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Holiday Shopping is Almost Upon Us– Will You Be In Stores or Online?

Holiday Shopping is Almost Upon Us– Will You Be In Stores or Online?

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us are starting to mentally prepare ourselves for the season of shopping. And it’s coming on fast! It seems like there’s no longer a nice calm transition period between each of the holidays. What happened to spending the day after Thanksgiving on the couch watching football and digesting a belly-full of turkey?

Instead, we’re surrounded by Black Friday advertisements about holiday sales—tempting everyone to jump off of their couches and rush to the nearest stores. Thankfully, those of us who don’t enjoy the crush of Black Friday shopping, can still get those same great deals from the comfort of our homes by shopping online and having our purchased items delivered right to our doorstep! Even though shopping online seems like a much more peaceful way to shop, there’s still a large amount of people who enjoy the environment of Holiday shopping and browsing the stores.

With Black Friday just a week away, we here at SurveyMonkey decided to get a pulse on consumers’ shopping plans this season. How many prefer to shop in-store versus online? Other than shopping preferences, we also wanted to find out when people tend to get their holiday shopping done. Are there more ‘early birds’ who are all finished by Black Friday or are there more who tend to procrastinate until those last few weeks before Christmas?

Using SurveyMonkey Audience to gather feedback from consumers, we found that people’s preference of online versus in-store holiday shopping came in pretty close to one another. Out of 220 respondents, 51% prefer in store shopping, and 48% prefer to shop online. (For those of you who are curious, the respondents were 50% male and 50% female).

We discovered that seeing potential gift items in person ranked the highest in importance for those respondents who preferred in-store shopping at 55%. Easier returns (46%) came in second and the pure enjoyment of browsing came in third at 35%. The social aspect of shopping with others and the option of gift wrapping were both tied at 64% as the least important aspect of shopping in stores.

70% of in store respondents stated that if all online stores offered free shipping and returns, they would do more of their holiday shopping online.


Out of the 48% of online shoppers, 68% prefer sites such as Amazon who provide one stop shopping, 32% of the online shoppers choose to do their shopping through individual stores’ online websites such as Nike, Sony, Pottery Barn, Gap, etc.).

Even with all of the Black Friday advertising, we found that only 17% of holiday shoppers take advantage of Black Friday Sales. 34% admitted that last year (2011) they waited until the last minute and did their holiday shopping two weeks before Christmas and/or Hanukah. The procrastinating trend seems to have changed this year because as of November 14, 37% of people hves already gotten a head start to their Holiday shopping! And perhaps most of the procrastinators have learned their lesson because only 19% plan to wait until the last minute this year.

Last but not least, just to make you all feel less guilty about those little purchases you make for yourself while you are supposed to be shopping for others, 22% admitted that they were “very likely” to purchase items for themselves while out holiday shopping. We’re not alone!

Happy shopping, everyone!

Image courtesy of BigStock Photo

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