PriceGrabber, a distributed e-commerce platform and shopping site, has released results of its first Winter Holiday Shopping Survey for 2013. The survey reveals that 66 percent of shoppers feel retailers will offer better prices and discounts this year due to the current state of the economy. The survey also found that many consumers start to financially prepare for the gift giving season long before they start to purchase gifts, with 21 percent who said they started saving money before June. The majority of survey respondents plan to start shopping for the holidays in October and November. Conducted on PriceGrabber.com from September 13 to 25, 2013, this survey includes responses from 2,887 U.S. online shopping consumers.
The economy and holiday spending
"Our survey found that the current state of the economy continues to lurk in the minds of consumers, and shoppers expect deeper discounts this holiday season," said Rojeh Avanesian, SVP of Marketing and Sales of PriceGrabber. "The U.S. fiscal concerns could play a pivotal role in consumer confidence in the economy. Retailers will need to adapt and be sensitive to consumer sentiment to maintain customer loyalty."
Consumers are aiming to maintain similar holiday budgets as they had last year, with 52 percent of survey respondents planning to spend about the same amount on their holiday purchases as they did in 2012. Of the 25 percent of shoppers who aim to reduce their holiday budget this year, 45 percent said they would spend less because of an increase in prices on basic necessities; 42 percent are making less money this year; 28 percent said it was acceptable to spend less on gifts because of the economy, and 11 percent accounted for unemployment.
On the other hand, 23 percent said they plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year, up by 11 percentage points from 2012. According to the survey, the driving reason for shoppers who plan to increase their budget is that they believe retailers will offer better prices, discounts and special deals on gifts this year. It is noteworthy to mention that 35 percent of shoppers who plan to spend more are doing so because they are making more money this year, and 22 percent said they are confident in the economy.
The Hanukkah effect
Usually, winter holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa all take place in the month of December. However, in 2013, Hanukkah starts the day before Thanksgiving. When Hanukkah shoppers were asked how the holiday falling over Thanksgiving will affect their shopping plans, 31 percent said they will choose to buy a few gifts prior to the holiday and then take advantage of deals after Thanksgiving. Twenty-five percent said they will be done shopping very early, and 9 percent of Hanukkah shoppers said they will wait to buy all of their presents until after the first day of Hanukkah and the Thanksgiving holiday to make sure not to miss the season’s hottest gifts and bargain sales. When Hanukkah shoppers were asked their strategy for finding deals for Hanukkah shopping, 50 percent said they will look for retailers running early sales.