Looks like more Americans are dragging their heels on holiday shopping this year, hoping for greater markdowns than usual. Some 41% of shoppers polled by PriceGrabber say they plan to shop between Dec. 21 and 24, and 43% of those say it is in order to find better deals. (Of course, 43% also said it was because they’re too busy, 26% admit they are procrastinating, and 22% actually think shopping is more fun that way.)
And they’re not just looking for last-minute stocking stuffers, either. When asked what type of gifts they plan to purchase at the last minute, PriceGrabber -- owned by Experian -- says 53% intend to purchase both big- and small-ticket items, 10% will buy all their gifts, and 6% will buy only big-ticket items (over $100).
Meanwhile, online retailers are making it easier to lollygag. Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation, says that a calendar shift this year means that 87% of stores’ standard shipping deadlines will expire before or on Dec. 20. And 5.3% say they will offer upgraded expedited shipping promotions through Dec. 23.
Another 22% of digital retailers say they intend to offer express two-day shipping options for guaranteed Christmas delivery through Dec. 22, and 30% will offer overnight express shipping through Dec. 23 for guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Overall, 92.5% will offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season, and more than half say their budget for free shipping promotions specifically is somewhat or significantly higher than last year.
So far, it’s working. ComScore reports that holiday retail e-commerce spending so far has risen to $24.6 billion, a 15% gain versus the corresponding days last year. And for the most recent week (ending Dec. 9) spending reached $5.9 billion, also a 15% increase, with three days surpassing $1 billion. So far, six individual days have broken through that billion-dollar threshold, led by Cyber Monday at $1.25 billion.