Online shoppers plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, with 66 percent indicating they will spend over $500, according to a new report from PriceGrabber.
Last year, more than half (59%) of shoppers spent $500 or more on gifts. This year, the average amount that holiday shoppers plan to spend on gifts is $845.
According to survey data, the average 2010 holiday shopper will make 57 percent of their holiday purchases online, 40 percent in brick-and-mortar stores and 3 percent from a mobile phone.
Last year, competition among retailers for the lowest prices on the most popular products sparked "price wars." This year, 80 percent of consumers revealed they are planning to monitor price wars on their favorite products to ensure they are getting the best deal. Twenty percent of consumers are not planning to monitor price wars.
"Last year, we saw large-scale price wars between major retailers, which resulted in deeply discounted products. This year, we expect especially competitive price wars beginning early in the season," said Laura Conrad, president of PriceGrabber.
"Shoppers need to evaluate the benefit of monitoring price wars for the lowest price versus potentially missing out on the most popular products of the season."
In PriceGrabber's holiday survey, consumers were asked which smartphone they would prefer to receive as a gift this holiday season. The Apple iPhone 4 took the lead, with 47 percent of consumers choosing the iPhone 4 over other smartphones. Twenty-two percent of shoppers prefer the Motorola Droid, and 13 percent choose the RIM Blackberry Torch.
When it comes to devices that consumers prefer for e-reading, 59 percent of consumers selected the Apple iPad as their device of choice. Twenty-one percent of consumers pick the Amazon Kindle. Five percent selected the Barnes & Noble Nook, and 3 percent choose the Dell Streak.
Tablet PCs are forecast to be one of the most popular technology gadget gifts this holiday season. The number of searches performed on PriceGrabber for the keyword "tablet" has already more than tripled (330 percent), compared to the same period last year (Oct. 1 to 27, 2009, versus Oct. 1 to 27, 2010). The keyword "tablet pc" has increased in popularity by 76 percent.