How consumers really feel about holiday shopping

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Zander Fordham, Executive Chronicles |  Holiday shopping is in full swing with both Black Friday and Cyber Monday crushing previous records for sales and ecommerce sales in a single day.  Online shopping continues to grow each holiday season.  To learn more about holiday shopping trends, Shorr Packaging recently surveyed 2,000 shoppers to find out their preferences for shopping online and in stores for the holiday season.

In the survey data they found that 70% of consumers prefer online shopping over traditional brick and mortar stores.  On top of that 68% of shoppers do a majority of their holiday shopping online.  What’s really interesting is that consumers who shop online over traditional brick and mortar stores actually tend to buy more gifts than they would if they shopped in store. Shoppers anticipate buying five less items at brick and mortar stores this holiday season vs online.

The survey also looked at the main reasons that people avoid shopping online and in stores.  The breakdown can be seen below:

What are the main reasons consumers avoid doing 100% of their shopping online?

  • 29% want to touch the products before they buy them
  • 17% don’t like paying for shipping
  • 15% enjoy the holiday displays
  • 13% just want to get out of the house
  • 9% don’t trust the online stores to ship on time
  • 8% don’t trust online pictures, descriptions or reviews
  • 5% think it’s cheaper to do holiday shopping offline
  • 3% feel they are a more disciplined shopper offline

What are the top reasons that holiday shoppers hate most about brick and mortar shopping?

  • 72% of respondents cited crowds and lines as the number one thing they hate about holiday shopping in stores
  • 8% cited limited inventory
  • 5% cited higher prices/less discounts
  • 5% said dealing with traffic
  • 4% said bad customer service
  • 2% said parking deterred them

What are the top reasons that holiday shoppers hate most about online shopping?

  • 31% said the gift not being delivered on time was the main thing they hate most about holiday shopping
  • 30% said shipping costs deter them from shopping online
  • 22% said they were worried about buying the wrong size
  • 8% don’t like the potential for stolen packages
  • 7% are worried about potential damages from shipping
  • 2% complain about poor packaging

So how can online retailers create a better holiday shopping experience?

The survey showed six main ways that retailers can provide a better holiday shopping experience for consumers. Better shipping perks was the top reason at over 57%.  Loyalty shopping perks came in second at 17%.  Exclusive items, not found in stores was the third reason at 12%.  Providing packaging insurance is something that 8% of respondents said would help them to shop more online.  Better customer service and better packaging were the other two reasons at 6% and 1% respectively.

One of the really telling data points that came from the survey was that almost 45% of consumers leave their holiday shopping to the last week or days before the holidays. They also found that in-store shoppers are nearly 2 times more stressed than online shoppers.  To see the full report from Shorr Packaging, check out the infographic below.

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