“The U.S. holiday shopping season is being stretched out even longer than usual,” says John Faith, the senior vice president of external affairs for RetailMeNot, Inc. “We found that Americans are spreading out purchases to lessen the burden on their finances by shopping earlier and more often. It’s an interesting comparison to see that some European countries still wait until December and even, in some cases, after Christmas to do the majority of their shopping.”
- Of holiday shoppers in the 11 countries surveyed, Americans are among the most anxious, with 1 in 4 (25%) worrying over the cost of the December holidays
- Holiday shoppers in Australia (42%), India (41%) and the U.S. (40%) plan to start shopping for the December holidays before October
- -Worries aside, of holiday shoppers in the U.S. think they will spend about the same (48%) or more (8%) than they did last year on the December holidays
The Financial Burden of the Holidays
A significant portion of Americans surveyed are apprehensive about the upcoming holiday season. One in four (25%) U.S. shoppers are already worried about the cost of the December holidays, yet it appears for now that “retail therapy” reigns supreme. More than half (56%) of the U.S. consumers surveyed think they will spend about the same or more than they did last year on the December holidays.
Internationally, among those surveyed who plan on shopping for the holidays, the majority in Sweden (71%), Germany (64%) and Canada (59%) expect to spend about as much or more than they did last year during the holidays. In comparison, over 1 in 4 holiday shoppers in China (29%) and India (27%) indicated that they are likely to spend more than they did last year, compared to the international average of 9 percent.
On the flip side, nearly half of those surveyed in Italy (45%), as well as over a third in Australia (37%), Great Britain (36%), United States (35%) and France (35%) say they will probably spend less this year.
Get on the Good List Early This Year!
Of those surveyed who plan to shop for the holidays, 40% of Americans planned to start shopping before October. In addition, more than 1 in 5 (22%) holiday shoppers in the United States tend to buy products all year-round to spread out the cost—a smart idea for a modest holiday budget. Among those surveyed internationally who plan to shop for the holidays, consumers in Australia (42%) and India (41%) were the most likely to plan to shop before October.
Why the wait? Shoppers in Sweden (47%) and the Netherlands (40%) are more likely than others to wait until December, before the holidays, to start their holiday shopping. And nearly 1 in 5 (18%) shoppers in Italy are planning to shop in December immediately after the holidays, incredibly high compared to the average of 5% for all countries surveyed.
Spending Your Holidays Online?
Among all countries surveyed, over 4 in 5 (84%) holiday shoppers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online, including over 2 in 10 (21%) who plan to do the majority of their shopping online. Online shopping is particularly prevalent in China (99%), Great Britain (95%), Germany (94%) and India (93%). Countries that will be doing the majority of shopping (over 50% or all of their shopping) online this holiday season include Great Britain (44%), China (40%) and Germany (33%). On the flip side, those in the Netherlands (69%), Italy (71%) and Canada (73%) are among the least likely to shop online at all this holiday season.
According to the survey, among U.S. holiday shoppers, it is expected that 9 in 10 (90%) will be doing at least some of their holiday shopping online, which is among the top internationally. There will even be 24% doing more than 50% of their shopping online for the holidays.