Holiday Shopping Behavior in 2010: Product Predictions, Presearch, and Calculated Consumption
Nov 19, 2010
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NPD Group surveys show that 62% of consumer respondents will spend time doing "pre-search" before they buy gifts this holiday season. How they will do it:
• almost 50% plan to go online to do their homework
• 22% will turn to catalogs
• 20%: consumer reviews
• 17%: TV ads

NPD's predictions of hot gifts in 2010:
• single-serve coffeemakers
• massagers
• cordless drills
• wine glasses
• waffle makers
• stand mixers
• hand tools
• men's electric shavers
• cast iron cookware
• electric blankets

How much will consumers be spending? According to NPD:
• 9% of consumers intend to spend more this year than they did last year (compared to 11% in 2009)
• 61% intend to spend about the same as last year (compared to 59% in 2009)
• 30% intend to spend less this year than last year (it was also 30% in 2009)

"Even though the recession is technically over, lingering concerns are keeping consumers in a cautious frame of mind," said NPD Group Chief Analyst Marshal Cohen. "We are seeing what I call 'calculated consumption.' and I believe that it is a consumer mind-set that will be around after holiday shopping is over."

Evidence of consumers' more thoughtful and cautious approach is in the 62% who intend to do their homework before they shop.
• Almost 44% plan to comparison shop before they buy.
• 37% plan to use ads or circulars to guide their gift shopping.
• 33% plan to compare prices online before they shop in a store.

"What this means is consumers will be looking to find what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy before even leaving the house," said Cohen. "This eliminates the rushed decisions and can potentially eliminate some impulse purchasing from the holiday shopping equation."

The primary influence on where consumers will shop for gifts:
• "price" – 60%
• "special sale price" – 58%
• "convenient location" - 47%

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