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Holiday shoppers moving online: blame pricing, political uncertainty

Holiday shoppers are spending less and shopping line, but not just because they have the technology to do so…

holiday shopping

holiday shoppers

Holiday shopping season approaching

According to technology company, SOASTA and Harris Interactive, political problems are impacting the holiday shopping season, and as the upcoming Washington budget battles at the beginning of 2014, Americans are concerned about their household spending, making them cautious for what they buy for the holidays.

Although in August, one report indicated that 80 percent of small businesses were optimistic about holiday sales for this year, political uncertainty with the government shutting down for a period, and the flawed Obamacare rollout.

Retailers must plan for this impact

After looking at the results, Regina A. Corso, the Senior Vice President of Harris Poll and Public Relations said, “What was interesting about this data was how much of an impact what happens in Washington has on spending and shopping for the holidays.”

Corso added, “When over two in five Americans say that the mess in DC and the potential for another one in January/February impacts how they are going to shop, retailers need to take notice and adjust their plans accordingly.”

SOASTA discovered that 44 percent of Americans say the problems in Washington D.C. (the government shutdown, the concerns about the default, and the upcoming budget battles in January and February) have affected their decision to shop online for the holidays this year.

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Holiday shoppers are moving to the web for the following reasons:

  • 24 percent – Because there are better deals online than in stores
  • 22 percent – There are more deals online than in stores
  • 19 percent – I don’t want to spend money on gas driving from store to store
  • 15 percent – There is just too much uncertainty at the start of 2014 to spend much money on the holidays
  • 4 percent – If money is tight at the start of 2014 it will be easier to return gifts for money

Offline retailers are already bracing for a slower season, running holiday sales now rather than exclusively during the typical last minute rush.

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