In a bit of news that should have most every retailer of any size rushing to their computers to shore up their Web presence, Catalog Spree has announced the results of its recent survey about how customers will find inspiration for gift giving.
Overwhelmingly, the survey detailed how shoppers will be hitting the Internet in one way or another to find that special gift.
The Catalog Spree survey, dubbed the Holiday Shopping Inspiration Survey, hit up 2,632 consumers on just how they'll be getting their "eureka" moment when it comes to holiday shopping. Seventy-four percent of those responding planned to use online search techniques to find just the right present, and 69 percent planned to use digital catalogs to find what they were after.
Additionally, 63 percent use the standard pen-and-paper method to build wish lists for those interested, while just after that came the approach of using the wish list functions included in online venues like Amazon.
Perhaps more unusual is the news that for most people – 74 percent of respondents – the holiday shopping season has already begun. They're not waiting for Black Friday; 29 percent of consumers, in fact, started their shopping back in early November. Those waiting until December are actually rather few, with 13 percent of women and 19 percent of men holding out until Christmas month. The centerpiece of the survey is the unusual response that a little over a third – 35 percent – of users will actually be sharing their wish lists with others via social media.
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Overwhelmingly – 81 percent – those who do share will be turning to Facebook (News - Alert) to do so, but it's clear that overall, there won't be much social media sharing of gift lists.
Most people will nonetheless be doing at least some level of shopping online. This is likely to have a very interesting effect on Black Friday sales this year and beyond – how long will stores continue to offer doorbuster deals to shoppers who are, in some cases, already done with their shopping?
Cyber Monday (News - Alert) will likely continue to benefit as shoppers see the value in staying home to do their shopping instead of going out and facing down crowds to do so.
The Internet is once again clearly changing the landscape in the way people do what are commonly regarded as everyday activities, and that's likely going to force some changes on the part of stores and other retailers to respond. What form those changes will take ultimately remains to be seen, but there could be some interesting results when they arrive.
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Edited by Braden Becker