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    Online shopping hit the jackpot during the holiday shopping season, as Internet shoppers hiked their spending levels dramatically.

    The number of consumers choosing to make purchases online remained virtually the same, but in 2010 they made the conscious decision to spend more online than in previous years, draining sales and revenue from traditional retail stores.

    These latest America’s Research Group/UBS Consumer Mind Reader Consumer Mind Reader Survey ™ found that online shoppers spent an average of $81.04 in December, a huge jump from $51.09 in 2009.

    Nearly a third of consumers (30.7 percent) shopped on the Internet in December, embracing it as a viable alternative to traditional retail stores for at least some of their holiday shopping. Having bought online before, they were comfortable with the process and saw the convenience of shopping from home as more appealing than ever. The retail competitiveness which has developed in the virtual world guaranteed attractive prices and other amenities like free shipping. The opportunity to buy gifts from home at prices at or below the cost in stores was a no brainer for savvy online shoppers. They surfed and clicked their way down their Christmas list and saved time, money and crowded shopping conditions in the process.

    Internet shopping has been around for years, of course. By 2004 our survey showed that more than one in four consumers had turned to the web for at least some of their holiday shopping needs. Since then the growth in new users has been slow and steady. For the past two Christmas seasons now more than three in 10 consumers have bought gifts online that previously would have been purchased in retail stores.

    The days of consumers needing to see and touch products to buy them are over for a significant number of American consumers. To lose three in 10 shoppers on top of a stubborn recession that refuses to end has been too much for many failed retailers to handle. Others have chosen to jump into the electronic marketplace themselves, viewing the web as a cost effective and efficient selling tool. Those are the ones who will do well in the coming years.

    This study consisted of 1,200 interviews conducted January 4-7, 2011 at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. The error factor is plus or minus 3.6%.

    • Internet
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    • Appliance/Electronics/Computer Stores
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    • Outlet Malls

    Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America’s Research Group, is the country’s leading authority on retail buying habits of consumers. ARG tracks consumer buying habits more than any other survey research firm in the nation. The company conducts customized surveys for retail and manufacturing clients across the United States, designed to provide clients valuable marketing recommendations to grow their businesses. Beemer is author of two best-selling business books, Predatory Marketing and It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit. His third business book, entitled The Customer Rules, is available at bookstores nationwide. More detailed information is available on the America’s Research Group website at www.americasresearchgroup.com. UBS Global Equity Research provides the broad global perspective and in-depth analysis that institutional investors need to make good investment decisions. With more than 600 analysts, associates, strategists and economists in EMEA, APAC and the Americas, UBS covers approximately 85% of the world market capitalization - over 3,300 companies worldwide across 46 different markets. In addition to UBS's disciplined fundamental research, clients also rely on UBS for corporate and expert access to give them the insight they need, when they need it.