Given the unpredictable economy and sluggish unemployment rates, it probably comes as no surprise, but the latest online shopping poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Offers.com shows that nearly half of US adults (45 percent) plan to spend less this coming holiday season than they did last year.
42 percent of those surveyed said they intend to spend about the same amount as they did last year. Only 11 percent plan to spend more.
The study, which polled 1,001 US adults aged 18+, also revealed intriguing insights about current preferences for online vs. offline shopping. For example:
If the merchandise and deals are the same, most of those surveyed (69 percent) said they would prefer to shop in retail stores vs. shopping online (26 percent) this holiday season.
However, if they could find better deals online, a greater proportion (47 percent) said that they would prefer to do their shopping online. That preference appears to be age-dependent. Over half of adults under 55 (54 percent) would shop online if that's where they could find better holiday deals. Only 35 percent of adults 55+ said they would do the same.
Two in ten (20 percent) reported they make an online purchase at least once a month. 11 percent said they buy online once a week. Most (38 percent), however, said they shop online only a few times a year, and about one-third (31 percent) never shop online.
The study also underscored the importance of deals and discounts this holiday season.
Most of those polled (51 percent) said they spend at least an hour researching the best prices for each of their holiday purchases including 38 percent who say that they spend one to three hours, and 14 percent who report spending more than three hours. 45 percent reported spending less than an hour researching best prices.
Among those who do shop online, 16 percent said they always look for a coupon or coupon code to make their shopping dollar go farther, and an additional 24 percent do so most of the time. Most online shoppers, however, appear to be missing opportunities to save, looking for online coupons only once in a while (37 percent) or never (23 percent).
More details from this new research are available here.