Category: Purchase Decisions

Digging Deeper: The “Amazon Effect”

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Dec 11, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Economics, Current Events, Research, Chart of the Week
Amazon is so good at keeping prices low, it’s changed how economists think about inflation I was immediately skeptical of the conclusion implied by this headline.  Yes, Amazon is pervasive in everyone’s lives at this point, but could one company permanently shift inflation? I asked my resident economist if this was really a thing. The answer? YES.  This IS a conversation economists are having.  The Quartz article cites Kevin Kliesen, an economist at the St. Louis Fed....

Infographic: How does influence work on social media?

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Nov 27, 2017
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Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Advertising
A good question to ask students to get the conversation started about how social media is influencing their buying patterns.  How does influence work on social media (from Visual Capitalist, which has an awesome infographic explaining this phenomenon): Power users who create a lot of content and amass thousands – even millions – of fans on a platform find themselves in a unique position. Their influence is worth something more tangible than likes; it’s worth some serious...

Question of the Day: What is the most popular shopping website for teens?

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Nov 16, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day, Current Events, Budgeting, Research
Answer: Amazon  From Piper Jaffray Teen Survey:  Questions: Do you shop online at all? If so, what is your favorite website? Are there items that you refuse to buy online? Why?  Amazon has such a commanding lead over other websites, why do you think so many teens choose Amazon for online shopping? ---------- Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. ----------------- Looking for an article that describes the...

Question of the Day: Which social media platform do most people frequent when it comes to finding/shopping for products?

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Nov 14, 2017
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Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day
Answer: Pinterest From Kleiner Perkins (via Business Insider): Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are some of the largest social media platforms in the world. But when it comes to online shoppers, they're no match to Pinterest. According to data from Kleiner Perkins' 2016 Internet Trends report, charted for us by Statista, Pinterest was the most popular social media platform among online shoppers, with 55% of US internet users picking it as their top choice. Facebook,...

Question of the Day: What is the ideal age to get a smartphone?

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Nov 06, 2017
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Question of the Day, Parent Conversations, Purchase Decisions
Answer (from Center for Generational Kinetics): 13 According to young people in the Generation Z cohort (born after 1995)   I became aware of this Gen Z research from the Center for Generational Kinetics at the JumpStart conference in DC this past weekend (thank you JumpStart for an awesome conference!). The engaging speaker, Alicia Rainwater, described generational differences in life philosophy, communications, technology and attitudes toward work and money. She then laid out...

Question of the Day: YouTube, Cable or Netflix: Where are teens spending most of their time?

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Nov 05, 2017
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Budgeting, Current Events, Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Research
Answer (from Piper Jaffrey study): Netflix. Questions: Which of the three platforms do you spend the most time watching? How many of the three platforms do you use on a regular basis?  How would you explain the differences between the three platforms to someone who had never used them before?  From a cost perspective, which of the three do you think is the highest cost? lowest cost?  How do you think this chart will look in five years?  Here's the ready-to-go...

Article: Psychology of Online Shopping

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Nov 02, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Article, Purchase Decisions, Research
Insightful NY Times article about the psychology of online shopping and the multitude of ways it can trip us up from paying too much for items, to feeling regret to not making a decision at all. I've put each observation in the form of a question so you get the discussion going with your students about their experiences with online shopping:  How do those targeted ads make you feel after you make an online purchase? "Over the next week I was hounded by online ads for the same...

Question: What are teens spending more money on—food or clothes?

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Nov 01, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Research, Chart of the Week
Answer (from Piper Jaffrey report which is chock full of teen spending habits): Food Here's the chart from their report:  A lot happening in this slide so here's a way to orient your students:  Height of the bars measures what percentage of spending goes to food and clothing spending (see left axis). For example, in spring 2017 teens spent about 23-24% of their budget on Food and 19% on Clothing (see left axis) The squiggly yellow line measures the Net Food Spend (or how much more...

Question of the Day: What percent of Americans shop online?

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Oct 26, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Credit Cards, Budgeting, Question of the Day, Chart of the Week
Answer (from Pew Research): 79% Hat tip to Danielle for coming up with this question which continues on the theme of online shopping (see recent post about Amazon accounts and teens). Here are some questions to engage your students: Do you shop online? Why or why not?  If you do shop online, how do you pay for items? If you do shop online, have you ever bought something through social media links? If so, describe the item you purchased and the influence of social media. What did you...

Retailing Trends: Amazon Making It Easier for Young People to Purchase Using Parents' Credit Card

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Oct 25, 2017
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Current Events, Credit Cards, Purchase Decisions, Parent Conversations, Behavioral Finance
From Washington Post (subscription): The company’s newest efforts are aimed at getting shoppers ages 13 to 17 to purchase items on its site — with approval from their parents. Teens can now log into Amazon.com using their own accounts to buy items and stream videos. Their parents, meanwhile, can approve their purchases by text message or set spending limits per order.  From a business perspective, this makes a ton of sense in developing the next generation of shoppers hooked on...

Question of the Day: Do More Americans Prefer Spending or Saving?

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Oct 16, 2017
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Question of the Day, Savings, Purchase Decisions
Here's what Gallup found (and I was surprised by the results): 59% prefer to save money! Questions: Which do you prefer?  Why do you think more people prefer saving to spending?  Why does America have such a low savings rate despite the fact a majority of people prefer saving over spending? ----------------- Interested in more savings activities? Check out this page on the NGPF website!   ...

The Real Cost of Food Delivery

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Sep 26, 2017
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Article, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Purchase Decisions
Not all heroes wear capes...some don casual clothing, drive their cars to pick up food from the restaurant of your choice, and deliver it to your door at a minimal fee. Gone are the days of food delivery being limited to just Chinese food and pizza. With apps such as GrubHub, Caviar, and Postmates, many restaurant goers have the ability to simply kick back at home after a long day at work and have food delivered to their doorstep. But the big question at hand still remains: is the convenience of...

What Were The Top 20 Best Selling Toys on Amazon in May?

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Sep 06, 2017
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Current Events, Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions
Answer: Toys related to or similar in nature to fidget spinners.  From the Economist:  The fad started in America in February. By May, all 20 of the top-selling toys on Amazon, an online retailer, were either fidget spinners or fidget cubes, a close relation. There have been many such crazes—who can forget the great loom-band mania of 2014?—but none that spread as fast. Frédérique Tutt, an analyst of the global toy market for NPD, a data company, says that it...

Video: What Is the Future of Retailing?

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Aug 24, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Budgeting, Behavioral Finance, Video Resource
Interesting video (duration of 8:48) from PBS NewsHour: "Is traditional retail dead? There have been more store closings this year than any since the Great Recession, with retailers filing for bankruptcy at a record pace. And yet online retailers like Amazon and Warby Parker are adding brick-and-mortar stores. What’s the secret to keeping afloat as shopping evolves? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports." Questions: What is having the most dramatic impact on the demise of...

Three Planet Money Podcasts To Enjoy: Origin Story of Warehouse Clubs, Resurrecting the Hydrox Brand and the Starbury Sneaker

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Aug 23, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Podcasts, Budgeting
I have been on a bit of a podcast binge lately and here are three that I thought you would enjoy: "The Anti-Store" tells the story of a warehouse club pioneer and how he stumbled upon this niche and the mistakes he made along the way. What are the attributes of the business model that have led to the success of the warehouse clubs? Despite being a difficult store to shop, why do you think people continue to flock to Costco and Sam's Club? How is Jet seeking to disrupt the retailing space? Why...

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