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US online shoppers to post record number in holiday season

December 17, 2013 (United States Of America)

In what is turning out to be a holiday season like no other, it is evident that consumers are ready to wrap up their shopping lists before it’s too late.

ccording to NRF’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly half (49.9%) of holiday shoppers indicate they plan to do the remainder of their holiday shopping online, the highest percent in the survey’s 11-year history. As of December 9, before the most recent weekend, 32 million holiday shoppers had not even started shopping.

“It comes as no surprise that Americans are eager to shop online in the coming weeks as busy schedules and a shift in the calendar have made the convenience offered by retailers’ mobile apps and websites even more attractive this year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

“Recognizing the importance of providing stellar customer experiences for their shoppers, retailers will use every opportunity to promote their products through all their channels at very competitive prices, including exclusive shipping offers and in-store events.”

Driven by low prices and value, 45.4 percent will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4 percent will head to discount stores. Others will shop at electronics stores (24.1%), clothing and accessory stores (23.6%), grocery stores (15%) and outlet stores (13.7%).

When it comes to what types of gifts people have already bought, apparel and toys rank high on the list. Half (49.6%) say they have already bought apparel this year, and nearly four in 10 (38.7%) have bought toys.

Additionally, holiday shoppers have filled their baskets with electronics (26.6%), home décor or home-related items (18.4%), jewelry (17.5%) and personal care or beauty items (19.6%). Slightly more than one-third (34.4%) have bought gift cards, the most requested gift item of the season.

Many who aren’t finished shopping plan to wrap up by Wednesday (29.2%), 14.2 percent on Friday, and another 12.3 percent on Saturday while 10.1 percent will wait until Christmas Eve.

“Last-minute shoppers don’t have quite the breathing room they did last year when there were four full weekends, but we shouldn’t underestimate procrastinators,” Prosper’s Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said. “Last-minute shoppers are savvy bargain hunters who know just how to get everything they need to finish their gift lists.” 

Consumers Stick to Debit Card Usage; Nearly 10 Percent Will Shop Online Christmas Day

Budget-conscious shoppers made the most with money they had so far this holiday season, with most purchasing their gifts with debit cards. A total of 41.9 percent paid with debit cards, 31.8 percent used credit cards, 24 percent used cash and 2.3 percent used checks.

Like Thanksgiving Day, millions of Americans will take advantage of Christmas day to spend quality time with family and friends, and potentially scope out deep discounts retailers will offer online. According to the survey, 9.2 percent of those celebrating Christmas will shop online that day, up from 4.9 percent when NRF first asked in 2009. Additionally, 28 percent will browse the web, 53.4 percent will cook a holiday meal and 10.5 percent will go to the movies.

Tablet and smartphone owners will put their devices to work in the coming days. Specifically, 46.6 percent of tablet owners will research products and compare prices to aid in their purchase decisions, and 36.3 percent of smartphone owners will do the same. Almost two in five (19.4%) smartphone owners will actually purchase items via the device, and one-third of tablet owners (33.1%) will make gift purchases using the device in the coming days.


National Retail Federation
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