Online Consumers Happy to Shop Using Various Channels

March 2, 2012

pricegrabber-online-shoppers-channel-preferences-mar-2012.jpg45% of online shopping consumers say they plan to combine online, brick-and-mortar, and mobile shopping this year, according to a PriceGrabber survey released in February 2012. Somewhat predictably, of the remainder who express a channel preference, online is the most attractive: 42% of respondents say they will shop mostly online, while 12% will gravitate towards brick-and-mortar stores, and 1% will shop primarily from their mobile device. In terms of overall spending, respondents expect to make an average of 53% of their purchases online, 42% from brick-and-mortar stores, and 5% from a mobile phone.

Spending to Stay Mostly Steady

51% of the respondents plan to spend the same amount this year as in 2011, although a larger proportion expect a decrease in spending as opposed to an increase (28% vs. 21%). For those projecting an increase in spending, the main reasons cited were confidence in the economy (36%), expecting retailers to offer better discounts (36%), and earning more money this year (30%). A small minority also indicated that they are tired of being frugal (6%), while 5% cited a credit limit increase, and another 5% said they have found employment in the past year.

For those forecasting a drop in spending, the main culprits are increases in prices such as gas, food, and necessities (40%), lack of confidence in the economy (34%), making less money this year (29%), and overspending during the 2011 holiday season (16%).

Although some online consumers are showing a lack of confidence in the economy, the proportion of overall US consumers who are confident in the economy appears to be on the rise, according to the latest BIGinsight data. In February 2012, 33.1% of consumers indicated they were either very confident/or confident in the chances for a strong economy, up from 30.4% who felt that way in January, and the highest level since January 2008 (33.5%). Even so, the report indicates that this level of confidence remains far below pre-recession levels (53.2% in February 2007).

Electronics and Clothing to Get More Spending

When asked the items and activities they were planning to spend more on this year, more than half of the PriceGrabber survey respondents chose consumer electronics and clothing, followed closely by travel and vacations, household supplies and dining out. According to February 2012 survey results from Travelocity, 53% of US consumers plan to travel more this year than they did in 2011, representing an 51% increase from 35% in 2011. And of the respondents planning to increase their travel, about two-thirds expect to increase their travel budget, a 6% point rise from last year.

Meanwhile, 29% of the PriceGrabber survey respondents say they will spend more on furniture, books, or DVDs.

Daily Deal Sites More Entrenched

Daily deal sites appear to be maintaining their popularity: 46% of respondents said they plan to use daily deal sites more often this year than in 2011. Of those, 53% said they will search for food and dining, with a significant proportion also saying they will search for shopping (46%), entertainment and events (42%), and family and kids (34%) deals.

About the Data: The PriceGrabber survey was conducted from January 26 to February 13, 2012, and included responses from 933 US online shopping consumers. The BIGinsight monthly consumer survey monitors more than 8,000 consumers each month.

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