Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Trends

Posted by Cristina Lucero, Research Associate

As holiday approaches, shoppers will become heavily reliant on discounts and sales to help with last-minute holiday gifts.  A PriceGrabber survey found that 41% of shoppers plan to shop between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24.  In fact, 43% said that they believe the best discounts can be found during that time period; another 43% indicated that they’re too busy to finish their holiday shopping earlier; 26% admitted to procrastinating; 22% think last-minute shopping is fun; and 10% are waiting for year-end work bonuses.

Other last-minute shopping trends include:

  • To date, the average person has completed 46.5% of their shopping.  At the same time last year, the average person had completed 49.5% of their shopping.  (BIGresearch).
  • 80% of U.S. shoppers plan to buy gift cards this season (NRF)
  • 9% of shoppers will wait until January to purchase holiday gifts.  By gender, 11% of men say they’ll wait until January to buy gifts vs. 8% of women.  (PriceGrabber).
  • 27% of shoppers indicated that they plan to shop for last-minute gifts on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial (PriceGrabber)


And mobile will play a big role in last-minute shopping:

  • 87% of tablet owners are tapping their way to the checkout cart on shopping sites to spend an average of $325 on holiday gifts this season (Equation Research)
  • Male tablet owners noted that they plan to spend in the $201 to $500 category vs. 37% of female shoppers spending in that category.  But both men and women tablet users consider themselves savvy spenders (52%).  49% of tablet owners plan to do more shopping this way moving forward, while only 19% of smartphone owners plan to do the same.  (Equation Research).

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