hhgregg’s Survey Results Reveal Some Fascinating Truths About American Holiday Shoppers

16 Nov, 2015

woman carrying gifts

When do most Americans plan to start their holiday shopping? What do they want most? Do they prefer gift giving or gift receiving? Find out more about shopping preferences across the country by reading the overview of hhgregg’s holiday shopping survey results below.

Our game plan for holiday shopping

Turns out, not many of us put off our shopping till the last minute. The majority of Americans (70%) begin planning their shopping list at least one month before Christmas. And most (65%) start following through with their plan in that same timeframe. Still, nearly 1 out of 3 Americans (31%) ends up at the store shopping for a last-minute gift on Christmas Eve.

Trying not to bust the bank: the holiday budget

How does our holiday spending goal (emphasis on “goal” here – sometimes we end up spending more than we intended!) compare to last year? Most of us plan to spend the same (45%) or even less (33%) than last year. That leaves 22% of Americans ready to increase their holiday spending from last year. Here’s hoping your Secret Santa resides in the 22%!

Actually, it’s better to give than to receive

And 81% of Americans agree, according to this survey. But shopping for gifts can be harder based on the recipient. Over 1 in 4 (27%) Americans say that their significant other is the hardest person to shop for, and the most likely to return their gift (16%). And, 53% of us fess up to re-gifting something we’ve received in the past. Luckily, only 11% have been caught. Who has the most trouble shopping for our own gifts? About 1 in 5 Americans (21%) say their sibling is the worst gift-giver, with in-laws coming in neck and neck at 20%.

would you rather give or receive a gift

The hunt for the perfect gift

Just how important is it to find the perfect gift? The majority of shoppers (62%) are willing to hit up store after store to find it. How many stores are we talking about? Seven. On average, Americans are willing to visit seven stores this holiday season to complete their shopping. There was a generational difference with millennials and Gen X-ers willing to visit seven stores, while boomers and the silent generation said six was their max.

On average, Americans are willing to visit seven stores this holiday season to complete their shopping.

Still, the thought of long lines is a major shopping turn off, with 74% of Americans listing it as a holiday shopping pet peeve. Parking took a close second, with 62% of Americans saying it’s a problem. Lack of selection bugs 28% of Americans. Constant holiday music was considered less of a nuisance across the board, with about a quarter (24%) of those surveyed saying it bothered them. That’s probably because the “best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Speaking of “Elf”…

What Christmas movie would Americans most prefer to watch on a new 4K ultra HD TV? “It’s a Wonderful Life” (33%). “Home Alone” came in second at (28%), with “Elf” narrowly beating out “Love Actually” for third place.

What kids want under the tree

Apparently nobody wants Furbies anymore. Or Tickle Me Elmo. Teddy Ruxpin? Forget about him. According to their parents, kids today want tablets (39%), video game consoles (37%) and cell phones (31%). Who can blame them?

what gifts kids want

What adults want under the tree

If given the choice, 59% of Americans with a significant other would rather purchase upgrades for their home over exchanging individual gifts. Most of us (62%) would prefer a big red bow on a new 4K ultra HD TV over a stainless steel refrigerator, and we’d rather have a new washer and dryer over a home entertainment system (55%). The new 4K ultra HD TV also edged out a wireless music system, with 77% opting for the TV. It also won out over tablets, laptops, new appliances, smartwatches and phones, making 4K TV the king of gifts this holiday season.

If given the choice, 59% of Americans with a significant other would rather purchase upgrades for their home over exchanging individual gifts.

How Black Friday and Cyber Monday fit into the mix

About half of us (47%) consider shopping on Black Friday a holiday tradition with friends or family. Turns out that shopping puts most Americans (71%) into the holiday mood. Most of our Black Friday shopping is reserved for others, although 1 out of 3 (33%) respondents admitted to shopping for themselves. Shoppers consider Black Friday both frustrating and overwhelming (55%) and “a lot of fun” (45%). Americans seem to rank Black Friday and Cyber Monday equally as their favorite shopping days of the holiday season. And price is still important: Americans choose where to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday based on who is offering the lowest prices.

About our holiday shopping survey

The hhgregg® 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American adults ages 18 and over. It was conducted in October 2015, by Edelman Berland. The margin of error, at the 95% confidence level, is +/- 3.1%.

In this survey, the generations were defined as follows:

  • Millennial (18-34)
  • Generation X (35-50)
  • Boomer (51-69)
  • Silent Generation (70+)

About the author


Related Posts

1 Comment

Leave a reply