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Online Holiday-Shopping Trends: Early Birds vs Deal Hunters

Holiday shopping
Online Holiday-Shopping Trends: Early Birds vs Deal Hunters

While early birds have already gotten a jump on their holiday shopping, many U.S. consumers intend to hold out on spending big online until later in the season, according to Profitero, which surveyed 1,000 US consumers in September 2019 about their online holiday-shopping plans.

Among the statistics online sellers may find interesting:

  • Nearly half (45%) of US consumers plan to start their holiday shopping before November, while 25% have already started (as of September).
  • However, 57% of US consumers plan to spend the most on online holiday shopping during November and December.
  • 54% of those surveyed intend to shop online on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or some combination during the holiday shopping weekend. But 31% of shoppers are still undecided whether they’ll shop online during the “Cyber Five” weekend (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday).
  • 61% of plan to shop both online and in-store this holiday season.

The survey results indicate sales will increase in October but significantly ramp up in November.

One thing that differentiates this year’s holiday shopping season (not addressed in Profitero’s survey, but worth pointing out) is the fact that Black Friday falls on November 29, much later compared to last year when it fell on November 23. That means shoppers will have one less weekend to shop after this year’s Cyber Five weekend – 3 weekends before Christmas instead of four.

There has been some concern about the impact of tariffs on this year’s holiday shopping. A Profitero spokesperson told us the survey results indicate US/China-relations are impacting spending plans: 60% of respondents said they were concerned that US/China-relations could result in increased prices on items this holiday season, and 55% said they were considering changing their shopping plans as a result.

You can read more about the survey results along with tips on how brands can prepare for a last-minute surge in online shopping in this Profitero Blog post.

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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/.