As Crunch Time Approaches, Holiday Shopping Outlook Optimistic

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At the beginning of the month, the vast majority of holiday shoppers -- 88.9% -- still had plenty of gifts to buy, according to new data from online ad rep Burst Media. What's more, retailers will be happy to know that among holiday shoppers who had completed their purchases, a considerable number spent more on holiday gifts this year than last year.

"With Thanksgiving a week away, crunch time is here and holiday shoppers are poised to hit the stores and the Web to make their purchases," said Mark Kaefer, director of marketing at Burst Media. "Given signs that consumers may be spending more than expected, retailers have reason to be optimistic."

Among holiday shoppers who had completed their purchases -- 11.1% of all respondents -- 43.4% said they either spent much more or somewhat more on holiday gifts this year.

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Among some 2,500 U.S. online adults surveyed earlier this month, nearly one-quarter -- 25.3% -- said they spent about the same as last year, while only 15.5% say they spent less.

As a result of these positive shopping trends, actual holiday spending to date is outpacing consumer expectations of two months ago, according to Burst.

In September, only 17.4% of consumers said they would spend more on holiday gifts this year compared to last, and one-third -- 36% -- expected to spend the same.

While these figures are currently in line with the spending expectation of consumers who have yet to finish or start shopping, the measured upswing in spending by those who have finished shopping is a positive indicator that shoppers still in-market may open their wallets wider for spending on family and friends in 2010.

Earlier this month, Burst also found that more than one-half -- 57.1% -- of holiday shoppers who had completed their purchases said they made some online.

Among these online shoppers, 45.1% said they purchased more this year, and 35.1% said they purchased about the same amount of holiday gifts online versus 2009.

 

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