Survey: Consumers may get early start on holiday shopping due to economic outlook

AUSTIN, Texas — It seems that consumers' outlook on the economy is influencing how they will shop this upcoming holiday season, according to a new survey.

Conducted by online coupon site RetailMeNot.com, the survey reviewed shopping attitudes and behaviors of consumers and found that only 3% of respondents felt that the economy is in "good shape," 70% of respondents have a dismal view on the economy and 1-in-4 are worried about future purchases. These findings may point to how consumers will shop for the remainder of the year, including this year's holiday season, RetailMeNot.com said.

"Our most recent survey looked at how consumers plan to shop for the remainder of the year. We believe a lackluster economy combined with high demand for discounts while shopping will lead to more frequent and higher first-time use of coupons over time," said Kristen Remeza, editor-in-chief of RetailMeNot Insider.

The survey noted the following shopping behaviors for the upcoming holiday shopping period:

  • Nearly 4-out-of-10 of respondents (39%) start their holiday shopping before November. Additionally, women are more likely than men to start their shopping earlier than November (46% versus 31%);

  • Almost one-quarter of respondents (23%) said they start shopping in early November, 12% wait to start shopping until Black Friday/Cyber Monday and only 15% wait until after Cyber Monday to begin shopping;

  • 54% of respondents finish their holiday shopping sometime between Black Friday and when they actually give away the gift during the holidays.

  • Nearly 1-in-3 respondents (32%) said they are done with their holiday shopping by the end of Cyber Monday. What's more, women were more likely than men to say they tend to finish their holiday shopping after Cyber Monday (58% versus 50%); and

  • 59% of consumers still prefer to do their holiday shopping in-store versus online (31%).

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