By Karen Axelton
Are you a small retailer concerned that you haven’t made enough sales this season? It’s not too late. A new study by PriceGrabber reports that 41 percent of consumers plan to shop between today (December 21) and December 24 for holiday gifts.
Why are they waiting so long? Forty-three percent are waiting for better deals; 43 percent didn’t have time to shop earlier; 26 percent just plain procrastinated, 22 percent “enjoy” waiting till the last minute, and 10 percent are waiting to get their year-end bonuses from work before they start shopping.
With retail sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday up significantly from last year, PriceGrabber expects that trend to continue. “We expect to see a significant percentage of consumers seeking to prompt retailers to offer additional savings throughout December,” said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. “Savvy shoppers … are staying on top of last-minute incentives that are on the horizon.”
However, it’s not just discount shoppers waiting till the last minute. When asked what type of gifts they plan to purchase at the last minute, 53 percent said they intend to purchase both big- and small-ticket items, 31 percent will buy only small-ticket items (under $100); 10 percent will purchase all of their holidays gifts, and 6 percent will buy only big-ticket items (over $100).
Talk about waiting till the last—or past—minute: Maybe they’re extremely deal-conscious, but PriceGrabber found that 9 percent of respondents plan to wait until January to buy their holiday gifts. Sixty-eight percent said they believe sale prices are best in January, 27 percent plan to use gift money received during the holiday period, 24 percent simply prefer shopping in January, and 11 percent plan to wait for a year-end work bonus before shopping.
If you’re eager to grab these last-minute shoppers, you may want to use daily deal sites. PriceGrabber’s survey found 27 percent of shoppers plan to use sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial.