Survey data from PriceGrabber.com, a part of Experian, reveals that the state of the economy is shaping new trends in holiday shopping. More than ever, comparison shopping is on the forefront of consumers’ minds, with 70 percent of consumers doing more research and comparison shopping online, compared with 38 percent last year.
Consumers are also crossing acquaintances (57 percent) and coworkers (53 percent) off their gift lists. Other findings from the PriceGrabber.com survey of 2,018 online consumers conducted from Sept. 24, 2009 to Oct. 12, 2009, reveal:
Consumers are cutting back — 53 percent plan to spend less
Many consumers have made a concerted effort to cut back over the last year due to the recession. A recent PriceGrabber.com survey revealed that these efforts will continue into the holiday shopping season and set the stage for new trends in holiday shopping. Fifty-three percent of consumers are planning to spend less than they did last year. Of the consumers who are planning to spend less this year, 48 percent reveal that one of the reasons that they are spending less is due to an increase in prices (necessities, gas, etc.), 45 percent cite lack of confidence in the economy, and 38 percent indicate making less money as a reason for spending less.
Shopping starts earlier to ease the impact of holiday spending — 22 percent start their holiday shopping in October
Cutting back on spending is not the only holiday trend being impacted by the recession. In past years, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) has been the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. This year, consumers are planning to start their holiday shopping long before Black Friday, with 22 percent of consumers starting their holiday shopping in October and 29 percent starting in November.
Gift lists are trimmed down to manage budgets — 57 percent are not purchasing gifts for acquaintances
Consumers are also making some significant cuts to the number of people on their holiday gift lists. When consumers were asked to compare this year’s gift list to last year’s, 57 percent of consumers revealed that they are not purchasing gifts for the acquaintances that they purchased gifts for last year. Fifty-three percent of consumers are not purchasing gifts for the co-workers that they purchased gifts for last year. When it comes to holiday spending this year, 36 percent of consumers expect to spend between $100 and $499, 28 percent plan to spend $500 to $999, and 30 percent anticipate a holiday spend of $1,000 or more.
Consumers are using more money-saving techniques — 50 percent shop at discount or outlet stores
This year, in order to meet holiday spending budgets, more consumers are utilizing money-saving techniques for their holiday shopping when compared with last year’s PriceGrabber.com survey, Holiday Consumer Spending Survey (2,641 respondents, conducted from Oct. 20, 2008, to Nov. 10, 2008). Fifty percent of consumers are planning to shop at discount or outlet stores this year, while only 43 percent did so last year. Twenty-nine percent of consumers are planning to purchase gifts for fewer people this year, while only 10 percent did so last year.