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Shopping behavior of political donors provides new insights on Presidential Election

by Jaimee Minney - April 25, 2018

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As pollsters, pundits, and statisticians alike try to make sense of a manic election season, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to see what Slice Intelligence’s online shopping data might tell us about how votes will be cast in November. The online purchases by Americans who donated to the Trump and Clinton campaigns revealed one overwhelming trend: candidate loyalty is correlated to gender.

The prevalence of women within a merchant's buying population increased the likelihood that it had a high amount of Clinton donors. J. Jill, Mod Cloth, and Ann Taylor,  who all make apparel for women, were among the merchants with the most pro-Clinton buyers in our sample. There was also a concentration of the home furnishings and grocery categories among Clinton supporters.

On the other side of the aisle, Trump donors tend to shop at Cabelas, Best Buy, and Sirius XM. They were bigger consumers of hotel travel, media and entertainment—particularly video games—and sports-related products and services, including Fitbit and MLB.com.

Techies are with her

We also saw that Clinton supporters more commonly used new technology and services, such as Uber and Lyft, Amazon, and Convenience Commerce services like Google Express and Fresh Direct.

Trump supporters prefer both value and luxury brands

Among Trump supporters, we observed two divergent groups of retailers: value players like Walmart.com, Sam’s Club, Hotwire, and Priceline.com; and high-end apparel retailers like Tory Burch, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren. Nest was the outlier here – a high-end tech product that was popular among Trump donors.

Bernie donors shop more like Trump than Clinton donors

There was almost no relationship between the proportion of a merchant's buyers that donated to Bernie Sanders and the population's tendency to be pro-Clinton or pro-Trump. Some of the most pro-Sanders buying populations -- Steam, Blizzard, Sony Entertainment Network -- leaned more towards Trump than Clinton. In other words, just because a merchant's buying pool contained a high proportion of Sanders or Clinton donors didn't mean that it appealed to "Democrat" buyers as a whole.

About this data

With a panel of over 4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.