Less Spending, More Coupons, This Holiday Season

According to a Harris Interactive survey for RetailMeNot.com, 45% of US online adults plan to spend less money on gifts this holiday season than last because of the state of the economy, while one in five plan to spend significantly less. 89% of online adults think coupons are a great way to save money, and 35% of those who will be spending less money on gifts this holiday season will use coupons, the study found.Among the other shopping strategies for spending less money on holiday gifts, according to online adults who will be spending less money this holiday season:

2008 Holiday Shopping Strategies
Expectation % of Shoppers
Purchase fewer gifts

83%

Buy less expensive gifts

63

Shop at discount stores

44

Shop Online

37

Use coupons

35

Make gifts

22

Shop during Black Friday sales

19

Source: Harris Interactive, October 2008

According to the study, 80% will purchase fewer gifts this year by buying gifts for fewer people (46%), buying a smaller amount of gifts for the same number of people (43%), or making some gifts instead of purchasing them (22%). Additionally:

  • Those who shop online are expecting to either to find better deals (32%) and/or to save money on gas (24%)
  • 29% will shop early to avoid impulse buys
  • 12% will wait until the last minute to get more discounts

Of the 83% of online adults who are willing to make online purchases, 71% say the most popular items are books followed by music and electronics

What Online Shoppers Are Planning to Buy
Purchase % of Shoppers
Books

71%

Music

62

Electronics

55

Clothing

51

Travel

50

Office supplies

39

Health & Beauty

34

Source: Harris Interactive, October 2008

85% of online shoppers use tools or websites to find good deals online. 56% of online shoppers use search engines to find bargains. In addition, they have found other ways to save:

Online Tools for Finding “Good Deals”
Tool % Shoppers Using
Price comparison websites

32%

Online coupon websites

25

Online advertisements

23

Bargain tracking websites

12

Shopping-themed social networks

5

Source: Harris Interactive, October 2008

Guy King, cofounder of online coupon website RetailMeNot.com, concludes that “… consumers are becoming more strategic in the way they look for deals… coupon use, in particular, is on the rise and more consumers are realizing tremendous savings… In addition… online tools are creating new channels for retailers to reach budget-conscious shoppers… “

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