Even as holiday shopping tends to start earlier and earlier every year, 30 percent of shoppers said they wait until the week of Christmas to do the majority of their shopping.
According to the latest RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Report, 91 percent of U.S. shoppers have waited until the last minute to buy holiday gifts.
The top reasons for procrastinating include: undecided on what to purchase, 44 percent; busy and ran out of time, 30 percent; and 21 percent wanted to see how much money they had left, received an unexpected gift, or simply forgot.
Fifty-eight percent of shoppers who wait prefer to shop in-store versus online. Reasons for this preference include worrying about on-time delivery, 69 percent, and the belief that in-store has better last-minute deals, 34 percent.
"While some retailers have extended their free shipping deadlines, shoppers should be mindful of shipping cutoffs and unforeseen weather interruptions," said Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer, North America, RetailMeNot. "Shopping in-store helps eliminate the stress of arrival dates of packages, and retailers have become savvier in listening to customer needs and providing options like 'buy online, pick up in-store' and price-match guarantees."
Shopping last minute is up from 32 percent in 2014 to 42 percent in 2015. Therefore, shoppers are weary of shipping deadlines. Those who miss the free-shipping dates plan to buy online and pick up in-store, 47 percent; check out other retailers for the same item to search for free shipping, 44 percent; search online for free-shipping coupons, 36 percent; go to the physical store even if that means not their first gift of choice, 28 percent; and pick up a different item to get free shipping, 27 percent.
Another recent study by Cardlytics reported that 36 percent of shoppers buy the bulk of their gifts at the last minute, and these shoppers tend to spend more than those who shop early in the season.
With all that said, 83 percent of consumers at least began purchasing what's on their holiday lists before Cyber Monday.
-See this RetailMeNot press release
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