|Pictured: A holiday greeting card of the rotunda at Neiman Marcus, San Francisco|
If you read this blog, then you are already interested in saving and actively working to maximize your holiday shopping budget and your year round fashion expenses. Frugal is now for everyone. New market research confirms what I’ve been talking about for the past 3 years here on the blog: thrift is the new chic and shoppers are budgeting more carefully than ever. WSL/Strategic Retail recently conducted an Internet survey from November 18-25, 2011 on the current shopping mindset for the holiday. The survey included 1,500 respondents recruited from a national online panel. The findings show that consumers are trying to “recession proof their gift lists.”
Candace Corlett, President of WSL/Strategic Retail continued: “Interestingly, while shoppers are using smart budgeting techniques to buy for others, they are also “self-gifting” particularly in the categories of clothing, electronics and books. Shoppers have creatively managed to save more on others, and are now rewarding themselves and taking advantage of the great holiday sales to buy things for themselves that they had been putting off.”
So how are shoppers reaping the savings? Here’s what the report findings show:
- Resisting temptation. To manage holiday spending this year, shoppers are resisting the usual temptations, with 35% avoiding stores where they are tempted to overspend, while 23% stick to buying affordable brands, and 18% are making fewer trips to stay out of the stores.
- Finding new Internet inroads. The Internet is making different kinds of inroads with holiday gift givers bidding for items on eBay or other online auction sites (10%), using smartphones to help them shop (8%), buying deals on discount sites like “LivingSocial” or “Groupon” (7%), or checking for deals on their social networks or mobile device (5%). Check my page on Mobile Shopping for tips. For Spa Deals, be sure to check Spaphile. For designer clothes, check out Gilt Groupe, HauteLook, RueLaLa, Ideeli and 365Hangers.com for holiday giving. All the invites to shopping clubs are listed on the right side of the blog under The Recessionista’s Top Picks.
- Using up rewards points. The power of rewards points is stunning, as nearly 30% are using them to buy gifts this season. Read my post on how I use my Membership Reward points from American Express and how you can maximize your spending power with points,
- Tracking spending with gift cards. Shoppers (30%) are purchasing gift cards as a way to limit how much they spend on a gift. I did this when I trialed the American Express Prepaid Card, and found it very helpful With the text updates, you can keep track as you spend.
- Paying-as-they-go. Shoppers (30%) are also practicing a pay-as-you-go method, buying a little each week before December 25th.
There is no doubt that the research shows that a tough economy has suppressed holiday shoppers’ spending mindsets this season. Yet, after a long year of being a smart/frugal shopper and practicing creative budgeting tactics it’s no surprise that some of us are also shopping for ourselves. You know, because we deserve a treat. Here’s what the research shows about ” self-gifting.”
Self-Gifting (sadly, this is my raison d’être). While shopping for others this holiday season, 66% plan to buy something for themselves.
- For women, the top categories for self purchases include clothing (44%), beauty (25%), books (paper or digital) (23%), and electronics (18%).
- For men (no surprise), the top categories for self purchases include electronics (34%), clothing (27%), alcoholic beverages (23%) and paper or digital books (17%).
Where you do fall within this study readers? Are you self-gifting, shopping for others, or doing both?