The Countdown Begins: Rubicon Survey Shows Holiday Shopping Season Has Already Begun

The Countdown Begins Rubicon Survey Shows Holiday Shopping Season Has Already BegunHey, don’t kill the messenger. This is just something that retail marketers need to know.

It doesn’t take too long after the kids go back to school for thoughts to turn to the holidays. Here we go with Halloween, Thanksgiving … and the big retail kahuna … Christmas.

And there’s proof the shopping has already started in earnest. It comes from a new Consumer Pulse survey from Rubicon Project, a global technology company powering the only independent advertising solution to automate the entire digital advertising ecosystem.

This annual survey took a look at holiday shopping habits among consumers ages 18 and above in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. It also analyzes data on online and mobile shopping trends and the ways in which consumers are spending their dough.

“This year, we are seeing a clear shift in when, where, and how consumers are spending their holiday money,” commented Dallas Lawrence, Senior Vice President for Rubicon Project. “Consumers have taken control of the holiday shopping season, starting earlier, and signaling a clear desire to shop online and on mobile devices.”

And where are they shopping? Amazon and eBay will be pleased.

“For the first time, U.S. consumers are telling us that an online-only outlet, Amazon, will be their number one shopping destination in the US and eBay will be one of the top three shopping destinations in the UK,” noted Lawrence. “Brands looking to win big this holiday season should take note and align their engagement campaigns to the new reality of the in-control and on-demand consumer who is just as comfortable buying online or on their mobile devices as they are in store.”

The report showed that nearly one-third of all shoppers are already shopping — and an even bigger number of parents — 42 percent — are making lists, checking them twice, and pushing the buy buttons.

Luckily for retailers, the mood among consumers appears upbeat.

“This year consumer confidence appears on the rise as a significant majority of shoppers plan to spend the same or more on holiday purchases with most budgets exceeding $1,000,” according to Lawrence.

“Seventy eight percent of those surveyed across the three regions plan to spend the same or more money this year than they did last year – an average of $1,011,” according to the research summary. “U.S. parents are leading the generosity push this year with 48 percent willing to open their wallets a bit wider this year than last.”

But the biggest news relates to online shopping.

“According to the survey, nearly three in four holiday shoppers across the three regions will make purchases online,” explains the report summary. “Specifically in the U.S., more than one-third of shoppers anticipate conducting the majority of their shopping online, with 96 percent of U.S. parents planning to shop online in some capacity this holiday season. Those consumers in the U.S. who plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping online plan to spend 20 percent more than consumers who plan to do the majority of their shopping in-store.”

The most notable trend this season? U.S. consumers say is their top shopping destination followed by traditional go-to stores, Walmart, and Target.

And this year, 25 percent of holiday shoppers in the U.S. will turn to their smartphones to make holiday purchases.

“Whether consumers are shopping from their tablet or clicking through an ad on their smartphone, more consumers than ever are researching, price comparing, and shopping on-the-go, with nearly one in four holiday shoppers in the U.S. planning to shop on their smartphones this year,” said Joe Prusz, Head of Mobile for Rubicon Project. “For brands that embrace the consumer shift to mobile, it will surely be a very merry mobile year.”

There’s more holiday news to be had, including expectations for tech purchases this season. Click here.