- Consumers will soon start their holiday shopping, if they haven't started already, and 80.1% will be searching Amazon, according to a new study by CPC Strategy. This is up eight percentage points from 2017. Online shopping will result in 46.2% of gift purchases this year, followed by 28.5% preferring in-store, and 25.3% planning to use both in-store and online.
- Walmart came in second for online shopping preferences, with 56.7% saying they would shop the site for gifts. The study noted age and gender make a difference in consumers' choice of Walmart, with 70% of women age 45 to 54 planning to shop there. Among websites consumers plan to use, Walmart is followed by Target with 28%, eBay with 27.5%, Google with 26.1%, then Etsy with 9.4% and "other" by 4.4%. Almost 33% will shop directly on a brand or retailer's website.
- Desktop computers still lead in the devices people plan to use, with 46%, but mobile devices are creeping up, with 43.6% saying they will use phones to shop for gifts and 24.2% planning to use tablets. Voice-enabled devices, which have struggled to gain shoppers, trail distantly with 3.5%, and 21% have no plans to shop online for gifts.
Budgets for holiday shopping appear to be on the decline, according to a new study by CPC Strategy. Last year, about 68% said they planned to spend more than $250 on gifts and 12% said they would spend less, compared to 53% and 20% respectively this year.
The number of those planning to spend under $100 on gifts rose from 11% last year to 22% in 2018, while those planning to spend more than $500 on gifts decreased by about 13%. Spending does, however, vary with age, with younger people planning to spend more and older shoppers less.
Forecasts for the season differ, though. Some see holiday sales growth leveling off, while others have found the reverse. An OpenX study found that over 80% of consumers plan to spend at least as much on holiday shopping this year as in 2017 and an Accenture report said spending would increase, with millennials spending most.
More holiday shoppers are also expected to go to physical stores this year — 88% of women and 85% of men — a six percentage point increase over last year for the aggregate 88%, said a survey from Natural Insight.
CPC Strategy also found that people are shopping earlier, with 38.5% saying that they plan to shop before Thanksgiving, noting that Prime Day in July could be a starting place for a number of those early holiday shoppers. Of the remaining shoppers, 32.3% plan to shop during December, 20.9% will begin on Black Friday, 4.8% will commence on Thanksgiving day (a day where many stores are now electing to close) and 3.5% will start on Cyber Monday, said the CPC Strategy report.
The trend toward customers starting their shopping searches on e-commerce powerhouse Amazon and, to a lesser degree on Walmart.com, needs to be seen in context of the development of online marketplaces at both these companies, as well as others. "Amazon isn't the big bad wolf in the e-commerce space anymore. It's your competitors, it's most likely your distributors, and it should be you," said the study.