AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly three in four American shoppers made an impulse purchase this holiday season, according to a new CreditCards.com report. Defined as "any unplanned or unnecessary decisions to buy a product just before the purchase," 72% admitted to making a reactionary purchasing decision in the last three months, the study said. Click here for more information:
Ironically, the most common recipient of an impulse purchase during the gift-giving season was the buyer themselves (45%); 24% went to a child, and 17% to a spouse or significant other.
The majority of these unplanned transactions did not break the bank, however, with just about two-thirds checking out at less than $100.
The survey also found that, despite the ease and accessibility of online shopping, almost seven out of ten impulse buyers made most of their spur-of-the-moment purchases in person at a store.
"Americans are still decidedly old-school when it comes to impulse shopping," says CreditCards.com senior industry analyst, Matt Schulz. "Most of our spontaneous buys are done in person in a store, the way they've been done for generations. However, with online shopping growing in popularity, I suspect that old trend may not last much longer."
The study further uncovered:
- 83% of Millennials (ages 18-35) said they made an impulse purchase this holiday season, the highest of all the generations. 91% have made an impulse purchase in their lifetime (also the highest).
- Women reported making an impulse purchase for a child twice as much as men this holiday season.
- Men indicated making an impulse purchase for their spouse/significant other three times more than women this holiday season.
- 8% of Republicans admitted to an impulse purchase of $1,000 or more this holiday season, compared to just 2% of Democrats. 25% of Republicans reported such a purchase in their lifetime, 10 percentage points more than Democrats.
Although there's nothing wrong with a small, occasional impulse buy, Schulz warns that it should not become a habit.
"The real trouble comes if you give in to the urge to splurge too often and spend too much when you do so. That can ruin a budget and cause real financial headaches."
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (503) and cell phone (500, including 317 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from January 5-8, 2017. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
CreditCards.com is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America's leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2016, over 35 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.
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