Ouch! Many Americans Liken Holiday Shopping To Having A Tooth Pulled

U.S. consumers as well as those in other countries don’t plan to be as generous in the gift giving department this year.

That’s one of the top line insights from a new global report from McCann survey and research unit Truth Central.

The global study of 10,000 people in 11 countries concluded that there will be “significantly less” holiday spending by U.S. and Western European consumers in 2013 compared to 2012.

But consumers in other parts of the world say they’ll spend more. Shoppers in Brazil, India, China and Mexico “overwhelmingly believe” they will increase their spending this year, per the survey.

The report also concludes that social media is also helping to eliminate unwanted gifts. The study showed that nearly half of young Facebook users globally (48%) hint at their ideal present on the social network.

But apparently many people don’t take the hint.  Almost half of young consumers in the U.S. said they believed that certain stores know them so well that they would rather their favorite store choose their gift than their partner.



 “As we approach the festive period, it is clear that consumers are beginning to fully understand the benefits that their digital ‘data’ can bring,” McCann states. “This holiday season signals a new era of predictive gift giving, which means it’s time to kiss bad presents goodbye. No more neon socks then!”

That said, in the U.S. many consumers take a “bah humbug” attitude toward the holiday gift buying season. Americans are twice as likely as the global average to think holiday shopping is comparable to “having a tooth pulled out.”  Almost a quarter of those polled in the UK liken the experience to a “military operation.”

The prevailing attitude is different in emerging markets where those polled are more likely to compare holiday shopping to “winning the lottery” or “playing my favorite game.” Still almost one-third of those polled in all the survey markets find the shopping experience off-putting enough that they would “out-source” the chore if they could. 

Two-thirds of those polled globally said they thought that brands could help make their holiday shopping easier—in part by not bugging them too early about it. Some 57% think that brands that advertise too early “put them off shopping.”

About two-thirds of those polled globally said they think they’ll be shopping in store this holiday season, while about 25% said online would be their shopping domain. Less than 10% said they’d be shopping via mobile this year.

Just over half (51%) of U.S. consumers think they’ll spend more in-store on Black Friday than on online during Cyber Monday.

The study surveyed people in the US, UK, China, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, UAE, France, South Africa, Spain and India. The full report is still being compiled and won’t be out for a couple of months according to the agency. 

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