A new study from IFTTT shows that the shopping preferences of American consumers shift during the holiday season, with many heading to the online sites during the season than at any other time throughout the rest of the year.Thirty-five percent of consumers said they expect Black Friday to have the best deals of the year, followed by the day after Christmas at 29 percent. Cyber Monday was next at 21 percent. About 57 percent said the majority of their holiday spending would be at a mass retailer such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. or Amazon. That was followed by the specialty chains at 16.9 percent, and the off-pricers Burlington and TJ Maxx at 11.5 percent. Further, 67.8 percent said they prefer to give an item as a present, compared with 19 percent who said experiences and 13 percent who chose money.IFTTT cited to data from Gartner and Retail Insider showing that 60 percent of retailers increased their technology budgets to invest in enhancements to predict customer needs, as well as improve their multichannel approach. Further, there was a 53 percent increase in planned spend just on artificial intelligence technology by 2020.However, the study indicated that many consumers aren’t ready to embrace the technology. About 68 percent said they never used a retail chatbot, and 23 percent don’t even know what chatbots are. Also, 83 percent said they do not trust a robot to shop for them.Among those surveyed, 36 percent said they use at least one retail subscription service such as Stitch Fix, BarkBox or Harry’s Razors. Another 53 percent said they were interested in using such a service, provided it was tailored to their preferences and budget.And while discounts are important, 41 percent said they don’t expect discounts to exceed 30 percent this holiday season, while 32 percent said they expect the same percentage off for online discounts. But that’s just the average — by gender, 25 percent of men expect an in-store discount of 50 percent or more, while just 21 percent of women expect that same percentage off. For online, 28 percent of women expect an online discount of at least 50 percent, compared with 22 percent of men.Also, 38 percent of respondents said their preference for hearing about holiday deals is through e-mail, while 23 percent said they preferred direct mail or catalogues. Only 12 percent said they find out about deals via social media posts.As for shopping frustrations, 20.9 percent of the respondents said waiting at the checkout line for more than 15 minutes would annoy them most. That was followed at 20.11 percent by purchasing a gift only to find out it could have been bought at a lower price. Rounding out the top three at 19.7 percent was finding out that a desired item is out of stock.
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