Convergys holiday survey: Big online spending yet to come

Cincinnati -- A survey released Monday by Convergys said that many consumers have yet to complete their holiday shopping -- and many of those will do that shopping online.

According to Convergys’ 2010 Holiday Shopping Season Research, which polled 500+ consumers on their holiday shopping plans; 18% of consumers have already completed their holiday shopping; but 27% have not yet started; and 50% are only half done.

Consumers are 33% more likely to have done the majority of their shopping in a physical store as opposed to online, according to the survey results. More than half (57%) have completed most of their shopping in a physical store, and 43% have completed most of their shopping online.

Fifty-six percent of the shopping that consumers have left to do is planned to take place online. Twenty-two percent plan to do the majority of their shopping online but visit physical stores first to see what they want before hunting for the best bargains.

Results showed that the more a customer anticipates they will spend, the more likely they are to be doing the majority of their shopping online. More than half (52%) plan to spend about as much as they did last year, but the rest are 80% more likely to be planning to reduce spend as opposed to increasing. About 17% anticipate they will increase spend compared with last year, and 31% anticipate they will decrease spend compared with last year.

On average, consumers expect to spend $588 on holiday gift shopping this year.

The survey also uncovered service factors; among them, 69% of consumers said a positive or negative customer service experience affects their holiday spirit. Consumers anticipating they will spend $1,000 or more this holiday season are the most sensitive to good and bad experiences (78% yes versus 67% for the rest).