Consumer Pulse Check: Shoppers Ready for the Holidays

9/09/2009 01:58:00 PM


With 86% of consumers planning to shop for the upcoming holiday season, we spoke with them to see if they've already gotten an early start. The results are startling - consumers are shopping earlier than ever this year.

According to the latest data from a Google/OTX survey, 44% of shoppers have already started their holiday shopping and researching. In taking a look at query volume using Google Insights for Search, we see that search interest in 'christmas gift' has upticked sharply over recent weeks, demonstrating this increased research activity.

Consumers are not just researching, many have already begun purchasing. In fact, over a third of respondents (36%) said they have already begun making holiday purchases. This demonstrates that consumer are not waiting for the traditional kick off to the season, many are already spending time online researching gift ideas and heading into the store or to your site to make that special purchase.

With consumers already getting into the holiday spirit, is your business reaching them?

Source: Google/OTX Conumser Pulse Check 2009. Data is from week of August 24, 2009.


Dennisy said...

Hoping the early start helps offset some of the consumer debt paydown data that has been released and while I'm an advocate of responsible spending (aren't we all) it might be a difficult retail season if consumers are paying down record-levels of debt.

July saw a 10.4% drop in outstanding consumer debt or $21B, numbers that haven't been seen for awhile - like ever. This coupled with what many believe will soon become a 10% saving rate. Government data released in June showed the US saving rate around 7%for May. What are consumers doing with the cash if they are not paying down debt? Banks saw a record 1.7% in deposits, the 9th largest rise since 1973 (source:Bloomberg).

Demographics are playing a big part in this data, as the baby-boomer generation enters their peak earning years but that is another topic for discussion.

Finally, there are many issues with the saving rate calculation which won't be explained here so refer to these numbers at your own risk, but the trend is clear: consumers are paying down debt and/or saving more.