Can’t Wait Til Black Friday? Many Won’t

Itching to get a head start on holiday shopping? So is about half of America.

While many will wait until November to get to shopping, RetailMeNot says 46 percent of Americans will start before November 1. In fact, 16 percent already started shopping before September 1.

Last year, RetailMeNot found a 21 percent jump in shopping on Nov. 7, which falls in line with when most people, or 54 percent of Americans, will start shopping (after Nov. 1).

Who needs stores when you have phones?

Turns out 73 percent of shoppers will hit stores in person, but mobile plays a big factor both in shopping online and heading to brick-and-mortar stores.

Most millennials, Americans 18-34 years old, are planning to shop online this year, RetailMeNot says. The 25-34-year-olds are the most active mobile shoppers (39 percent), while only 20 percent of Americans 55 and up are planning to shop online.

“We continue to see mobile content drive more sales and foot traffic for brick-and-mortar stores,” says RetailMeNot chief marketing officer Marissa Tarleton. “Retailers have a big opportunity to acquire new customers this holiday season via their mobile marketing efforts.”

This is different from a September survey that showed 73 percent were shopping online this year, not in-store. But the RetailMeNot survey did show huge Cyber Monday involvement, as almost 50 percent of 18-34-year-olds will be shopping on the holiday this year.

Decked out with deals

When it comes to what to buy, there is little Americans wouldn’t do for a good deal. Almost half admit they will spend a full day online finding the best deal, and 26 percent said they would travel more than an hour to get a great deal in-store.

The best type of deals depends on who is looking. More than one-third of women prefer free shipping, while only 26 percent of men do. It also comes down to income: 80 percent of shoppers who earn $150,000 or more a year prefer a percentage off their total rather than free shipping.

The survey also said deal-seeking is up this year, as 60 percent of shoppers are hunting down sales and promotions. Sales are expected to go up more than 3 percent over last year.

What you buy depends on when you buy it

The more you plan, RetailMeNot says, the more thoughtful the gifts are. If you’re shopping pre-Thanksgiving, you’re more likely to give gifts like clothing, home and garden, and travel. Last-minute gifts, when you’re shopping the week before Christmas, you’re more likely to get accessories, books, and fitness-related presents. The deal-seekers, who are going strong between Thanksgiving and mid-December, are most likely to buy computers and electronics, toys, and kids clothing.

More than half of shoppers, 56 percent, are looking for deals on smartphones, TVs, and other electronics. Fifty-one percent are looking for clothing and shoe deals, and just one-third are on the hunt for toy deals. Only 15 percent are looking for deals on travel.

Restaurants are also expecting a jump this season, as 45 percent of shoppers are more likely to dine out during the holidays as they are out shopping for gifts.

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