According to a new poll from Consumer Reports, shoppers will spend 19 hours hunting for the right gifts this holiday season, up four hours from last year. But a third of consumers will be spending less than they did last year, while just 15 percent will be spending more.
More than half of shoppers had yet to start looking for gifts as of Nov. 7, though one in four Americans plan to hit the stores on Black Friday (Nov. 25).
Fifty-six percent of shoppers expect in-store deals to be as good as those offered online this year, though this year 21 percent are learning about those deals via Facebook. Eighteen percent say they’ll rely on smart phone or tablet computer apps to get the inside scoop on deals, while the lion’s share of shoppers still find out about holiday bargains the old-fashioned way: through newspaper ads, by television or radio commercials, and reading through promotional flyers.
Also revealed in our second holiday poll of the season, designed to track the mood and shopping behavior of shoppers nationwide: consumers plan to spend approximately 48 hours on holiday-related activities in 2011: 19.3 hours shopping (vs. 15.2 in 2010); 8.5 hours traveling (vs. 7.4 hours last year); and 13.7 hours partying with family and friends (vs. 15.2 hours). The average consumer expects to spend about three hours waiting in line and three hours wrapping gifts - figures that closely mirror those from last year’s second poll.
For all the talk about the Internet supplanting brick-and-mortar stores, our survey shows that only 5 percent of Americans plan to purchase gifts exclusively online. Conversely, 44 percent say they’ll do all of their shopping at actual stores. The big news this year is the changing face of how we shop: Nineteen percent of consumers say plan to shop online with their smart phones; thirteen percent plan to use a tablet computer.
When it comes to choosing gifts, most shoppers (85 percent) rely on advice from family and friends; 64 percent also turn to customer and user reviews; 54 percent, advertisements or TV commercials; 53 percent, expert reviews; and 33 percent, advice from salespeople.
Results based on a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,013 adults between Nov. 4 - 7.