Expect more consumer spending this holiday season, according to our recent survey with @OpenX - 80% of consumers plan to spend the same or more on gifts this holiday season than they did in 2017. #holidayseason #christmasshopping
In a recent @HarrisPoll study, an overwelming 65% of participants identified #DataPrivacy as the social issue that needs to be addressed. The next step is for consumers to own their #data. #My31
Retail analysts predict holiday spending this year could surpass the $1 trillion mark for the first time.
What’s behind the forecast increase in sales? One expert says it may be a result of “frugality fatigue.”
“Consumers (have) suffered from what I call ‘frugality fatigue’ for many years because they were always given information about the state of economy that sounded pessimistic, so their ability and willingness psychologically to spend money was not the same as it is currently,” said University of Minnesota professor Akshay Rao, who holds the General Mills chair in marketing at the Carlson School of Management.
Rao said it’s a welcome shift retailers have noticed. High consumer confidence and low unemployment are also key ingredients for a successful holiday shopping season.
Another factor working in retailers’ favor this year: An earlier Thanksgiving Day adds a couple of shopping days into the mix between Black Friday and Christmas. Rao said that can lead to millions more in sales.
“Normally, Thanksgiving is a couple days later, which in the grand scheme of things might not seem like very much,” he said. “But when you think about the fact that this is a 30-day period, a couple of days here or there is 10 percent more time.”
But Rao said retailers aren’t going to sit back and wait for sales. They’re actively working to find customers online.
Read more at the Austin Daily Herald.
A solid 70 percent of Americans plan to shop on Black Friday this year, according to a recent NerdWallet study conducted by The Harris Poll. But the nature of a day centered around shopping can almost inevitably lead to overspending.
Here are three ways to tell whether participating in Black Friday is really right for you.
Consider what you’re buying: The day after Thanksgiving is known for long lines, big crowds and low prices. And while it often delivers unbeatable deals on things like electronics, certain items are cheaper at other times of the year.
Clothing is generally a bargain on Black Friday, but some clothing reaches its lowest price off-season, said Charlie Graham, CEO of Shop It to Me, a sale alert app.
“If you’re really penny-pinching, you can find better deals when items go on clearance outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Graham says of some apparel.
Think buying swimsuits at the end of winter or sweaters in the middle of summer.
Consider why you’re buying: Of those who plan to shop in stores this Black Friday, 42 percent said they plan to do so because they enjoy the in-store hype such as early “doorbuster” deals, according to the NerdWallet study.
Enjoying this tradition is one thing, but going shopping “just because” isn’t always a good idea. Even if you’ve set a budget, you may be susceptible to making additional purchases once you’re among the merchandise.
Read more at NerdWallet.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the most skilled leader among top tech CEOs, according to a new poll.
Eighty-three percent of respondents said they had confidence in his abilities to grow his company and innovate, beating Apple CEO Tim Cook (77%), MicrosoftCEO Satya Nadella (76%), Google CEO Sundar Pichai (76%), and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (71%), according to a survey conducted on Fortune’s behalf by The Harris Poll.
Bezos has earned his top position by transforming Amazon from a tiny online bookseller into an e-commerce Goliath. At the same time, he pushed the company beyond its roots into streaming video, information technology, Kindle tablets, and, more recently, Echo smart speakers while also expanding into physical retail, most notably by acquiring grocery chain Whole Foods.
“Amazon is sort of it’s own thing right now,” Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema said. “It’s like what Apple was 10 years ago.”
But the current landscape is complicated for tech CEOs. Once seen largely as helping make life easier for their users, many of them are now under suspicion amid problems like privacy missteps and the growing sentiment that people spend too much time staring at screens.
In an effort to gauge public sentiment about major tech CEOs, Fortune enlisted Harris Poll to conduct an online survey on its behalf in mid-October of over 2,000 U.S. adults. The group represents the population at large.
Read more at Fortune Magazine.
For the book, Schawbel conducted a global research study in partnership with Virgin Pulse of over 2,000 managers and employees from 10 different countries. Interviews were also conducted with 100 leaders from top companies including Facebook, Google, HBO, Starbucks, General Mills, GE, Nike, American Express, Four Seasons, Walmart, Best Buy, Unilever, TIME, LinkedIn, and The U.S. Air Force.
One of the most interesting finds from the study was the impact of remote work. While people who work from home enjoy the flexibility of their work schedule, having full control of their day and not being confined to a desk or office, Schawbel’s research with Virgin found that employees who work remotely are less likely to want a long-term career at their companies. Only 5% of remote workers always or very often see themselves working at their company for their entire career compared to 28% who never work remote.
“Working remote has an impact on loyalty and team and organizational commitment,” Schawbel told The Harris Poll.
Another aspect of our excessive dependence on technology in the workplace was seen among managers. “Too many leaders use technology as a crutch instead of a bridge to really facilitating relationships and connections among teammates,” Schawbel said.
“The devices in those companies are intentionally making us addictive because that’s the business model and as a result a leader will much rather text someone instead of actually calling them or meeting them face to face even if they are a foot away and that’s a big problem,” he added. “In the study we found that the biggest technology in the way of human contact is email.” The research showed that employees increasingly depend on technology tools to communicate with their teammates, including email (45%), text messaging (15%) and instant messaging (12%). Of those who cited email, over 40% said they feel lonely always or very often, are not engaged and have a high need for social connection.
A recent study in the Harvard Business Review by two social psychologists stresses the importance of communicating in person because we’re less persuasive than we think over email. According to the research, a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email. Schawbel expounded on the data: “It’s really about understanding. You can go back and forth with emails and people might take what you’re saying the wrong way and that creates frustration and argument and it delays the message, delays productivity.”
Companies are beginning to notice the negative consequences of a less-human and excessively tech-reliant workplace and some are taking action. “Apple is investing billions of dollars in creating a new headquarters that 12,000 employees can work in and they’re investing so much in their office space because they know that real innovation and creativity comes from the conversations that are happening in the hallways,” Schawbel said.
One of Schawbel’s recommendations for combatting growing isolation in the workplace is organizing more social events such as company retreats, and at these gatherings employees should put their devices away and focus on bonding with co-workers in real life.
“We have to use technology as a bridge to human connection instead of a barrier,” he said. “Leaders need to give people space to connect because that’s how they are going to be able to bring their best self into the workplace and be as productive as possible.”
According to Schawbel, “Back to Human” ultimately serves as a reminder to be conscious of how we’re using technology, when and where we’re using it and being more thoughtful around it. “Humanity matters in the age of technology,” he said.
In addition to the research, Schawbel’s book features a proprietary academic assessment called "The Work Connectivity Index," which measures the strength of team relationships, and it offers exercises, examples, activities and advice for individuals and teams to improve their leaderships skills and increase personal productivity in order to be more collaborative and fulfilled at work.
You can see other key findings from the study here.
The high cost of cancer treatment is on the minds of a lot of Americans. The National Cancer Opinion Survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology finds that 57% of respondents say they would be more concerned about paying for cancer treatment, compared to 54% who are more concerned about dying, or cancer-related pain and suffering.
“So this is a big financial burden. It’s a big emotional burden on families,” says Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer for the Society.
The survey found that among caregivers responsible for paying for cancer care for a family member, 74% say they’re concerned about affording it. Dr. Schilsky says many of them are taking drastic steps to pay for cancer treatments. “61% of the caregivers in the survey this year said they’ve started to work extra hours, postponed retirement, by taking extra jobs, or dipping into their 401K plans, simply to be sure that their family member with cancer has the financial resources to be able to receive the care that they need,” he says.
He suggests these care givers speak about their financial situation with their physicians, who may have some way for them to deal with the high cost of treatments by “modifying the treatment plan in some that still can produce a good outcome; limiting the number of tests that are performed; changing some of the supportive care regimens around,” he says.
Another concern raised in the survey comes from rural residents, and the access they have to cancer treatments. The survey found that 40% of rural Americans who have or have had cancer say there are not enough doctors in their communities who specialize in cancer treatment as opposed 22% for urban and suburban residents. They also say they typically spend an average of 50-minutes traveling one way to see their cancer physician, compared to non-rural residents, where the average is 30-minutes.
Read more at WFMD-AM.