Clicks Versus Bricks

StrategyOne’s Annual Holiday Shopping Index finds that 74 percent of Americans feel the easiest way to complete their gift purchases is online, while 87 percent feel that brick-and-mortar stores do a better job of putting them in the holiday spirit.

But when it comes to finding the best deals overall, Americans are divided — with 52 percent stating they found the best deals online, while 48 percent say they could find the best deals in retail stores.

From its recent public opinion poll of 1,052 Americans, StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman strategic research and polling firm, also found that 54 percent of Americans think shopping online is the best way to ensure their spending doesn’t exceed their holiday gift budget.

“Online retailing has quickly and increasingly become a crucial segment of the holiday shopping season, which can be seen in the growing popularity of ‘Cyber Monday' as well as the significant Thanksgiving Day online spending,” said Bradley Honan, StrategyOne senior VP. “But clearly, there are still aspects of the retail experience, like the holiday spirit, that can’t be matched online.”

Overall, 59 percent of consumers said they preferred to do their holiday shopping in stores. But that perspective varies among different income groups, with 51 percent of consumers who earn $75,000 or more a year preferring to gift shop in stores, compared to 63 percent of consumers earning between $25,000 and $40,000 a year.

The StrategyOne Holiday Shopping Index seeks to better quantify consumer attitudes and perceptions surrounding this year’s holiday shopping habits and how consumers’ specific shopping plans will evolve over the course of the season.

The survey also found that U.S. consumers are disappointed this season by the lack of bargains in stores and surprised by higher-than-expected retail prices. Sixty-eight percent said there were not nearly enough low prices, and 45 percent experienced sticker shock with prices that were generally higher than they expected.

StrategyOne conducted 1,072 online interviews among a representative sampling of Americans between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1. For more information, visit the StrategyOne website.

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