Last-Minute Online Holiday Shoppers Eye Deals

December 14, 2011

pricegrabber-reasons-of-last-minute-holiday-shoppers-dec11.gif41% of online shopping consumers plan to shop between December 21 and 24 for holiday gifts, with the leading reasons among those consumers for their delay being an inability to finish their shopping earlier and a belief that the best discounts can be found during that time period (both at 43%), according to a survey released in December 2011 by PriceGrabber. Data from the survey indicates that 26% of last-minute shoppers admit to procrastinating, 22% believe it is fun to shop last-minute, and 10% are waiting for a year-end work bonus to begin shopping.

Daily Deal Sites Prominent

With their emphasis on discounts, last-minute shoppers are bound to turn to daily deal sites. Indeed, 27% of shoppers indicate that they plan to shop for last-minute gifts on sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Of those, the majority will do so to find a bargain: 58% indicate they are trying to save money on gifts and like the discounts available through daily deal sites, while 22% said they enjoy the great holiday deals on local services in their area. Being able to share great deals with family and friends is important to 13% of these consumers, while 4% prefer to give experiential gifts and believe local deal sites offer the best options.

Size of Items Not a Factor

Even though last-minute shoppers are looking for bargains, they are not limiting their purchases to small-ticket items: when asked what type of gifts they plan to purchase at the last minute, 53% of these consumers said they intend to buy both big- and small-ticket items. Roughly one-third will buy only small-ticket items (under $100), while 6% will buy only big-ticket items (over $100). The remaining 10% plan to purchase all of the holiday gifts on their list.

More Men Will Delay Shopping

According to the survey, 9% of shoppers will wait until January to purchase holiday gifts, with men more likely than women to do so (11% vs. 8%). Of those who will wait until January, about two-thirds said they believe sale prices to be best then, while 27% plan to use gift money received during the holiday period to make their purchases. About one-quarter simply prefer shopping in January.

December analysis from Compete appears to support the above finding that women tend to shop earlier, while men are more willing to wait for bargains, at least when it comes to toy shopping: during both 2010 and 2011, the share of male toy purchasers online reached the highest point around Black Friday, while women were the clear winners earlier in the season.

About the Data: The PriceGrabber survey was conducted from November 17 to November 30, 2011, and included responses from 13,472 US online shopping consumers.

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