Survey finds Most Americans Waive Budgets for Holiday Shopping; More Consumers Planning to Shop Online, Less in Stores

Staff Report

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

LendingTree, the nation's leading online loan marketplace, recently conducted its second annual Holiday Shopping Survey among 1,062 American adults and found that once again, more than half of Americans  plan to shop for the holidays without a set budget. With more 43 percent admitting to having some form of financial regret after holiday shopping, some consumers may be facing more debt in the new year.

According to the survey, 27.02 percent of American's were saddled with holiday-related debt in the first few months of 2016, and 4.6 percent are still paying off last year's shopping debt. However, this is an overall improvement from last year, where almost 31 percent welcomed the new year with holiday shopping debt.

Additionally, 21.1 percent of consumers say they will be shopping less in physical stores this holiday season, opting for more online options. This is an increase from the 17.7 percent of survey respondents who said they planned to shop less in physical stores in the 2015 holiday shopping survey.

Mobile apps and 'Cyber Monday' promotions are also gaining popularity with holiday shoppers. Approximately 43 percent of consumers surveyed plan to use a mobile shopping app for at least part of their holiday purchases, which represents a 15.6 percent increase from last year. The deals and promotions available only for today, also known as Cyber Monday, is enticing 31.3 percent to shop online, which is an increase from the 26.11 percent who planned to do so last year.

Roughly two out of three shoppers (66.1%) estimate they will spend, in total, $500 or less on gifts during this holiday season. This represents a slight increase from the 64 percent who planned to do the same last year.  However, Americans seem to be more financially secure since 10.83 percent said they expect to spend more money overall on holiday gifts this year compared to 2015.  In comparison, only 8.24 percent expected to spend more money on gifts in 2015 compared to the 2014 holiday season.