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crowdscience-shopping-deals-methods.jpgPrint (15%) proved a far more popular way to find holiday shopping deals in 2011 than Facebook (3%) or Twitter (1%), according to a survey released in January 2012 by Crowd Science. The largest proportion of respondents said that visiting companies’ websites (24%) was their favorite way to find deals, although the same proportion said they had no preferred method. Email newsletters were cited by 13% of respondents, ahead of talking with friends and family (9%) and online flyers (5%).

Online Not the Preferred Purchase Channel

Although 23% of the consumers surveyed said they preferred to conduct all of their holiday shopping online, they were outweighed by the proportion (35%) that did not prefer to do so. Those aged 24 or younger were less inclined to prefer online shopping for the holidays, as compared to older shoppers.

Additionally, 1 in 5 respondents cited an anxiety about security when buying online. The concern over online safety was more pronounced among lighter internet users (less than 24 hours per week) compared to their more experienced counterparts.

1 in 5 Shoppers Procrastinated

17% of respondents admitted to doing nearly all of their holiday shopping at the last minute. Among the 43% who denied being last-minute shoppers, women were more prominent than men (51% vs. 38%). According to survey results released in December 2011 by PriceGrabber, 9% of shoppers said they would wait until January to purchase holiday gifts, with men more likely than women to do so (11% vs. 8%).

Other Findings:

  • Only 15% of respondents to the Crowd Science survey said that the holidays are their favorite time to shop in person, compared to 47% who disagreed. The negative sentiment was more pronounced as time progressed, with disagreement climbing from 45% before Thanksgiving to 49% as the holidays approached.
  • 4 in 10 anticipated spending about the same amount during the holidays as they had the year before. Those who indicated they would spend less traced more to lower income households. As the holiday season progressed, the study found a 5% point increase in those anticipating spending more: the week of Thanksgiving, 17% said they would spend more, rising to 22% as the Christmas holiday drew closer.

About the Data: The Crowd Science findings were gathered from a random sample of 1,756 respondents from November 16-28, 2011, and 3,545 respondents from November 29-December 29, 2011.

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