If the malls and the catalog phone lines have seemed a little quieter this year, it’s not necessarily because consumers aren’t shopping as much—they may simply be shopping online. The Consumer Holiday Shopping Survey from New York-based marketing services provider DoubleClick revealed that 45% of online shoppers plan to spend more online this year than last year, compared to 25% who planned to spend more in stores than last year, and 10% for catalogs.
The study, part of the DoubleClick Holiday 2004 Shopping Report series, was conducted online in early December by Nielsen/NetRatings. Among other findings, the survey indicated that on average, respondents said they planned to spend one third of their holiday gift budget online, 59% in bricks-and-mortar stores and 8% in catalogs.
Asked how they found holiday gifts to buy online, respondents cited search engine results as the top choice out of 18 options—38% cited search engine results as a means of finding products The next most popular means of finding gifts online were “seeing products on a website” (30%), “word of mouth” (26%) or “seeing them in a catalog (22%) or a store (20%). Other factors respondents noted included ads on search engines (17%), e-mail marketing efforts (16%), television ads (15%), TV programs (14%), Web advertising (14%), comparison online shopping tools (12%) and magazine ads (11%).