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Holiday Shoppers Will Do Their Homework Before Buying This Year

holiday-shopping-art-111110-02 Credit: Dreamstime

Consumers may be in the process of making their lists for the holiday season, but they will be looking at several places when it comes to checking them twice for the best deals. As the holiday season approaches, shoppers plan to search the Internet as well as physical stores and newspapers to find the best deals, according to a new study conducted by Strayer University. A majority of shoppers will also utilize mobile devices in the search for the best deals this year.

"The budget-conscious consumer is taking a targeted approach to their holiday shopping by doing their homework before setting foot in a store," said Joann Raphael, professor of economics at Strayer University. "Consumers know what they want and they expect retailers to fight for their hard-earned dollars."

With the economy forcing consumers to be price-conscious, 63 percent of shoppers will look to find deals on the Internet while 55 percent will continue to look to newspapers and circulars in an attempt to save money. In this search for the best deals, age does matter when choosing how shoppers will save. Over three-quarters of 18- to 35-year-olds will rely on the Internet and mobile devices to find the best deals compared to 44 percent of shoppers age 55 and over who will look to those same means for discounts.

The increased effort to save money, however, cannot change the normal flood of people who will wait until the last minute to do their shopping.  According to the research, 38 percent of shoppers plan to delay shopping in an attempt to see how low prices can go. Additionally, the research also shows that 62 percent of consumers still plan to visit stores in search of deals, despite the increased emphasis on finding deals online.

"Consumers are no longer content only to search the mall for the best price on the items they want; instead, they are doing their shopping at their convenience," said Raphael. "And they are keeping retailers on their toes by pressuring them on multiple fronts for the best prices."

The research in the study was based on the answers of a telephone interview conducted among 1,000 randomly selected adults over the age of 18 who reside in the United States.