The weather outside isn’t frightful yet, but the economy is. Will there be any holiday money to spread some cheer to retailers? Recently released surveys into the mind of consumers find conflicted and contradictory attitudes.
A survey commissioned by Offers.com, for example, finds that 87 percent plan to spend the same or less during this coming holiday season than they did last year, while less than half (48 percent) plan on looking for online coupons or coupon codes before making a holiday purchase.
Another survey commissioned by Valpack, too, finds a consumer torn over holiday money. Nearly all (95 percent) said they are somewhat or very worried about today’s economy, and just over three-quarters (78 percent) said their holiday shopping habits will be unchanged over last year.
A survey of investors conducted last month by Millionaire Corner found an equally cautious consumer. Nearly half (47.7 percent) said they will not be spending more holiday money this season compared with just under 12 percent who said they would. Nearly 41 percent are taking a wait-and-see outlook. Of those who said they will be spending more money, 40 percent were under the age of 40, which is understandable as younger people most likely do not have as many to shop for as their older counterparts.
If people are cutting back this season it is most likely on holiday travel. Only about 20 percent said that they will be traveling more this holiday season than they did last year vs. 46 percent who said they will staying put.
Research, coupons and holiday deals and promotions are poised to play a significant role in holiday shopping this year. According to the Offers.com survey, more than a third (38 percent) spend between one and three hours researching the best prices on a holiday purchase. In general, consumers most commonly use coupons from newspapers and magazines with half of adults saying they have taken advantage of these opportunities in the past month. Nearly as many (47 percent) say they have used an in-store promotion in the past month, though just over a quarter (28 percent) have used printable coupons.
In the merchandise and the deals were the same, 69 percent of adults say they would prefer to shop in retail stores, while 26 percent would opt for shopping online. But 47 percent said they would prefer to do their shopping online if they find better deals on the Internet. Almost just as many (46 percent) are old-school holiday shoppers: They would forego online deals to shop in person.