Holiday Shoppers Planning to Spend the Same or Less This Year

PriceGrabber, a division of Experian (one of the three credit reporting agencies), conducted their first winter holiday shopping survey.  It was conducted from September 7 to 15, 2011 on 3,070 U.S. online shoppers.  Almost all plan to spend the same or less than last year and are looking for bargains. Approximately 49 percent of those surveyed plan to spend the same amount in 2011 as they did in 2010, 45 percent plan to spend less and 7 percent plan to spend more.  Most (68 percent) attributed the economic climate to their spending.

Reasons most will spend less

The 45 percent who plan to spend less gave the following reasons:

70 percent will spend less due to increased prices for food, gas and other necessities.

49 percent said it is more acceptable to buy less expensive gifts.

46 percent lacked confidence in the economy.

43 percent earned less this year.

37 percent will spend less because home value and savings were less.

Reasons some will spend more

The seven percent who will spend more gave the following reasons:

27 percent plan to spend more because of better prices on gifts.

25 percent are making more money this year.

14 percent have confidence in the economy.

7 percent are tired of being frugal.

5 percent found employment in the past year.

2 percent have had an increase in credit.

Shopping expectations

70 percent think retailers will offer better prices and discounts this year.

When asked what retailers will use to entice them to buy, 75 percent answered price cuts and free shipping, followed by coupons and blowout shopping sales.

53% plan to shop earlier to spread out the expenses; 33% will begin shopping in October.

Many plan to comparison shop online prior to going to the store and many will use a mobile device to do so.

If this group is representative of the holiday shoppers, retailers won’t experience an increase in sales over the 2010 holiday season. Many retailers aren’t ordering as much merchandise in anticipation of no or little growth.  The economy will have an impact on the holiday spending again.  Consumers don’t have the money or confidence in the economy to spend at pre-recession levels.

Credit Expert, John Ulzheimer, is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.  Follow him on Twitter here.

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