Survey: Nearly One-Third of Shoppers Outspending Their Holiday Budgets

12/18/2012
Online coupon site RetailMeNot.com released another holiday edition of its Shoppers Trend Report (STR), revealing findings from a poll conducted by The Omnibus Company on how much holiday gift shopping consumers have completed so far and factors that influence their purchasing decisions.

"Consumers can still make those big purchases both online and in-store for everything from apparel to consumer electronics to sporting goods, but be prepared to see product inventories start to thin out the closer we get to Christmas," said Trae Bodge, senior editor for The RetailMeNot Insider. "Consumers also need to make sure they pay attention to merchants' shipping policies as time is running out on the many free shipping deals that guarantee on-time delivery of gifts."

Survey findings as of December 10, 2012, include:
  • 55 percent of holiday shoppers still have half of their gift purchases to make.
  • 14 percent of holiday shoppers have yet to complete any of their shopping.
  • Males are more likely than females to have not started shopping (17 percent versus 11 percent).
  • Only 10 percent of consumers have completed all of their holiday shopping.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 holiday shoppers (29 percent) have already spent more money than expected this holiday season.
  • Parents are more likely than those without children to express they have spent more money than they expected so far (37 percent versus 24 percent).
  • Women are more likely than men to have spent less money than they expected so far (29 percent versus 21 percent).
  • When it comes to making gift selections, 21 percent of holiday shoppers say their spouse or significant other is the most difficult to buy for, followed by 13 percent who report that extended family members are the most difficult.
  • Men are more likely than women to express that their spouse or significant other is the most difficult to buy for (24 percent versus 18 percent).
  • Consumers may not get exactly what they asked for this year, as more than half of respondents said they are more likely to give gifts that are a surprise (52 percent) versus gifts that people ask for (48 percent).
  • More than 6 in 10 respondents (64 percent) say they factor shipping and gift-wrapping costs into the budget they have for the items they choose instead of paying extra for these services after buying a present.
  • Over half of respondents (53 percent) feel that it is not worth paying extra to have an item purchased online gift-wrapped.
Survey methodology
The survey was conducted between Dec. 3-10, 2012, among 1,106 U.S. residents ages 18 and over, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.
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