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How Important Is Price When Shopping for Christmas?

A new survey of 1,000 shoppers says best prices are the deciding factor whether shopping in-store or online – although selection and positive past experience also play a large role.

The Market Track survey also found that the majority of respondents planned on shopping in-store at Walmart this holiday season followed closely by Target. Amazon ranked first for online shopping, followed by Walmart, Target, BestBuy, and then eBay.

While price is important to shoppers, another survey of 515 consumers conducted on behalf of CouponCabin found that over a third (36 percent) exceed their holiday-shopping budget. 29% said they “somewhat” exceed the budget, while 7% “significantly” exceed their budget.

Only 16 percent of consumers said they spend less money than they budget.

One reason for the budget-busting behavior, aside from a lack of discipline, may be consumer confidence. Synchrony Financial – one of the largest providers of private label credit cards – said a study of 701 Synchrony Bank cardholders and 700 random shoppers found they have more optimism about their personal finances.

Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed indicate they are more confident in their financial situation than last year (37%), and 48% had planned to start their holiday shopping earlier this year.

Why the optimism? “Improved finances and larger gift lists are cited as reasons that 32% of shoppers surveyed plan to spend more this season than last season, up from 21% in 2014.”

It found that toys, games, electronics, apparel, shoes and gift cards are key gift buying categories.

And as if confirming the other two surveys, Synchrony Financial found that 53% of participants set a holiday budget, and 76% said they always comparison shop to ensure the best price.

Another interesting survey finding from Market Track: “Younger shoppers are most socially influenced: Over half of those 21-29 will use social media to research gift ideas and find deals while holiday shopping, compared to less than 20% of those 60 and over.”

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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/.