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Online Shopping Set to Rise This Holiday Season

6 Nov, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – The Google 2013 Holiday Shopping Intentions Study finds that adults ages 25 to 34 will spend 19 percent more online this year compared with last – and men will spend 15 percent more than women.

Other findings:

  • 25 percent plan to buy from a retailer they never bought from before
  • 64 percent of women, compared with 56 percent of men, are more likely than men to start shopping early and purchase on the big days
  • 75 percent plan to shop around for gift ideas
  • 63 percent do not have specific brands in mind
  • 59 percent are open to purchasing from new retailers
  • 81 percent of shoppers will rely on discounts
  • 76 percent will take advantage of free shipping
  • 60 percent will act on purchase incentives

Experts say there’s still time to attract new and existing consumers by turning websites into digital store windows decked out for the holidays with lots of information for prospective customers. More than 40 percent of shoppers will not complete holiday shopping until mid-December.

Marketers should also consider mobile store windows. More than two-thirds of smartphone owners plan to use them for holiday shopping, up 17 percent from last year.

The study found consumers are crossing devices from mobile to personal computer. Some 80 percent of consumers will use more than one device simultaneously, and 84 percent will start researching products on one device and complete the purchase on another. In a related study, Deloitte reports a rise in consumer confidence and that will translate to higher spending. And a lot of holiday purchases will be occurring online.

Deloitte also found that 47 percent of U.S. consumers will shop online this holiday season, making it the most popular shopping channel. In comparison, 44 percent think they will shop at a discount or value department store, 28 percent expect to shop at a traditional department store, and 21 percent anticipate going to an electronics, office supply or computer store.

Digital retail channels are also gaining the lion’s share of shoppers’ holiday budgets. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they will spend at least half of their budgets online, while just over one-third expect to spend between one-quarter and one-half of their money on the Internet.

In social media, 45 percent of respondents say they will use a social network while considering purchases. The most popular reason for using social media is to research a gift idea (48 percent), followed by researching discounts (44 percent), reading reviews or other recommendations (40 percent), browsing products (37 percent) and checking out what family or friends desire (35 percent).

eMarketer estimates U.S. holiday season retail E-commerce spending, which includes all digital purchases made in November and December, will reach $61.8 billion, up 15.1 percent over last year. The last two months of the year will account for nearly one-quarter of all retail E-commerce spending for 2013.

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