Layaway on Online Users’ Holiday Wishlist

The holiday season is fast approaching and there are numerous commercials heavily promoting layaway as an option for consumers. The share of searches for the portfolio of retail-related layaway terms peaked much earlier, the week ending October 22, 2011 and was up 121% from the previous years’ peak in layaway terms which occurred the week ending November 27, 2010. This earlier activity is due to heavy advertising campaigns by major retailers to promote layaway options for the holiday season.

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Custom analysis of those searching for “layaway” terms during the 12 weeks ending November 12th revealed that 63% of these online users have a VantageScore of D or F, indicating they are not a credit-worthy group of consumers. They are also most likely to be between the ages of 18 – 34 (64%), female (59%) and, compared with the general online population, over index on living in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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Kmart and Wal-Mart, two retailers which are heavily advertising layaway via television ads, are the top recipients of traffic from layaway search terms for the most recent 12 rolling week period (December 3, 2011). Kmart is paying for nearly half of these search clicks, while all of Wal-Mart’s search traffic is driven by organic clicks. Overall, the volume of search clicks to Wal-Mart from layaway terms increased nearly 30 times year over year and five of the top ten layaway search terms include variations of Wal-Mart.

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Thanks to Lauren Rice, an Analyst with the Strategic Services team at Experian Hitwise for today’s analysis.