Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Nov 21 2015 17:39:08

Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

By: Ina Steiner

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In reviewing the growing amounts of research into holiday shopping 2015, we're coming across some interesting survey data as companies make predictions about consumer behavior and what kind of season it will be for retailers.

One finding that may appear obvious is that price is a big factor in shopping behavior. But while people are making budgets, they're not always sticking to them.

We'll have more next week on some of the more interesting data and what it means, but we're curious about what you're seeing. Are bargain hunters more prevalent this year? Is all the hype about free and fast shipping having an impact on shopper requests?

A logical premise might hold that online sellers are more likely to be better shoppers since they know the ins and outs and have behind-the-scenes insight. Do you think that's true? What is your behavior when it comes to holiday shopping - budget or no budget? Comparison shop or not? Local shopping or online?

Black Friday creep is here (Amazon's already whipping shoppers into a frenzy of deal-hunting). Small Business Saturday is a week from today when shoppers are encouraged to patronize small brick-and-mortar stores. And Restock Tuesday is a day online sellers are encouraged to shop for more inventory to restock the shelves.

Here's a list of key holiday-shopping dates:

November 11 China Singles Day
November 26 Thanksgiving
November 27 Black Friday
November 28 Small Business Saturday
November 29 Super Sunday on eBay UK
November 30 Cyber Monday
December 1 Giving Tuesday, Restock Tuesday
December 14 Green Monday (some say this falls on Dec. 9 this year)
December 6 - 14 Hanukkah
December 18 Free Shipping Day
December 26 Boxing Day
December 26 - January 1 Kwanzaa

Share your thoughts on this year's holiday shopping so far and what you hope Santa will leave in your online-selling stocking - and stay tuned for survey data in next week's Newsflash newsletter.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Nov 21 21:49:25 2015

Those ''special'' days are just another day - no change in selling or buying behavior.  No ''frenzy'' unless we travel.  The actual holidays are given respect by observing family traditions, and shopping activity is not part of that.

Other than groceries and gas, Mr. Basset and I primarily shop online. So, we take a combined look at the total price, reliability of the seller or store, and the ability to return problematic items.  

Ease of using the site and security of payment is important. Using a credit card has its own protection and liability limits.  

We like to be able to make a purchase without becoming a ''member'' of a site.


Constant marketing emails from a site are a HUGE turn-off.  

The call to customer service usually goes like this:  ''I like your company's product. I do NOT like the marketing and emails.  Until they stop I refuse to purchase another item from this company. If the email stops, we will do business in the future.''

So far, this has worked like a charm at ending marketing emails immediately.


One behavior change:   My bank card has just partnered with Amazon to give 10% back on Amazon purchases (and Zappos) from 11/23 to end of December.  It accumulates and you can choose to apply it directly to an Amazon purchase (or just redeem the cash into your bank acct). Smart of Amazon.

We will be even more likely to give Amazon's offerings a look due to this promotion.  I wish they would get the grocery thing going in my area. That would just leave gas...


Finally, and as always, a nice gift for the ''seller stocking'' would be VISIBILITY.

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Nov 22 11:48:08 2015

My thoughts on holiday shopping so far? Not so good. I have been selling at least one item a day from my eCrater store, but this last week I sold a total of one thing for the entire week. Maybe because I sell collectibles, and people are now concentrating on buying new items as gifts for others. Hopefully sales will pick up again after Black Friday.  

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

by: FLIPPER This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 01:26:28 2015

No change in shopping behavior on fleabay for last three months - ALMOST NO SALES PERIOD! Just what I wanted to do right as holiday shopping picks up  find new venues with eyeballs :/  

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 23 02:43:11 2015

For me, I thought the 2014 Holiday season was pretty soft, but OMG 2015 is really SLOW!  I've been selling for a long time and this is the slowest I've seen.

My experience is that the first couple days after Thanksgiving are pretty slow.  I've always thought that was because people were out shopping in the stores to see what kind of deals they can pick up.  Then after they do that, sales for me typically will pick up.  But my best time is the first 2 or 3 weeks after Christmas.  

I don't know if it is Christmas money received or what.  But it is usually a really good time for me.  However this year does not seem to be following any of the trends I'm use to, so only time will tell.

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Nov 23 04:57:15 2015

We don't buy gifts any more.
The WRONG people are profiteering from our Christmas.
Now, it's all about the meal.

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: kellewic

Mon Nov 23 07:02:16 2015

I'm with Basset on this one. Those days are just days and all the BS marketing for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, whatever - I don't buy anything during the holidays that I don't normally buy anyway. Not to mention I've never even heard of half those days.

Pretty soon, we're going to start seeing Black Friday crap as early as Labor Day - seems to show up earlier every year as retailers try to beat each other out. I just try to tune it all out and it helps I don't own a TV or have cable.

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Mon Nov 23 10:06:41 2015

I see that "Black Friday" now begins around Nov 1st. We have seen a large uptick in ridiculous, lowball Best Offers on Fleabay. Funny, how folks will actually pay MORE to buy the same item from your site, or other 3rd party marketplaces that do NOT accept Paypal!!! lol

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

by: Dr Bev This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Nov 23 13:10:10 2015

As for selling patterns, we seemed to be having a good start to November. But at mid-month, I compared sales to last November, and they were down about 20%.  And last November was down about 20% from the previous November.
Then sales almost stopped - again.  Been that way for a while now:  Month starts off well; then we get to a certain level, and sales slow way down.
We really didn't see a seasonal boost during the holidays last year.  

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 23 19:24:02 2015

I usually find the price difference across stores to be negligible at best.  That's if they bother to carry products.  Many stores don't for some reason, think empty shelves are the road to riches.

This year it will be to difficult to shop for my dad.  The derpy CEO of Sears ruined the Craftsman brand of tools.  Now it's overpriced Chinese junk like everything else.  Burn in hell you vile piece of garbage.

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Nov 23 19:24:47 2015

We are down $100s in sales this month from all venues. I don't sell actual presents to gift, but patterns to make the gifts and perhaps people already did their 'shopping' that way. I still plug along with listing since the first 3-4 months of the year are usually out best.

Physically I can't tolerate actual shopping so a lot of what I do is shop on line for any presents. We have a small family and don't usually spend more than about $50 per person. Once my kids were grown I depend on them to know their own sizes and tastes and get their own clothing and things like that. I used to hate people buying me clothing that ended up not fitting or in colors that washed me out. I don't do that to people. I have no clue what people spend huge amounts on for presents for people. Mostly I want my kids to know we love them and to help them with something that will give them pleasure. For anything else, I'm just happy when I get to see them since presents aren't the reason for the holiday.  

Perminate Link for Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?   Are You Seeing Changes in Holiday Shopping Behavior?

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 24 11:17:59 2015

This November has been good, somewhat ahead of last year.  I sell collectables which I sense make great Christmas gifts for what to give to a collector.

Etsy is nearly four times ahead of last November with eBay sales disappointing.  

Mid-month November is slow as all 12 mid-months are.  Even mid-month December slows down.

Due to a shift in offering more high-end collectables this year, I have seen a significant rise in my sales.  

I do not credit anything eBay has done promotional-wise to have helped improve sales.

This year will my sales will improve to nearly half of what I sold in 2011, the year before eBay's ''Black Plague of Death'' on me and all long-time small sellers.  Half....

And if a former eBay CEO having a good laugh at Christmas dinner on his 23 million bonus chokes til he is good and blue in the puss.  Well, it will make my Swanson's TV turkey dinner a little tastier.  



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