Stores Still Beat Digital for Holiday Shopping in the US - eMarketer

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Stores Still Beat Digital for Holiday Shopping in the US

In the US, stores and digital are neck-and-neck

October 2, 2015

More than eight in 10 internet users in the US will shop in stores this holiday season, the most of any channel, according to August 2015 polling by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB) for Rubicon Project. Most will also shop digitally.

Channels/Locations Where Internet Users in Canada, the UK and the US Plan to Shop During the Holiday Season, Aug 2015 (% of respondents)

In the US, in-store holiday shopping was ahead among internet users by 7 percentage points. In Canada, stores were more heavily favored, at 20 percentage points. Meanwhile, in the UK—arguably the world’s most advanced ecommerce market—more internet users planned to shop online than in brick-and-mortar stores.

Asked what drove them to make holiday purchases via digital channels rather than in-store, respondents in the UK and US were most likely to name convenience, followed by lower prices. In Canada, the order of the top two reasons was reversed.

Nearly half of respondents in the US and UK also noted that there were simply more things available to buy online.

Of course, not all digital shopping results in a digital purchase. While many brick-and-mortar retailers fear showrooming, webrooming is also a major factor in retail markets where digital selling is common. Overall, more than eight in 10 internet users surveyed across the three countries planned to research items digitally that they would go on to purchase in stores.

Respondents were most likely to do this when shopping for consumer electronics like computers or tablets, followed by apparel and accessories, and toys.

eMarketer expects total US holiday retail sales—including all US retail sales during November and December 2015—to rise by 5.6% this year, while retail ecommerce sales will go up 13.9%. Ecommerce sales will account for 9.0% of total retail sales for the holiday season.

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