Key Holiday Trends Impacting Retailers and Shoppers

Surveying 2,249 adults online between November 27 and 29, 2012, the recent Harris Poll (by Harris Interactive) charted key trends for retailers and shoppers alike this holiday season. Three important areas included Showrooming, Gift Cards and Department Stores and Deals.

Harris Poll Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Harris Interactive)


“Showrooming” occurs when shoppers try out a product in store, but then later purchase it online.  More than four in ten (43%) U.S. adults have showroomed. The researchers recognized Best Buy (24%) and Walmart (22%) as the “top victims of showrooming,” followed by Target (9%) and, more distantly, by Home Depot (4%), Lowe’s (3%) and Barnes & Noble (3%). The most common online retailer, customers purchase from after visiting a brick and mortar store is Amazon (57%), with more than a 10:1 ratio over the next most popular cyber-venues (eBay and Walmart, at 5% each). Showroomers also cited online purchases from Best Buy (3%), Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot (2% each).

Examining how much showroomers spend, researchers found purchases averaged $211.80. The report also notes:

  • Average spending is significantly higher among those who typically visit Best Buy’s showroom ($281.50) than among those who prefer to do their in-person scouting at Walmart ($119.10) or Target ($79.30).
  • Average spending is also significantly higher among male showroomers ($269.80) than among their female counterparts ($148.70).

Gift Cards

Many holiday shoppers purchase gift cards for the chance to give the recipient the chance to purchase an item suitable to their taste.When asked the clothing/apparel retailer they would most want to receive a gift card from, “Victoria’s Secret (15%) and LL Bean (13%) are the top selections, followed by Ralph Lauren (7%) and Gap (6%).” Researchers found that additionally, when it comes to the retailer for which shoppers would most like to give gift cards, Victoria’s Secret (17%) is again the top selection, followed by Gap (9%), LL Bean (also 9%) and Abercrombie & Fitch (5%). 

Department stores and deals

Americans tend to do most shopping at department stores for the holidays given that it allows for a variety of shopping in a single convenient location.  Researchers found: “Among the 74% of Americans who have shopped thus far this holiday season, roughly six in ten (61%) confirm having done so at a department store. When U.S. adults who have shopped at a department store this holiday season are asked at which stores (from a provided list) they have found the best deals, Kohl’s (32%) is the top selection, followed by jcp (23%) and Macy’s (15%).”

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