment represents only 6 percent of all customers, Digital Introverts account for roughly 16 percent of all spending at department stores,” the report noted.

The key to targeting these shoppers will be leveraging data points like shopping preferences, TV consumption and other relevant non-demographic data points.


Though the Dads category of shoppers also represents parents, those shopping in department stores were overwhelmingly male (61 percent versus 39 percent female).

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On average, dads spent $617 during the holiday last year.

“Most notably, this segment consists of social shoppers who plan in advance, relying heavily on online research and over-indexing on mobile devices compared to our other segments,” the report noted. “While traditionally men have been viewed as solo shoppers, this presents opportunities for retailers to more effectively draw Dads into stores with family-friendly accommodations and spaces that are conducive to groups.”

Convenience Shoppers

The third biggest category of department store spenders is Convenience Shoppers, and they want a positive, easy shopping experience as their name would suggest.

Convenience Shoppers are more often female (67 percent) and spend the least of the three, averaging $576 overall for the holiday season, which is still more than two times what the average holiday shopper spends.

“Among the many conveniences they value are available clothing sizes, well-organized merchandise, store location, a convenient return policy and easy parking,” according to the report.