Holiday price wars

For this holiday shopping season, retailers better have their web sites running smoothly as a research study by digital marketing firm Fluent found that 36 percent of respondents said they’ll research products on retail sites this year. But many shoppers — nearly 50 percent — said they would conduct research for gifts in stores.

The survey of nearly 2,000 consumers also revealed similar findings to other recent polls, which include: a large number of consumers shopping for gifts earlier; a greater emphasis on Cyber Monday, and overall spending that will likely mirror last year’s holiday sales.

Though the NRF is expecting an overall uptick in holiday spending this year, that won’t hold true for all Americans, with 26 percent [of respondents] planning to spend less and over half (53 percent) looking to spend the same amount as last year,” the researchers said in their report.

By age group, 23 percent of those between 18 and 44 expect to spend less this year while 28 percent of those over 45 said they would do the same.

With Black Friday, 39 percent of those polled said they plan on shopping in stores. And 40 percent said they would be shopping on Cyber Monday. Many have already begun doling out money for gifts with 34 percent of respondents saying they shopped before September. The poll found that 20 percent will begin shopping for the holiday in December.

In regard to marketing, the survey found that 43 percent “say holiday marketing has been watered down to take out religious symbols that they’d like to see, while just under a fifth of shoppers (17 percent) think there is too much emphasis on religion in holiday marketing,” the report noted. And when it comes to market channels, direct mail, e-mail, print display ads, TV and online ads all indexed equally in importance for consumers in determining where they shop and what they purchase.

And as 36 percent of respondents said that “they will do most of their product research via retail web sites, another 18 percent said they will do most of their research using mobile apps.” Forty-seven percent of those polled said “they will do the majority of their research in stores.”

When asked what type of gift they would like to receive the most, 34 percent cited electronics, which was followed by clothing and shoes at 20 percent and gift certificates with 14 percent. But in a twist, when asked what types of gifts they most frequently give, 25 percent of respondents said clothing and shoes, which was followed by electronics at 21 percent and 17 percent for gift certificates.