Know Your Sample: Social Media Versus Traditional Panel

At Lab42 we understand the pressures on marketing teams to secure business critical insights with quick turnarounds and on tight budgets, while maintaining the high quality insights necessary for optimal planning and decision making.

Rather than a hurdle, we feel those challenges present a great opportunity for innovation. By recruiting respondents through social media channels rather than maintaining traditional respondent panels, we believe we can address the needs of research clients in an increasingly demanding environment.

But is it a smarter way to do online research? Does it compete with traditional panels when it comes to behavioral and attitudinal representativeness? We set out to discover the truth Download our white paper and check out our infographic to find out for yourself.



Are consumers willing to spend a premium price for innovative products and services? Check out ‘The Innovation Premium’ to learn more. 

Free Shipping Still #1 for Online Shoppers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but there are still a few weeks of holiday shopping left on the calendar. Lab42 took a deeper dive into the mindset of 500 holiday shoppers to see how they are planning on shopping and how much they’re planning on spending.

When it comes to shopping online, free shipping is the most popular incentive for online holiday shoppers, with 40 percent saying it’s the best way to get them to purchase online. Women are more likely than men to view free shipping as the best incentive for online shopping (42% vs. 37%). The second best incentive is price discounts (26%), followed by previous positive experiences with the brand (18%).

Respondents were also asked about their holiday spending habits for 2014 compared to 2013. Although forty-seven percent said they plan to spend more on gifts this year, men were far more likely than women to say they were going to increase their spending (55% men vs. 39% women). Forty-one percent plan to spend about the same as last year, with women having a slight edge over men in this category (44% women vs. 39% men). Twelve percent anticipate spending less this year, with women being significantly more likely to curb their spending (17% of women vs. 6% of men).

Differences between men and women were also apparent when it came to budgeting and shopping for themselves during the holiday seasons. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they will buy items for themselves during the holiday shopping season, and men were far more likely than women to do so (80% of men vs. 62% of women). Nearly six in ten shoppers set overall budgets for holiday shopping, but women were slightly more likely than men to do so (63% of women vs. 56% of men), and women were also more likely to set budgets when buying items for themselves (64% of women vs. 58% of men).

When asked about their shopping habits this year, 91 percent of those surveyed will shop online this holiday season. Among the online shoppers, 53 percent will shop online more this year compared to last year. Forty-five percent said their online shopping habits would remain the same, while just 2 percent said they would shop online less this year.

The study also uncovered the following key findings:

• Retailers’ websites are the number one way shoppers research gifts
• Thirty-seven percent of respondents will use social networks to research gifts
• Holiday spending breakdown of how much consumers plan to spend this year:

o Less than $100: 5%
o $100-$399: 32%
o $400-$699: 29%
o $700-$999: 14%
o $1000 or more: 17%
o I don’t know: 3%

Black Friday 2014: Holiday Retail Trends at a Glance

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We’ve started an annual trend here at Lab42. Every November, we run a study to try to get inside the consumer mindset when it comes to holiday spending, and more specifically, Black Friday. This year, we surveyed 500 Americans who are planning on shopping for the holidays to see what they had to say.

One of the most interesting statistics that we found demonstrates a growing pushback to stores opening early on Thanksgiving. 70% of consumers felt that stores should remain closed on Thanksgiving, up from 60% in 2012 and 68% in 2013. Many shoppers are also banking on the idea that Black Friday is not the best day to shop, with over half (53%) of respondents saying that they believe Black Friday deals will be available at another date.

Black Friday shoppers are definitely early-risers, with 26% planning on starting their shopping between midnight and 3am. Fifteen percent of Black Friday shoppers will shop between 3am and 6am, and 20 percent are planning on starting between 6am and noon. The remaining 16 percent don’t plan to get an early start on shopping, saying that they are planning to start after noon. 23% of shoppers will start on Thanksgiving Day.

When picking their favorites between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, 51% chose Black Friday, 37% selected Cyber Monday, and the remaining 12% chose Small Business Saturday as their favorite shopping holiday.

The study found that consumers are more likely to shop for themselves on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday. 20% of Cyber Monday shoppers claim that they are shopping mostly for themselves, while only 13% of Black Friday shoppers are shopping mostly for themselves.

Traditional media is critical in getting the word out about Black Friday deals. When asked what the best way for retailers to communicate Black Friday deals, the top 3 answers were 1) TV commercials (28%), 2) social media, and 3) newspaper coupons and inserts (20%).

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The study also uncovered the following key findings:

  • 74% of Black Friday shoppers purchase things on Black Friday that they want but wouldn’t normally get, while 24% said that they only purchase things that they need. The remaining 2% said that they buy things they’ve never seen before.
  • 30% of those who do not shop on Black Friday skip it because they feel the same deals will be available online. 15% think retailers will run better deals closer to the holidays.
  • 38% think retailers should open at 6am or later on Black Friday
  • Most Cyber Monday shoppers plan to shop at home (72%) while 28% plan to shop while at work.


This Lab42 survey was fielded among 500 Americans aged 18+ who are planning to purchase gifts this holiday season. The survey was conducted November 3 – 4, 2014. 

Mobile Pay on the Move

When we first heard that Apple was going to jump into mobile payments, we knew big things were about to happen. Even though mobile payments have been around for a while now, Apple seems to have a way with driving adoption of new technologies in pretty big ways. For this reason, the team at Lab42 wanted to capture consumer insights before Apple Pay officially launched to the public and people started adopting mobile payments at higher volumes. We surveyed 500 cell phone owners and found that 45 percent of consumers with non-iOS devices would be willing to switch to an iOS device solely for access to Apple Pay. The top four benefits of Apple Pay, according to the respondents, were security, not worrying about losing credit or debit cards, not having to carry physical cards in their wallet, and simple setup.


Consumers are ready to try out Apple Pay. Fifty-four percent of all respondents would consider using Apple Pay, while the remaining forty-six percent were evenly split between those who were unsure about trying it and those who would not consider trying Apple Pay (each at 23%).

The study also revealed the general sentiment of consumers’ perceptions towards mobile payments. Nearly a third of respondents (30%) said they would be willing to switch banks in order to have access to mobile payments. This statistic, in addition to the willingness of consumers to switch mobile devices for access to mobile payments, is indicative of a major shift in thinking and behavior when it comes to payments.

The study also showed that consumers still harbored concerns about mobile payments. Sixty percent of respondents were concerned that their credit card information could get stolen while using mobile payments, 55 percent were worried that their smartphone could get stolen, and 42 percent were concerned about their inability to use mobile payments if their smartphone’s battery died.

The study also uncovered the following findings:

  • Sixty-three percent of respondents had heard of Google Wallet, and among that group, 32 percent had tried it.
  • The top three locations consumers would like to use mobile payments are: 1) Grocery stores, 2) Retail stores, 3) Gas stations
  • Thirty-five percent of respondents are planning to start using mobile payments within the next six months.

Learn more about Lab42 and our methodology by checking out our website.

5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Celebrity Endorser


Whenever we turn on the TV, listen to the radio or even check our social media feeds, we see celebrities endorsing products. Setting your brand apart from competitors is consistently a challenge as companies and brands try to gain exposure within the marketplace. One option is to collaborate with a celebrity endorser. Below are some tips to help pick the right celebrity:

1. Know Your Brand’s Identity

Always concentrate on what your brand stands for when thinking of potential endorsers. It will not generate sales and revenue to have a celebrity conflicting with your identity just to capitalize on a current “it” person. If you are unsure of your brand’s identity with consumers, conduct initial research to see what consumers associate with your brand. In this age of social media, having a celebrity endorser who is ‘off brand’ could potentially hurt your company’s identity.

2. Focus on Your Consumer

Concentrate not only on your target market but also other markets you are hoping to reach. Find a single celebrity who is not only well known but also viewed highly favorably by the vast majority of each of these groups. Also remember, when focusing on consumers, you are trying to reach not only those who want your brand or product but also those who are likely to buy your brand or product, which can be two different segments.

3. Differ from Competitors

As with other marketing tactics, you want to stand apart from competitors. If your major competitor is using a reality star, avoid that route while still choosing a celebrity representing the characteristics you need. Narrow your search by finding the top 5-8 celebrities you think would be a good fit for the brand and conduct research to see who your market would most identify with.

4. Analyze Potential Risk

Calculate costs and decide if the investment is worth the potential sales in the long run. If there is any doubt, choose an alternative marketing campaign. Consider the celebrity’s personal life or decisions because any press could affect the success of your endorsement. Include a morality clause to remove yourself from the partnership should his/her image change. Lastly, think of the celebrity’s longevity to avoid having to keep finding new endorsers, which will become confusing for your audience.

5. Conduct Research

Before, during and after the campaign, conduct research with your target market and potential markets to see progress and changes that need to be made. By doing so, you can determine the associations of your brand, recognition of the celebrity and campaign, and likelihood to use and recommend your product.

Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to determining if a celebrity endorser is right for your brand or campaign.