Selfless to Selfish Shopping: More Than Half of Consumers Plan to Shop for Themselves During After-Christmas Sales

In Industry News, What's New by Accessories Staff

Austin, TX–If retailers think the worst of the holiday shopping season is over, think again.

images-1According to two recent surveys by digital offers destination RetailMeNot, the majority of consumers surveyed (81%) plan to shop end-of-year sales, and of these shoppers taking advantage of post-holiday savings, more than half (63%) plan to shop for themselves. Millennials are especially interested in after-Christmas sales, as 92% of respondents 18 to 34 years old said they plan to shop during this time.

Similarly, a PricewaterhouseCoopers poll found that 47% of respondents said they shop post-holiday and look for New Year’s sales deals. This shopping is likely for themselves, too. Only 8% of their holiday shopping is actually done after the holiday.
While lower prices (66%) and deals (59%) are top motivators for end-of-year shopping, nearly a quarter (23%) of survey respondents indicate they shop post-holiday sales because they are ready to indulge on themselves after completing their shopping for others. And selfish shoppers are not sparing any expense–these consumers are willing to spend an average of $160 on themselves and $179 on gifts for others. Men plan to spend substantially more on themselves during end-of-year sales than women ($197 vs. $131).

Return Policy?

Returning holiday gifts is on the decline. According to the survey, only 32% of shoppers indicated they typically return gifts that they receive from family and friends for the holidays. In 2013, close to half (45%) of shoppers admitted to typically returning gifts.*

When it comes to returns, respondents prefer to get money back from the store (40%). Less favored were getting gift cards/certificates (16%), exchanges for other items at the store (13%) and store credit (11%).

Gift Cards Reign

Although once considered impersonal, gift cards are cited byalmost half (46%) of respondents as their favorite holiday present. Proving their popularity, more than 9 in 10 (91%) November survey respondents have received a gift card at least once as a holiday present. These recipients don’t waste time cashing them in either. More than 4 in 5 (84%) would not let their holiday gift cards go unused past January.

However, more than half of those who received a gift card don’t actually use it on themselves. Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) surveyed in November have used a gift card they received to purchase a present for someone else and more than 1 in 4 (27%) have gifted a card they received to another person. Women are more likely to use gift cards to buy someone else a present, with 44% of women admitting to doing this versus 32% of men. Other respondents have either sold the gift card for the cash equivalent (11%) or used a gift card exchange site (9%).

References to survey results are to the December survey, unless otherwise noted.

About the Survey

The RetailMeNot November survey was conducted between November 17 and November 20. among 1,006 U.S. residents ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.

The RetailMeNot December survey was conducted between December 6 and December 15, among 1,050 U.S. residents ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.