Holiday Season Preferences Illustrate Purchasing Trends

A clear majority of Americans—69 percent—prefer to buy from local retailers. However, the First National Bank of Omaha’s 2018 Shop, Buy, Give Survey found that 71 percent say they prefer to prioritize shopping where prices are lowest. The bank’s survey, framed against the upcoming holiday season, highlights these and other trends in consumer purchasing preferences and tendencies.

“During peak shopping season, retailers and ‘e-tailers’ are all vying to maximize sales, which offers so many options to consumers. While the trend continues toward Cyber Monday as the preferred shopping day, First National Bank of Omaha encourages everyone to shop locally when possible,” says Jerry J. O’Flanagan, executive vice president, Consumer Banking Group, at First National Bank of Omaha. “It’s important to note that many local retailers also offer the convenience of online shopping and the money you spend stays within your community.”

The bank found that while 50 percent of consumers plan on shopping on Black Friday, that falls behind the 64 percent who plan to shop on Cyber Monday. The survey also found that 47 percent are also planning on shopping during Small-Business Saturday. Regardless, November is the start of the holiday shopping season for many Americans—47 percent—compared to 18 percent who report that they do a majority of their holiday shopping in December.

Most of the people surveyed—61 percent—said they stick to their budget during the holidays, and 54 percent will spend $500 or less on holiday gifts. Compared to previous years, 52 percent say they plan on spending the same amount on all holiday-related expenses this year, while 31 percent say they plan on spending less.

Reflecting on how social media has influenced consumer habits, 63 percent of respondents say they are more likely to purchase from a store if they see a discount for that store on social media. Furthermore, 56 percent of Americans plan to purchase holiday gifts online, while 44 percent say they are more likely to make in-store purchases. Also influencing consumer preferences during the “Season Of Giving” are retailers’ charity components, with 55 percent of respondents saying they are more likely to support businesses that “gives back.” The survey also found that 51 percent of respondents will contribute to the greater good this year by donating items, 48 percent will donate money, 38 percent will support local businesses and 31 percent will volunteer.

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