How The Holidays Change Consumer Behavior

Searches, media consumption and social sharing increase during the holidays as pictures, videos and gift-giving ideas are researched and shared. Most consumers will spend more time online, watch more TV, and go to the movies more often during the holiday season, according to the findings of a recent survey.

RadiumOne Data Report 2016 — Unlocking the Value of The Holidays — analyzes consumer behavior around the holidays, from search to social sharing and media consumption to online shopping.

The data collected by RadiumOne and MindMover from about 1,000 respondents surveyed during between October through December 2015, found that 38% of consumers will search, research and purchase gifts online, with only 8% researching and shopping in-store

More than a third of gift givers will either research or buy presents online, and only 8% of consumers said they will research and shop exclusively in-store. Nearly seven in 10 consumers -- especially women -- said it depends mostly on deals and convenience, but also on the amount of time they have to put into shopping.

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Multichannel shopping is not for all consumers. Only 29% of online shoppers will use multiple devices for shopping and search. Some 43% said they would use only one device.

The action of sharing content also rises during the holidays, but not on the social channels that are most often used throughout the year such as Facebook, according to the report. Some 72% of consumers share content online at least once daily. Women are more likely to share content daily, whereas 18- to-34-year olds share content every couple of hours.

The majority of sharing takes place on dark social channels such as emails, IM, and text messages, according to the report. In fact, 82% of all online holiday sharing takes place on dark social channels. Some 8% occurs on Facebook, 3% on Twitter, and 7% on other.

On average, consumers will purchase presents for seven people, with 72% of women purchasing more than 10 gifts. In fact 39% of women will purchase more than 10 presents for friends and family, while only 22% of men will do the same.

Approximately three in five Millennials plan to buy clothes, entertainment or food and drink-related presents. About 65% of the survey participants between the ages of 18 and 34 will buy clothes. Some 62% said they would purchase entertainment-related items, and 57% said they would purchase food and drink items.

Some 51% of consumers ages 75 year and older said they would purchase vouchers, whereas this age group, only 12% said they purchase household items.

Three in five consumers start planning for the holidays with less than three months to go. Men wait longer than women, with 70% of starting to plan with less than three months to go, compared with 55% of women. Some 28% of gift-givers wait until the final month, and 5% wait until the final week.

Consumers said they will watch more TV during the holidays, but not as much as last year. About 58% said they will watch more TV this holiday season, down from 9% in 2015. Some 69% of Millennials will watch more TV, down from 11% in 2015.

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