How your neighbors shop for the holidays

Dec. 5, 2014

‘Tis the season to hunt down gifts for your friends, colleagues, and loved ones — and if you dread holiday shopping, 40.1 percent of Americans agree with you (although another 45 percent actually look forward to this time of year).

Now is the time to embrace priorities that sometimes conflict; 76 percent care about finding the perfect gift, but even more care about finding the best deals (84 percent). Whether you’re feeling the holiday spirit or muttering “Bah humbug,” here are some thought starters from our National Holiday Gift Shopping Study to get you rolling.

Predicted to be the top 10 consumer electronics items in general by respondents from our survey:

1. Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2. Apple iPhone 6
3. Apple iPad Air 2
4. PlayStation 4
5. Xbox One
6. Samsung Galaxy S5
7. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
8. Apple MacBook Pro
9. Apple MacBoook Air
10. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX


Top 10 consumer electronics items from our survey that respondents plan to purchase:

1. PlayStation 4
2. Xbox One
3. Apple iPhone 6
4. Samsung Galaxy S5
5. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
6. Apple iPhone 6 Plus
7. Apple iPad Air 2
8. Google Chromecast
9. FitBit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband
10. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Of course, not everyone will limit themselves to consumer electronics. At the top of the general gift shopping list is apparel (clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories) at 64 percent, with gift cards coming in second at 56 percent; interestingly, gift cards are the absolute top choice that respondents most want to receive, followed by the PlayStation 4 and iPhone 6. Toys and video games took third place on shopper’s lists (54 percent), narrowly beating out consumer electronics (53 percent).


How and where are we shopping?

50.2 percent of respondents began their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, and over half (54.1 percent) disapproved of stores being open on Thanksgiving. On average, people anticipate spending $520 on gifts, and 37 percent say they’re spending less this year than last year; only 19 percent plan to spend more. The top choice for gift retailers is Amazon (63 percent), outdoing Walmart (55 percent) and Target (39 percent). In fact, online purchasing may slightly outpace shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers: 52.9 percent expect to do more than half their shopping online, while 47.1 percent anticipate doing more than half their shopping at local stores.


Where can I find gift inspiration?

Nearly two-thirds of people (63 percent) get gift ideas from family and friends, and simply ask people what they want (63.7 percent). The other top methods for deciding on gifts are consulting mass retailer websites such as Amazon and eBay (43 percent) and in-store displays (32 percent). Contrary to popular belief, print isn’t dead; 29 percent of people take inspiration from store mailers and flyers, beating social media’s influence (26 percent). Wherever you find your gift inspiration, we at AYTM wish you a happy holiday season!

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below; be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options. Results for 1,000 respondents were collected November 25-28 via AYTM’s online survey panel, and balanced by income and gender.

Featured photo credit: “San Francisco, California” by Sharon Hahn Darlin, used under CC BY 2.0