When it comes to finding gift ideas, social media now rivals word-of-mouth and store advertising as a source of inspiration for shoppers, according to a new survey of 1,035 U.S. adults from Research Now’s consumer panel conducted by ConsumerSearch.com, part of The About Group, from October 8-12.
The ConsumerSearch.com survey found that 65% of respondents said they rely on word-of-mouth to come up with gift ideas, while 64% said they consider advertisements, emails, and retailer Web sites. That compares to 62% who said they turn to social media, including user reviews and online wish lists, as well as a variety of content on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Online reviews were far and away the most popular source of gift ideas, consulted by 41% of the U.S. adult online population.
Overall, in terms of their preferred method for finding gifts, 37% of respondents said they conduct online and offline research equally, while 24% said they prefer to research and shop online, and 17% said they prefer to research and shop in stores.
Carey Rossi, editor-in-chief of ConsumerSearch.com, noted: “Retailers have begun using social media more to reach shoppers with deals and information and we can expect this trend become even more popular over the next few years.”
ConsumerSearch.com also looked into consumer budgets for holiday shopping, and found trends which are somewhat encouraging for retailers. The majority of respondents, 60%, said they will spend the same amount on gifts as last year. In the remaining 40%, half said they plan to spend more, while half said they plan to spend less. On average consumers plan to spend around $500 on gifts this holiday season, with 12% planning to spend $1,000 or more.