Holiday Shoppers Give Ringing Endorsement to Online Shopping

Most Americans plan to shop online for holiday gifts this year; do so to get the best deals

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Ebates.com® a leader in online cash back shopping, today announced findings from its Holiday Shopping Survey which found that nearly half of holiday shopping will take place online this year. The national survey commissioned by Ebates.com and conducted online by Harris Interactive in October 2011 among 2,429 adults aged 18 and older discovered that an overwhelming percentage of Americans who typically shop for gifts for the holiday season (80%) say they will shop online for holiday gifts this upcoming season, with 43% saying they will spend half or more of their holiday gift budget shopping online. Shoppers go online for price and convenience, the survey found: of Americans who will purchase gifts online this holiday season (“online holiday shoppers”) the most important reasons for shopping online are getting the best prices and deals (64%) and also for the convenience of shopping from their homes (57%).

More highlights from the Ebates survey conducted by Harris Interactive include:

Pricing and convenience drive people to shop online.

Most of those Americans who say they will shop online for their holiday gifts this year indicated that they do so because they can get the best prices and deals.

Online U.S. adults who will purchase gifts online this holiday season indicated the following to be the top 3 most important reasons they shop online:

  • To get the best prices and deals (64%)
  • For the convenience of shopping from home (57%)
  • Avoiding crowds (47%)
  • To research and find the best gifts (36%)
  • Better inventory & selection (32%)
  • Avoid spending money on gas (16%)

Those who typically shop for gifts for the holiday season say they get better product selection, prices and customer service compared to their experience shopping in physical stores.

80% of U.S. adults who typically shop for gifts for the holiday season agreed that shopping online as opposed to buying gifts at a store provided better product selection, 73% agreed they get better deals and prices, and 53% agreed they get better customer service.

Shoppers are twice as likely to shop online as opposed to fighting the crowds at stores and malls on Black Friday

Of those online U.S. adults who will purchase gifts online this holiday season, 7 out of 10 (70%) say they are at least somewhat likely to shop online for gifts on Black Friday.

Of those U.S. adults who typically shop for gifts for the holiday season, only one third are found to be at least somewhat likely to battle the crowds in malls and/or in stores to shop for holiday gifts on Black Friday (34%).

Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday are important, but holiday shopping will hit high gear in early December.

The survey found that most Americans (87%) don’t buy the majority of their gifts during the Thanksgiving Weekend (Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Saturday and Sunday),and instead most buy gifts during December (51%). According to the Holiday Shopping Survey, the most popular time to shop for holiday gifts occurs during the first two weeks of December (41%). Shopping before Thanksgiving was the second most popular choice (19%) followed by the Thanksgiving Weekend that includes Black Friday (13%). Just 13% buy the majority of their gifts during Thanksgiving Weekend, one in ten Americans (10%) said they typically buy the majority of their holiday gifts during the week before Christmas and only one out of one hundred (1%) admitted to buying holiday gifts after Christmas.

Most Americans who typically shop for holiday gifts plan to spend about the same this year as last year, but nearly a third will spend less.

Only 8% of Americans who typically shop for gifts for the holiday season say they will spend more on gifts this holiday season than they did last year. Most (60%) say they will spend about the same as the last year. Nearly one in three (32%) say they will spend less than last year. Women were significantly more likely than men to indicate this (35% vs. 29%).

Price will be the most important factor to holiday shoppers this year; specific store name will be far less important.

When asked how important each of the following factors are in their decision-making when purchasing holiday gifts, the overwhelming majority (99%) of Americans who typically shop for gifts for the holiday season indicated that overall price was at least somewhat important, followed by free shipping (96%), coupons or other special offers (92%), brand name (86%) and store name (66%).

Holiday Shoppers dislike crowds and lines even more than feeling like they spent too much or didn’t get the best deal.

When asked to indicate their least favorite parts of holiday shopping, two-thirds of U.S. adults who typically shop for holiday gifts cited battling crowds (66%), and 60% indicated it was waiting in line. Surprisingly, those two answers were shown to be more common than “feeling like I am spending too much money” (38%), and “feeling like I failed to get the best deal” (17%).

“This survey (commissioned by Ebates.com and conducted online by Harris Interactive) shows that holiday shoppers rely more and more on the convenience, selection, and the low prices provided by shopping online,” says Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates.com. “Of course, we plan to play a major role in helping our customers find the best products at the best price and earn cash back on every holiday purchase. We expect our sales to grow by over 100% this year for our for our holiday stores in spite of an uncertain economy.”

About Ebates®

Over 1,200 online stores have joined the roster of retailers that offer cash back, special deals including free shipping, and over 5000 coupons to members of Ebates.com. The free membership allows consumers to shop online at their favorite retailers while earning a percentage of every purchase they make; paid quarterly in the form of a "Big Fat Check" or through PayPal. From niceties to necessities, members of Ebates benefit from incentives at top-name merchants for everything from furniture to fashion and appliances to airfare. Because shopping with Ebates is hassle-free: no rebate forms to fill out and no points or miles to redeem, the site supports a strong community of savvy shoppers across the country and around the world. To learn more visit www.ebates.com.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery omnibus product on behalf of Ebates from October 28 to November 1, 2011, among 2,429 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Where appropriate, this data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Deanna Siste at Grayling Connecting Point.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Contacts

Grayling Connecting Point for Ebates
Deanna Siste, 415-442-4020
deanna.siste@graylingcp.com

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Contacts

Grayling Connecting Point for Ebates
Deanna Siste, 415-442-4020
deanna.siste@graylingcp.com