NetElixir Consumer Behavior Study Sheds Light on 2016 Holiday Shopping Trends

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Study highlights gift giving trends, brand and shopping preferences for millennials and others

“The majority of consumers are now going through the entire purchase funnel on their mobile devices, which means retailers need to be present and findable on mobile devices," said Udayan Bose, CEO, NetElixir.

Following its Holiday Outlook 2016 report, NetElixir is releasing a study examining consumer trends and preferences for this holiday shopping season. The 2016 Holiday Consumer Insights Report reveals gift giving trends, brand and shopping preferences for millennials and other demographics.

One of the study’s key findings is that the majority of consumers are planning to buy gifts through online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay (42%) and in-store (43%), while just 15% plan to purchase through retailers’ websites directly. Of these consumers, 88.9% of the top earners with household incomes over $150,000 plan to shop through online marketplaces, while none in in that same income group expressed intent to buy through retailer sites directly.

When asked about reasons for choosing an online marketplace over a retailer’s website, ‘price’ was cited as the top reason with ‘trust’ and ‘variety of options’ coming in as the other top reasons.

“Marketplaces have become dominant over the past couple of years, which is a trend that poses many challenges to retailers,” said Udayan Bose, CEO of NetElixir. “While marketplaces offer benefits like access to a huge customer base, retailers need to weigh these benefits against risks like commoditization and steep price cuts on their products when selling through such platforms.”

Additional findings include:

  • 82% placing little or no emphasis on brand names when buying a holiday gift
  • By late September, 25% had already started their holiday shopping and 11% had completed it
  • Gift cards or cash were cited as the top gift choice for respondents 25 years of age and over
  • Millennials (ages 18-36) are more likely than any other age group to gift an experience over a tangible item
  • 62% said they research and buy gifts on their mobile device and also search for coupons while shopping in stores

“The mobile statistic is critical for retailers,” continued Udayan Bose. “The implication is that the majority of consumers are now going through the entire purchase funnel on their mobile devices, which means retailers need to be present and findable on mobile devices. For example, retailers need to have their PLA ads working on mobile during the holidays. This is just a sample of how retailers need to adjust to this holiday season to take into consideration that mobile has now gone completely mainstream.”

NetElixir plans to continue indexing consumer insights once a quarter and share tips with marketers based on these insights. To learn more about signing up for NetElixir’s consumer insights tips, please sign up here.

Methodology

The 2016 Holiday Consumer Insights Report was compiled by surveying 1,000 random U.S. internet users during the week of September 27, 2016. The sample size is based on the U.S. internet population, which skews slightly male and younger, with 57% of respondents being male and just slightly over 50% of respondents being between 18 and 44 years of age.

About NetElixir

NetElixir is a rapidly growing search marketing agency with over 12 years of experience working with retailers on their search marketing needs. By helping retailers to decode what makes customers click, NetElixir is helping these businesses succeed online. Its analytical team of industry experts, technology builders and business strategists drive exceptional results and uncover actionable customer insights through a combination of proprietary paid search optimization technology, strategic growth models and expert campaign management services. The company’s LXRMarketplace hub is a destination for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs in need of free or low cost search engine marketing tools. NetElixir is headquartered in Princeton, NJ with wholly owned subsidiary offices in London and Hyderabad, India. For more information, please visit http://www.NetElixir.com.

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