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Study: Holiday Online Shopping To Hold Steady.

Despite conflicting economic indicators, 80% of consumers say they’ll buy online more or the same as last year this holiday season.

That’s according to a study from global shipping and mailing company Pitney Bowes in which 48% of consumers said they plan to spend the same amount, and only 20% plan to spend less — figures that are consistent with last year’s findings. In addition, 32% said they plan to shop online more than last year.

Among the 20% of consumers planning to spend less online, slightly more than half are cutting back on overall (i.e., non-holiday) spending — a significant reduction from the 71% who expected to be cutting back last year.

“While U.S. consumers grapple with economic challenges including the lingering impacts of inflation, their discretionary spending — particularly online — appears to defy gravity headed into the holidays,” said Vijay Ramachandran, VP of GTM (Go-to-Market) Enablement + Experience at Pitney Bowes. “Online sales so far this year are up more than 7% vs. 2022, even though online prices have been on a deflationary trend for more than a year.”

Ramachandran noted that rather than curtail overall spending, consumers are “trading down” to lower-priced brands and lower-value product categories as they seek to make their budgets go farther in reaction to perceived inflation.

“We know from consulting with our clients that mid-price apparel, as well as accessories and beauty brands, are optimistic about the holiday season, while sporting goods and home décor brands are approaching peak more cautiously,” he added. Additional findings from Pitney Bowes’ latest BOXpoll survey:

Thirty-nine percent of consumers said they noticed it has become harder to qualify for free shipping. And 42% already expect it will become harder to qualify for free shipping this holiday season vs. last year.

Consumers are most likely to either add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping (44%) or try to find the same item with a different online brand that will offer free shipping (37%).

A new survey reveals one issue that’s near universal in its ability to disrupt online sales. Nearly all (95%) surveyed consumers around the globe report they have abandoned a purchase because a preferred delivery option, such as home delivery or the ability to ship to parcel lockers or parcel shops, wasn’t available, according to DHL.

This figure includes 92% of U.S. respondents. In addition, 75% of global respondents and 72% of European respondents want the flexibility of ensuring their parcel is delivered to another safe place when they’re not at home.

Also, 62% of North American respondents want to know what delivery company handles their parcels before placing an order.

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