Zoomerang Survey Finds Holiday Shopping Continues Despite Hard Times

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Americans look for the true spirit of the holidays and try not to spend outside their means--although that Nintendo Wii sure looks fun

Zoomerang, the leader in online surveys, today released the results of its November 2008 consumer study focused on what people will be buying this holiday season and how the economy has affected their plans. Not surprisingly, the online survey of more than 200 respondents in the U.S. found that many people are impacted - in fact, a staggering 80% say they will be cutting back on spending for their holiday shop this year. What is clear from Zoomerang's survey is the differing attitudes amongst Americans. Many have chosen to cherish the true meaning of the season. One survey taker said they will ''try to explain the meaning of Christmas'' to their kids instead of spending what they don't have. While others have resigned hope and say "nothing" is exciting to them about shopping for the holidays this year.

So how are consumers responding and changing their behaviors to deal with their thinner wallets? Zoomerang found that among those who said they will be cutting back: 85% will be taking advantage of sales, 52% will be clipping coupons, and 43% will be shopping online to save money. When asked what is one thing they will not be able to do this year that they did last year survey takers gave responsible answers including ''getting in lots of debt,'' ''splurging on gifts,'' and ''a cruise.''

Of course, many people will still be shopping this season. And the holiday shopping trends definitely showed a high level of interest in video games and other technology gifts. Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS were all listed as must have gift items this season. Other hot gifts included the iPod Touch and designer handbags. When asked what the #1 tech item on their wish list was this year, 15% said Plasma TVs and 13% said Nintendo Wii.

For those consumers shopping for kids aged 8 and under this year, their gift list is topped by Leapfrog's Tag Reading system -- 29% of those surveyed said it was on their shopping list this year. The Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera and Elmo Live were also hot items with 18% and 13% of shoppers seeking them respectively. When asked what one thing the child they were shopping for was "dying" to have this year answers varied but some frequent responses included Hannah Montana and Nintendo games and consoles. Zoomerang also asked families who are cutting back what they will tell their children this year. The top responses revealed that many parents will be above board with their kids: 39% will tell them the truth about hard times, 26% will hope they won't notice, and 21% will make up for it by spending more quality time together.

Zoomerang's survey also found some interesting holiday stats:

  • The hardest people to shop for on survey takers' lists included their spouse or significant other at 29%, followed by mom and dad at 17% respectively.
  • Families with children indicated that their favorite holiday traditions with the kids are decorating (32%), opening presents (19%), and visiting family (18%).
  • 39% of people will spend between $21-50 on average per person on their shopping list.

When asked what the most exciting and disappointing things were about shopping this year, survey takers were encouraged about lower gas prices and failing retailers. Answers included: ''Gas prices are down, (so I) can spend more gifts'' and ''Good deals because of the economy.'' Others were irritable about their limited cash flow and big crowds, ''The amount of people out there shopping with me'' and ''Spending money that I don't have'' were other open ended responses received.

About the Zoomerang Survey
Data was collected using Zoomerang's online survey software and is based on feedback from 215 U.S. respondents drawn from ZoomPanel, MarketTools' proprietary online sample source of more than 2.5 million individuals who have been validated through MarketTools TrueSampleä. The overall margin of error was 6 percent with a 92 percent confidence level. The majority of those surveyed had household incomes between $15,000-74,999. 37% of respondents were employed full-time; 14% were unemployed, but looking for work; and 13% were homemakers. 34 of the 50 United States were represented.

About Zoomerang
Zoomerang, part of MarketTools, Inc., pioneered Web-based surveys in 1999 to give organizations a powerful, self-service alternative to conduct accurate comprehensive surveys with a minimum of cost and effort. Today, Zoomerang is the world's #1 source for online surveys, helping thousands of organizations, including over 70 of the Fortune 100, in over 100 countries. Zoomerang provides a powerful alternative for organizations that need to conduct fast, accurate, comprehensive surveys with minimal cost and effort. Zoomerang's business, educational and non-profit customers have created and sent more than 100 million surveys. Zoomerang supplements its surveys with expert professional services, including survey programming, and the recruitment and selection of custom groups of survey respondents.

To learn more about how you can use Zoomerang to collect great insights for your organization, please visit us at Zoomerang.com and sign up for Zoomerang today.

About MarketTools
MarketTools is the leading technology and solutions provider of Customer Insight Management solutions for the world's market leaders. Through a unique combination of best-in-class research platforms, quality-assured global panels and research innovation, MarketTools enables companies to better identify new opportunities, fuel greater product success and build customer advocacy. As the first company to make online surveys widely available on the Web, MarketTools continues its market-leading position by providing the broadest range of powerful, accurate and integrated customer insight technologies that empower companies to become the most customer-centric organizations in their industries. MarketTools' premier portfolio of technology-based insight brands includes Zoomerang™, zTelligence™, CustomerSat™, TrueSample™, Insight Networks™, Idea Networks™ and ZoomPanel™.

MarketTools is a privately held company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and European headquarters in London. For more information, please visit: http://www.markettools.com.


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