Holiday Shoppers To Spend More Of Their Budgets Online

    November 20, 2008

More people will continue to choose to buy their gifts online this holiday season, citing convenience, time saving and price as the primary reasons for shopping on the Internet, according to a new survey from Nielsen Online.

More than half (53%) of consumers say price is the reason to buy online, compared to 46 percent last year. Convenience is also a major factor for shopping online with 76 percent of consumers citing the ability to shop 24 hours a day and 74 percent saying it saves them time when they shop online.

Other reasons consumers are shopping online this holiday season include avoiding crowds (65%), saving gas (59%) and sales/discounts (55%).

Holiday Shoppers To Spend More Of Their Budgets Online

Respondents said that they would spend an increased percent of their holiday budget online, an average of 41 percent compared to 39 percent last year. More consumers also said they would spend the majority of their holiday gift budgets online, up to 36 percent from 32 percent last year.

More consumers plan to make purchases in the "Toys & Video Games" and "Books" categories this holiday season than last. The top three retailers where consumers plan on shopping were, Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble.

"Based on our survey findings, we believe holiday online sales will grow from 2007, but likely at a single-digit rate and representing the smallest increase we’ve seen since the online commerce market was born," said Ken Cassar, vice president of industry insights, Nielsen Online.

"If there is a silver lining in these results, it is that consumers continue to view the online channel’s principal value proposition as convenience, more than price, allowing retailers the opportunity to differentiate on service and selection. We expect consumers will be comparison shopping, particularly in categories where goods are high-priced. However, in moderate and low-priced categories, retailers may be able to offer prices that are simply competitive, potentially preserving some of the margin that might otherwise be lost this year."