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eBay Study Says Holiday Shoppers Look for Deals Earlier

While it is unlikely retailers can cure the procrastinator, eBay says when it comes to holiday shopping, people are starting earlier in the season than in previous years. Its basis for the claim: a new study it commissioned from market research firm TNS.

“Consumers are driving an extended holiday shopping calendar, and demanding earlier access to bigger deals, brands and selection,” eBay executive Hal Lawton said.

The Senior Vice President of eBay North America said that understanding those shifts allows eBay to celebrate the traditional shopping milestones with customers – and establish new ones.

The company is touting a Thanksgiving Day shopping event called Wish Bigger Wishbone. Shoppers crowdsource the deals they want most – shoppers vote to unlock a series of deals on products in tech, toys, fashion, and home categories.

From 4 til 10 pm EST on November 26, competing deals will be featured on eBay-Wish-Bigger.com. And it will also offer deep discounts every day at eBay.com/deals, with new deals launching every hour around the clock on Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

eBay’s study showed the number of Americans who waited until December to start their Christmas shopping declined by 7% from 2014 to 2015. Instead, eBay said, respondents said they are increasingly starting their shopping in November, especially women, with 43% reporting the start of their shopping season this month.

The study was conducted in the US in September via TNS Ncompass, an Internet omnibus survey, with a sample size of 5,200 adults. It found 3% of all respondents begin their holiday shopping right after the holidays; 27% do it throughout the year; 41% begin their shopping in November, while 16% begin in December. 3% start the week before the holiday, and 1% begin a day or two before the holiday; 8% don’t know.

One thing is certain – marketplaces and retailers will be a lot happier if shoppers start their holiday shopping earlier, since it will alleviate the pressure to get last-minute gifts delivered on time. Especially since this year shipping carriers are putting the onus on retailers to avoid last-minute spikes that lead to late shipments and disappointed customers.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.