Despite warnings about a drop in consumer confidence, American families are expected to match last year's strong holiday spending. According to a survey by the Conference Board, a private research group, American households are expected to spend roughly $490 on holiday gifts this year, just below the $495 they spent last year, Reuters reports. Holiday spending is expected to top $51 billion, with families in New England spending the most $607 per household.
Online shopping is expected to increase throughout the holiday season, and Internet research will be an important part of holiday shopping. According to a Goldman Sachs/PC Data report, online shopping is speeding up already. Shoppers almost doubled their online spending during the week of Nov. 6-12 spending more than $1 billion, nearly double what was spent the week before.
Those not spending money online may still be researching products on the Internet before buying locally, a recent survey commissioned by SuperPages.com found. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they will do research online before going to a local retailer to make the final purchase, while only 5% said they would do all their buying online and 65% said they would stick to bricks-and-mortar stores. The survey also found 56% of respondents are using the Internet to compare prices of gifts, 46% are comparing models or brands, 46% are using the Internet to get gift ideas and 44% are using it to find a particular gift.
- by Julia M. Duncan