Consumer Intentions vs. Behaviors: Online Purchasing Higher than Expected

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TrendSource Trusted Insight, a market research and strategic consulting company, conducted their 4th annual Holiday Season Consumer Research Study to analyze and understand shopper purchasing behavior during the 2015 Holiday season.

2015 Post-Holiday Consumer Study
All respondents used their mobile devices more than anticipated, with Millennials being the most likely to purchase holiday gifts via mobile device (32%).

TrendSource collected data from 1,000 consumers by surveying them before and after the holiday season to determine the differences between intent and actual shopping behaviors. Results revealed that while consumers enter the holiday season with a spending plan based on previous shopping habits, their actual purchasing behaviors tell a different story.

The survey results provided key insights into the actual use of technology during the holiday season. Interestingly, mobile device usage for all generational groups was underestimated. All respondents used their mobile devices more than anticipated, with Millennials being the most likely to purchase holiday gifts via mobile device (32%). On the contrary, results revealed that 94% of shoppers in the Silent* generation reported their intent to use a desktop to shop online, however only 86% actually followed through with online gift purchases via desktop, opting for tablet purchases more than they intended.

The path to purchase changed significantly from intent to execution as well. In all gift categories, consumers ended up reviewing and buying online more than they anticipated. The largest shift was seen in the electronics category, where 47% of respondents planned to review items online, then purchase in-store. In actuality, only 26% followed through, while 46% of respondents shopping for electronics reviewed online and purchased online, up from the intended 29%. This is especially noteworthy since mobile device usage was up across all groups.

Consumers did not adhere to their projected budgets, either. Study results revealed a disconnect between shopper intentions and actual purchasing outcomes, especially in terms of budgeting and shopping time frames. While only 31% of shoppers intended to spend more than last year, in actuality, 42% ended up going over budget. The willingness to go over budget with or without a discount remained steady in both rounds of the study. Similarly, 15% of shoppers intended to shop on Black Friday, but only 8% actually shopped on Black Friday, indicating a significant difference in their plans. Perhaps Black Friday deals might not be as valuable as they once were.

For more key insights,download the full 2015 Post-Holiday Study from TrendSource Trusted Insight.

About TrendSource and This Study

TrendSource Trusted Insight provides business intelligence, customer experience insight, compliance solutions, and other market research and data analysis programs that deliver measurable ROI. With over twenty years of experience, TrendSource’s customized solutions deliver high quality Customer Experience Management Programs that quantify service gaps, provide prescriptive/corrective solutions, identify trends, and provide actionable solutions through enhanced reporting and analysis.


TrendSource surveyed North American Field Agents in the MSI database for two research studies between October 14th and November 8th, 2015 and January 1st and January 17th, 2016. The results represent 1,000 respondents who met the qualifying criteria of participating in both the 2015 Pre and Post-Holiday Surveys. All respondents opted in to participate voluntarily.

TrendSource has the unique distinction as a market research organization that is an ISO 9001:2013 certified company.

For more information about this study or TrendSource, contact us: TrustedInsight(at)trendsource(dot)com.

*Generation age ranges: Millennials (19-34), Gen X (35-50), Baby Boomers (51-69), Silents (70+)

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Heather Parker
TrendSource, Inc.
+1 (619) 718-7467 Ext: 237
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